Chapter 15

With the Corporate Aircraft market, it was my responsibility to attend the National Business Aircraft Association meetings held at different locations in the country twice a year.

There was very little market for an aircraft the size of the DC-9, but it was beginning to change. The G2 was the accepted size, but corporations were beginning to see the value of larger jets for executive use.

During several trips to the Westchester airport in New York, I met with the pilot of the John Mansville Company indicating to him that we had a used DC-9-10 parked in Palmdale, California, and that the aircraft would make a good corporate aircraft, and we were asking a reasonable price.

Two months later, the Chief Pilot and Flight Operations Officer from the John Mansville Company came to Long Beach to purchase the used DC-9 parked in Palmdale. Don said that the aircraft was $2.3 million "as is". He evidently had not seen the aircraft because in the "as is" condition, the aircraft could not be sold for $1.3 million.

I assured the people from John Mansville that I was sure we could put the aircraft in suitable condition prior to delivery. They must have been very discouraged at the aircraft because they never showed up for discussions the next day.

The airplane remained parked in Palmdale. My fault; I should have know the condition of the aircraft and had a package ready to negotiate from the "as is" condition.

Next time someone sets the limit for negotiation, ignore it, and establish your own playing field. It would not happen again when I was in control, and it assisted me in future negotiations.