Even if the corporate pilots wanted to do transition or proficiency training, they pretty
much had to handle it on their own because no training organization existed to serve them.
I thought about that a good long while and figured that there might be an opportunity in
giving those guys a training system similar to what the airlines had.
I told Mr. Trippe about my idea, and he was quite supportive. He said he thought it would
be good for aviation and a good business move for me. That certainly got me going. But
later, when I outlined my plan to Mr. Baruch, he shook his head and said, "You'd better
be careful. You've got a good job at Pan Am, and you might lose everything." Now, Bernard
Baruch's advice on business and finance was highly valued by no less than several
Presidents of the United States (maybe that's why the government's record in business
matters is so bleak), so I weighed his words carefully, and then I listened to Mr. Trippe.
In 1951 I took a $15,000 mortgage on my house and opened the doors to FlightSafety. The
company consisted of one 200-square-foot room on the third floor of LaGuardia Airport's
Marine Air Terminal, just across from Pan Am's operations building and the hangar that
housed Mr. Trippe's airplane. Inside was a wooden desk, a telephone, and an electric
typewriter upon which a secretary - FlightSafety's only full-time, paid employee - typed
my endless stream of letters soliciting business.