I was privileged to be able to visit the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington last summer. While it’s true that I am a plane buff, I didn’t expect the phenomenal tour we received from the docent, Art.
Art is a remarkable specimen. A veteran of the air war in Europe, he was a tailgunner on a B-17. He survived his missions and was sent home to Kansas, where he married, raised a family, and so on. My kids immediately were drawn to him and his stories. By virtue of his experience he was immediately credible in talking about the different aircraft on display. The shocking highlight of the trip was when he pulled out a piece of flak that was deflected by the armor he had begun to wear the previous mission.
The lesson I took from this for Flonomics was a repeat of the same lesson one hears often. “Our People Make The Difference.” All the investment, great tech, great product, and so on matters not one whit if the team is not there with the right training and attitude. The Collection was brilliant in recruiting a volunteer docent of Art’s caliber to make the experience meaningful, and to cement our families ties to the Collection, the history it portrays, and the region it promotes.
P.S. Art wrote an interesting book about his wartime experience.