From my Desk to the Sky: Some Great Service

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Most of the time, when I’m flying in and out of small, non-towered airports, I’m met with very nice, helpful people. I’ve really not experienced any negative, lazy or otherwise apathetic types (yet) because I believe that people working in aviation are passionate about their jobs and enjoy what they do. Although I could write about many of them, the service I received on a recent trip is worth passing on.

It was my job to go to Fairhope, AL (KCQF) to pick up a Piper 6X and fly it back to Lexington to be advertised as a listing. It was an early morning, as I had to depart LEX and fly commercially to Pensacola, FL (the rates were better than closer Mobile), rent a car, and drive the rest of the way to Fairhope. Needless to say, I was already tired and it had been a long day by the time I arrived at KCQF. The airplane was sitting on the ramp, but I wasn’t sure if it was ready to go or not. After looking things over, I realized the airplane needed a few things in order to be flown safely, so I looked around for a lineman to help me. I was told that Kyle was just finishing up fueling a jet, and he would be right with me.

The 6X looked to be in pretty good shape. All that was needed was a quart of oil, a little air in the left main tire, and a clean windshield. Nothing major. It was spring in Alabama, which meant pollen was rampant, and the evidence was all over the 6X. The surfaces and windshield were covered with a yellow powder, and I thought for a minute that my hay fever may be triggered earlier than normal. That wasn’t the case, but I did need to get the pollen off the windshield.

I let Kyle know my needs and he sprang into action. I had expected to pay for the oil, borrow a funnel, acquire some plexiglass cleaner, and have an air tank brought out to the airplane. That’s not a problem. I’m used to doing this stuff myself and have some experience doing so. I used to do what Kyle does, around ten years ago at nearby Georgetown Airport (27K). But the next thing I know, Kyle has the airplane hooked up to a tug, and he’s pulling it over to a service area complete with an air hose and a water supply. Oh yeah, he had already added the quart of oil to the airplane too. He added air to the tire, sprayed down the windshield and the wings, and used a brush - with soap – to wash off the pollen. After rinsing the 6X off, he pulled it over to an area that would give me quick access to taxi to the runway. I shook his hand, asked if he was sure I didn’t owe him anything (he declined emphatically), and I was on my way.

 

I am not demanding when it comes to service. In fact, I usually like to do these types of tasks myself. In aviation, safety dictates this because you as pilot in command can rest easy knowing it has been done correctly and safely. I had not expected a line guy to do all this for me. But I was impressed how Kyle jumped right on the job and provided me excellent service. It was nice to see someone take pride in their job and do it well without hesitation. I am thankful to Kyle Klinner and the people at Continental Motors in Fairhope for a job well done. Who knows, maybe the clean windshield and wings gave me a couple of extra knots groundspeed on the way home.

Check out Continental Motors here.