But still, in the early years every day was a challenge. Every morning as I made my way to
our hangar at LaGuardia, I'd stop first at the airport post office, take a deep breath,
and open the door on Box 696, FlightSafety's box. It was a small box, and more often than
not, it was empty. But we hung in there, and one by one the customers came and, thankfully,
so did their checks.
The service we provided was straightforward. (It still is, come to think of it.) Back
then we did a lot of training in the customers' airplanes. LaGuardia wasn't nearly so
busy in the 1950s, and we could operate training flights from right outside our office.
Even though I was qualified to do so, I never worked as an instructor for FlightSafety. I
figured my time was better spent managing things and finding customers; I left the
instructing to others, most of whom were off-duty instructor-pilots from Pan Am.
From the very beginning, training devices were an important part of the FlightSafety
experience. We began by renting Link Trainers - the famous "blue box" - that United
operated in a hangar at LaGuardia. We paid the airline $10 an hour for each Link we used.
But we knew that for FlightSafety to succeed, we had to have our own equipment.