In the absence of this year’s NBAA show that was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, AIN is publishing remembrances of past conventions from captains of the industry to you, our readers.
We have been attending the NBAA Convention regularly since we purchased our first business jet—a Citation 500—in 1987. We have owned business jets continuously since then and find the conventions very relevant to both our business and flying lives. They are educational, motivational, and fun. We don’t recall having missed a convention since we first attended. We believe it is valuable to support NBAA since we feel that without NBAA we wouldn’t have business aviation in the way it is today.
One of our favorite moments came last year. NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen introduced Magic Johnson onstage for his motivational talk. Then, to Ed’s great surprise, Magic jumped down from the stage and went searching through the audience for a short person who wouldn’t be camera shy about providing a contrast with his great height.
He found that person in the front row in the form of 5-foot 1-inch Martha King, who through her own magic—of video—had taught nearly half of the pilots in the country learning to fly. What he wouldn’t have known—since you wouldn’t guess it by looking at her—is he also found, among other things, an airline transport pilot for airplanes and helicopters and an instrument flight instructor for both. The audience cracked up with laughter at the picture they made together, and the photo has a prized spot in Martha’s office. It could only happen at an NBAA Convention!