You’re heading to Alaska on a 6-month grand adventure. Money being no object, you’re planning to hire a pilot and her plane to be on retainer for you. When you’re ready to move camp, you’ll call her. She’ll come pick you up and fly you to wherever’s next.
Two pilots are available. The first, Emily, has a brand new plane. Her pilot’s license is from a prestigious flight school and she has 1,000 hours in the flight simulator practicing for her gleaming new aircraft, not a scratch on it.
The other pilot is Agatha. Behind her is a battle-scarred, sunflower yellow 1964 Cessna 172. Where the paint is chipped and scratched off you see patches of green, and what was probably originally pearl white (now sepia nearing Dijon mustard). Agatha has never set foot in a flight simulator, never went to flight school per se, but passed her flying exam at 14.
Sunday morning at the tiny airport’s pancake breakfast, a weekly fundraiser for a variety of local charities, you pay your 10 bucks, pile your plate with box-mix pancakes and scrambled (powdered) eggs. Threading through the rows of family-style seating, you catch bits of stories. Knots of wide-eyed tourists listen to old grizzled pilots, hands thrust forth inches apart, showing how close the plane came to the treetops, how tight the landing strip was, and how Aggie did it again.
The price to keep either of the women on retainer for your trip is the same. Which pilot do you want to hire?
While you’re thinking about that, consider this:
How many other clients will they have calling them each day?
Emily will eagerly sign you up as soon as you’re ready.
Agatha only works half-time and doesn’t have an opening until late in the season.
Who will take you off the obvious, well-beaten path?
Where do you really want to go?
You can find Emily’s number online with a quick Google search. If you want Agatha’s, give me a call.