Because it's what
we pilots do.
Ask anyone who knows me, and they will tell you I've always been forever in love with Cirrus airplanes, and also Cirrus Design, the company. We won't tell Katy (our Cherokee 235) that there are two giant wall posters in my office, both SR-22s, both beautiful.
When I say I have maximum respect for Cirrus Design as a company, I am not kidding. They are just one classy company, and have always delivered on the promise of very well-built, very slick, high-technology flying machines. And while many companies build cool products, more then a few do not do much of anything to help ad agencies like mine promote clients who use their goods.
But Cirrus is a major exception to that rule, and here is why:
About 18 months ago, we picked up a national client that was launching a charter network that will fly both business people and families in new Cirrus SR-22s, for a price that is rock bottom. About that time, we had two large video shoots scheduled in Central California that required a crew from Los Angeles who would come in with a large diesel truck loaded with $150,000 of equipment. It would be the perfect opportunity to also shoot some footage for a planned DVD for this national client, if only we had a Cirrus...If only we had a Cirrus. Well, it turns out, my partner Julie Celeste had been in contact with Chris Eichman – Divisional Director for Cirrus up here in the Pacific Northwest – about lining up a Cirrus for a still photography shoot. So when Julie and Chris began to see the value in using all this cool Hollywood movie gear to maybe get some awesome footage of an SR-22, the wheels of opportunity began to whirl. And when smart people like Chris and Julie imagine the possibilities, all kinds of great things can happen:
I was flying down to the Reedley Airport outside of Fresno, with Katy loaded to the gills, including two professional actors from Portland. I had no sooner landed and unloaded when I heard a pleasant female voice calling "eight one one Romeo Tango's on a three mile straight-in for three-three, Reedley." The voice was that of Juice Welch, a Cirrus demo pilot who was delivering a gorgeous new SR-22 G3 turbo for us to use in the video shoot. She greased a perfect "no chirper" precisely at 7PM – her planned ETA – with a eye-popping sunset as a backdrop. I was tickled to watch her arrival as my step-son Scott – the Director of Photography on the shoot – captured some amazing sunset/landing footage for our project. It all came together so well, it gave me chills.The day of shooting came off without a hitch [read all about it here], and I came away with even more respect and admiration for Cirrus Design and the many fine people they have in their organization. They didn't have to help us, but they did. They didn't have to route Juice and her beautiful SR-22 through our world so it could be the star of our show, but they did.
And sometime off in the future, I am going to return that favor to Cirrus big time. It would be an honor to use just about anything in my skill set to help such an awesome company sell more hardware. But if I have to spend a weekend washing every plane on their production ramp to say thanks, it will be 48 hours of wet, soapy bliss.
I am not really sure why Cirrus choose to offer this generous gesture of support from one aviation business to another, but I suspect it has everything to do with that unwritten creedo that we aviators live by...
Pilots help pilots. Because it's what we do.