Galvin Flying Services hosted its first Piston Aircraft Expo last Friday at Seattle’s Boeing Field. The idea was simple enough. Galvin opened a portion of their ramp to showcase some of the new aircraft a prospective buyer might find on the market. This was not a Galvin exclusive event either. Pete Aldassy, an aircraft salesman for Galvin, invited a number of area salespeople to show off their product.
Included on the ramp was a CubCrafters SportCub, a Cessna Corvaliss TT and 400, a Hawker Beechcraft Premier I, a KingAir B200 and a Baron 58, a Piper Meridian G1000, one Remos GX, a Jabiru J250-SP, an Evektor SportStar Plus, a Diamond Star XLS, a Mooney Acclaim, and a Cirrus SR22 Turbo GS. In addition, to spice up the ramp even more, local auto dealer, Barrier Motors was invited to bring a few vehicles as well. Barrier brought a Porsche Carrera S, an Audi Q5, a Porsche Cayenne Transsyberia Tiptronic, a Mercedes Benz C63, and a Volvo XC60.
While traffic was a bit light, a high traffic count was not the goal. “We sent about 6,000 postcards to local area prospects,” said Emily Steiner from Galvin Flying. “We’ll be thrilled to get a hundred or so people down to see some of what is currently available on the market.”
The dealers I spoke with were happy to be their, regardless of traffic count. John Forehand brought the Meridian G1000 from Oregon. He said they are looking to do the same thing at their base of operation. “Bringing in as many different kinds of aircraft will attract the broadest range of customers possible, and that’s a good thing.”
Be on the lookout for more of these small events to pop-up around the country.
A question comes to mind as I read this story. Are we in General Aviation guilty of perpetuating the “only for rich folks” image we just got hammered with not too long ago? Is the Porsche Carrera S, a great car to be sure, really going to inspire the responsible small business owner to consider what the small aircraft can do for his business? The Jabiru/Volvo works but so would a Jabiru/Escape image. In my mind these magnicificent automobiles run counter to the â€œNo Plane â€“ No Gainâ€ message that espouses the near necessity of General Aviation aircraft for small business. I mean, the service tech that is covering 5 states that could benefit from flying himself throughout his service area probably wonâ€™t be able to justify the Cayenne but could justify the Impala.
I am probably in left field so far out that I am standing on the warning track, but I just had to ask. These events are great for the dream factory in our brains but is this the right way to promote General Aviation right now?