Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mind Over What Matters

The Endowment Effect
I recently discovered what appears to be the answer to yet another long standing question of mine; why do some people collect airplanes like mad, only to let them rot?  If I told you it rests within the mind, would that be a surprise? The solution? It’s called the Endowment Effect (aka divestiture aversion), and put very simply it explains that the mere act of possessing something leads a person to place a disproportionate value on it.

Don’t let the basic nature of this effect fool you. There is a lot of power in simple ideas and this one, often able to explain many of the seemingly unexplainable day to day decisions of mankind, is no different. Therefore, in an effort to help you better understand it, let me offer an example.

There are two items, one that is worth ten dollars and one that is worth twenty. You can only afford ten dollars and although you want and would buy the twenty dollar item if you could, you only buy the one you can afford at ten dollars. The next day, the owner of the item worth twenty offers you a straight trade. The Endowment Effect explains why a large percentage of people would not take this logical trade for the one worth twenty as they place more importance on loss rather than gain. Loosing what they have in hand is thus very hard to do despite getting something worth more. This is suspected to be an evolutionary mental trick that would favor hunters and gatherers but in the modern world it often serves to reveal a shortcoming of the human mind. Whatever the case, it does seem to explain the wonderful old guy with fifty planes squirreled away in his back yard. We all know at least one and some of us over twenty. One such person recently gave me a glimpse of something rather unique.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rare Stearman Set to Fly

A few years back I was given the opportunity to fly a rare and amazingly beautiful C3B Stearman.  When I took it into the air for the first time I wanted it.  That's the truth.  It's that simple.  There's just something about the old Stearmans that can't be beat.

Anyone who knows these machines and who have flown them love them.  Most of us, if not owners, also want one and at the very least we get very excited when another one returns to the air.  Well, with that said I am very pleased to pass along the news that another that is set to fly.  Here's the note I just received from Addison Pemberton:

"To all;
Charlie Brown from Sandpoint Idaho, just up the road from Spokane, has just finished a 4 year restoration of his J5 Wright powered 1928 Stearman C3B. See link below to the U-tube video of the 1st start. The smoke and noise is dramatic. Note how the Whirlwind settles down to a “Spirit of St Louis” like rumble with its individual exhaust bayonet stacks. Charlie should fly soon and begin to campaign the airplane this summer. The airplane is very nice and the craftsmanship is wonderful."

The crew here at NORDO News hopes to bring you more updates on this exciting aircraft soon.

They're Out the Door

Each year for the past 24, the Lee Bottom staff has produced and mailed a limited number of calendars to friends of the airport. These unique items are printed in a format that was popular many years ago but nearly non-existent today. On the face they have one photo from the field, a motto, and an old fashioned tear off calendar pad.
Back in 1987 only a handful of these calendars were produced but today the number stands, as it has for years, at 1500. Hand stamped with a unique number each one goes out to friends of the airport around the world. Admittedly though, it is very difficult to make sure they go to the right people. Therefore, if you get one and you don’t deserve it, consider yourself lucky. If you do deserve one and yet you don’t get one, then for that we are truly sorry.

As for the photo you see above, when we finally pull everything together, sort them for bulk mail, place the envelopes in the postal tubs, and get them ready to go out the door, there is little room left in our house. This short term crowding inevitably leads to some interesting photos. With very few square feet of heated rug remaining, this year our cat, Meatball, quickly figured out that the one open space was just right for him. Here you see him hiding from the dogs just before we took them to town and shipped them off to you.

As usual, both the photo and motto are secret.  Each year these items change and to make sure there's a bit of surprise, we wait until their new owners receive them to publish a photo of one.  Yet, since there are some of you who may not have seen one, here's a photo of last year's production. 

For those who've no doubt noticed that it’s late for calendars to be shipped, we prefer to think it’s better late than never. We hope you enjoy them.

Note:  If you would like to know more about the calendars, click here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Turning the Corner

As we are sure you already know, rain turned last year's fly-in into a drive-in and a dissapointment to ALL.  Unfortunately, these "goings on" also created a severe case of 'the airport owner burnout'.  Symptoms of this disease are nasty and include the long list of bills that arise from such a fiasco.  Yet, we have not given in and have even managed to muster  just enough positive outlook to purchase a new piece of equipment.  This "people mover" will allow this year's fly-in guests to 'ride in style around our back yard.