Posted by: Chris Davis | September 16, 2011

Fly Me to the Moon

It’s beginning to look like Fall again around Middle Tennessee.  The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing, and the long, hot flying days of summer are drawing to a close.  As many pilots’ thoughts begin to turn toward winter maintenance and upgrade projects, others remain fixed on the few remaining events of the flying season.  These few events signify the last hurrah before the summer temperatures head for warmer climates and Jack Frost returns to his winter homestead.

For me, the Moontown Grass Field Fly In is one of these events.  Nestled amongst the rolling hills of Northern Alabama, Moontown airport (3M5) is a busy little grass airport that time seems to have forgotten.  The days where everyone knows your name and no visitor is a stranger are alive and well at Moontown and the Grass Field Fly In embodies that spirit.  It is not an event with a lot of fanfare, publicity, or showmanship like you might find at various air shows around the country.  This is a pilot’s event, a family event, and an overall fun event that is open to the public free of charge.  Throughout the day the sky will be filled with everything from the J-3 Cub to the P-51 Mustang as well as various Yak, T-6, and Stearman formations.  Background music will play through the PA system occasionally upstaged by radio chatter from the traffic pattern or the victory call of WAR EAGLE and ROLL TIDE as the smell of burgers and Bar-B-Q mixed with radial exhaust permeate the air.  Young dreamers will get their first taste of flight and old veterans will relive their youth.  This is what the Moontown Grass Field Fly In is all about; flying, family, food, and fun.

For those of us who participate in the event it’s about even more.  We are drawn to the event because it gives us another chance to fly, but we continue to return because of the camaraderie and fellowship.  When the sun drops behind the hills and long shadows are cast across the wings, the true spirit of Moontown begins to awaken.  Chairs start to appear in large simi-circles in front of the hangar as if on cue and a fire begins to crackle in their midst.  One last formation enters the overhead break to land while those already on the ground cover the canopies in an effort to repel the incipient dew.  The group gathers around the fire surrounded by our aerial steeds and stories begin to unfold.  Old friends catch up on time gone bye and new friends are introduced.  For some it has been a year since last seeing each other, but the friendship continues as though they parted way just hours before.  Inevitably a glass jar and an old guitar will find their way out of hiding and take up residence within the group uncovering hidden talents and hilarious tales.  As the evening rolls on, the group begins dwindle with even the most reluctant individuals eventually give in to the body’s requirement of sleep.  For the last of these reluctant soles, morning will come early.  At first safe light we have Dawn Patrol. 

As Jeff made mention of in a previous blog entitled Social Business, relationship building is often more important and can have a greater effectiveness than any form of advertising that can be created.  Taking time to socialize, build trust, and become a part of the “family” with your clients and colleagues is priceless.  Any company can advertise perfection.  When was the last time you saw an ad saying a company was anything less than the best, less than perfect?  We all know that is not reality.  People want to work with a person, not a company; they want to see what is behind the curtain to put a face with the name and feel as though they are more than just a number.  By taking time to socialize, we step out from behind the company name and personify it.  We strip away the advertisement of perfection and show the human element to which lasting relationships are built.  To borrow a quote from Donald Miller “We impress people through our apparent perfection, but we connect with people through our flaws.”  When you form a connection with a client you begin the foundations of friendship and loyalty which are the strongest exit barriers possible.

By the time you read this, I will be en-route to the Moontown Grass Field Fly In to catch up with old friends, solve the worlds problems, and work on our flaws together.  I used to have clients based on the field with which I would conduct business…now I call them friends and we conduct relationships.  Stop by and join in the fellowship if you are in the area, I would be glad to meet you.

Clear skies & tailwinds!


Responses

  1. Wish I could Chris. Maybe one of these days.

    Cheers…Rob

  2. Good post. thanks


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