Aviators' Thoughts

My job search and business aviation as seen on AviationWeek

NBAA Day 3 Wrapup and “Best Of”

with 4 comments

Another NBAA has come and gone here in Orlando. Overall I believe it was still a success considering the events of the last 12 months. Although attendance was down some 25 percent this year, the NBAA convention is still a viable and necessary event to bring the BizAv community together.

In that spirit I am compiling a list of the “Best Of” NBAA. This list is by no means complete and if you feel there is something I left out, please let me know….

Best Hotel to Stay at for NBAA:  (Hilton Orlando)

The winner here was by far the Hilton Orlando. This new Hilton just opened this September and after spending the night there I must say I was impressed. Everything, of course was new. It even had that “new carpet” smell. The walkway from the hotel to the convention center made coming and going from the show a breeze. Service was top notch with a friendly and knowledgeable staff from the front desk to the concierge to the waitresses. I felt at all times I was taken care of. In addition, the restaurant was excellent. My wife and I had the chance to dine at Davids Club twice and found the food and drink excellent (if a bit pricey).  Definitely try the “Rib Sliders” Great place to go if you want to sit comfortably and watch baseball or football. Yes, there are less expensive places, but you cant beat the location.

Best NBAA Display: (HondaJet)

By far the most modern and best laid out display was Honda Jet. With complete freedom to move about the area in a circle, to the high tech refreshment and mockup area, to the supermodel flight attendants, Honda came to NBAA to make an impression, and they did. I also found that the HondaJet staff was available right away to answer any inquiries that the attendees might have and were happy to direct me to other staff if they didnt know the answer to a question.  It was a place you wanted to hang around and take in completely. The interactive G3000 display in the back was the icing on the cake. Dont forget the full size prototype HondaJet rotating around the center. It was hard NOT to notice. Honorable mention goes to the AVFuel display with its Wii and Playstation gaming area that brought out the kid in a lot of the attendees. (Yours truly included)

Best NBAA “Swag” (Tie: Avitats’ “Tiger Spirit” Airplanes, Pueblo Jet Center’s Salsa)

If NBAA is known for one thing, its the amount of “stuff” that the various vendors give out. It’s like “trick or treating” for pilots. I found my bags quite heavy with various items of candy, pens, planners and other loot at the end of the day. I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to get one of the “Tiger Spirit” aircraft at the Avitat display putting challenge. Even the consolation prize of 3 golf balls was still worth it. I actually hit the cup,but had a little too much english to win the big prize. Every bit as good was Pueblo Jet Centers’ salsa. They had chips you could dip into it to taste it and and I found it REALLY good. Its sitting in my fridge as we speak. Honorable mention goes to Air Routings‘ flashing airplane necklace and Jeppsens’ USB enabled laptop fan/light airplane.

Best Sales Pitch By a Vendor: (FlightLineFirst, New Orleans Lakefront Airport)

Even though I was at NBAA to network and not to buy anything, the enthusiasm that certain people have for their business can be contagious. I had the pleasure of visiting this vendor during my time on the floor and found them very friendly and open. At one point a gentlemen from FlightLineFirst came up to me and told me in no uncertain terms that ” we can get you the lowest prices on jet fuel and personally take care of all of your needs” It wasnt so much the pitch that was memorable it was the positive attitude that came with it. When I asked this gentlemen if he was the sales rep, he said “No, Im the OWNER!” THAT makes an impression. This man WANTS your business. If you are ever in KNEW you might just want to check out FlightLineFirst for your aviation needs. Ask for Pierre Villere, the President of the company. Honorable mention goes to DAS Aeronautical Services whose energetic President is looking to repair your aircrafts’ engines and thrust reversers. We had a most pleasant and informative conversation.

Best NBAA Seminar: (NBAA Social Networking Seminar)

This seminar on Day 2 of the convention drew great interest and was sponsored by JetWhine who I understand did a great job. I regret that I did not have the chance to attend, but from the feedback I have gotten from friends, this was one of the most informative seminars during the convention. As aviation moves well in to the 21st century, social networking and new technologies are slowing being embraced by the aerospace community. The possibilities for networking, employment and information exchange, and of course, new business. through the various social network mediums are nearly endless and are only going to expand in the future. I am hopeful someone made a video of this seminar I can link to.

Best Personal NBAA Moment: (Meeting Jack Pelton, CEO of Cessna)

During my visit to the Rosen Center for the ERAU dinner, I had to step out for a moment. To my surprise I found myself walking directly next to Jack Pelton on his way to the Pratt and Whitney party. After confirming it was indeed him, I was happy to introduce myself and we talked about 5 minutes about the current state of the industry and of course my personal situation. I was very happy that a person of his stature would take his time to talk to a complete stranger such as myself. From what I understand, Cessna has begun taking an interest actively listening to all its customers as it navigates through the most serious downturn in business aviation in the last half century and that philosophy goes all the way to the top. It was truly a pleasure:  Honorable mention goes to my meeting with Benet Wilson of Aviation Week and Space Technology, who I have mentioned has been tremendous help in my job search.

Theres no doubt that this has been a tough year for Business Aviation, but a theme of “light at the end of the tunnel” ran through the show. Heres hoping that next years’ convention in Atlanta is a great one. See you there!

Dont forget..Today is the Day!


Written by tdwnds1

October 22, 2009 at 11:28 pm

4 Responses

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  1. This is a fabulous best-of list!

    Paula Williams

    October 28, 2009 at 5:51 pm

  2. Best Swag: Phillips 66 WingPoints Leatherman and Mini MagLite!! Had to fly in for that one.

    Best Personal NBAA Moment: Witnessing Business Aviation explode into the Twitter Scene!!

    Seriously though, thanks for posting feedback. Great to hear you had a good time.


    October 28, 2009 at 7:39 pm

  3. I am not sure how, but I missed this post completely! Great overview Clint and I am looking forward to many more of these! I wish you had been able to join us at the Social Media for Business Aviation session as well, but there is always S&D in San Antonio and certainly NBAA 2010 in Atlanta! I wish I’d been able to get over to the Tweetup at ORL too!

    – Ryan Keough @ Cutter Aviation

    Ryan Keough

    November 13, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    • Thanks Ryan,

      I hope to have many more posts in the works in the future. I have much to write about and would also like to expand into specific aircraft and the effect of Socail Media on flight departments and business development. Much of that will hinge on finding employment in the very near future.


      November 14, 2009 at 7:24 am

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