Alan H. Conklin, a business aviation leader, passed away near his home in Massachusetts in November 2006. Mr. Conklin began his aviation career as an instructor pilot for the Army Air Corp in the early 1940's teaching instrument flying to military pilots. After leaving the military he sold aircraft and aircraft parts for Robinson Aviation in Teterboro, NJ. In 1948 he joined the new U.S. Air Force and flew C-119 Flying Boxcars until returning home in the mid 1950's to return to business aviation.
Al Conklin perfected his salesmanship and aviation expertise by using his expertise to prove the economic value of aircraft to businesses while selling Aero Commanders, Trekker Gulls and Cessna aircraft until the 60's when he excelled at selling Beech King Airs before moving on to selling Falcon Jets. It was at this time he met Bill de Decker, and they discovered their common desire to develop realistic operating costs and performance numbers for Falcon Jets.
Conklin researched operating costs while de Decker crunched performance numbers eventually coming up with the Aircraft Cost Evaluator which is still the most trusted database available in business aviation today. In 1984 Conklin left Falcon Jet and started Al Conklin Associates selling the Aircraft Cost Evaluator, commonly known as the "Conklin Numbers" selling 200 copies in its first year.
Bil de Decker joined Conklin in 1989 forming Conklin & de Decker which has over 1,800 clients today. In 1998 they co-authored a book titled Aircraft Acquisition Planning and later expanded it into a 2 day seminar offered every year. Conklin later wrote his memoirs titled My God is My Instructor Pilot which covered his military, civilian and business aviation career.
In 2008 the National Business Aviation Association and Conlkin & de Decker will award a scholarship of $ 6,375. to a student who is enrolled in an aviation management program at one of the University Aviation Association member schools. The scholarship application and all required documents must be postmarked no later than August 1st 2008. To be eligible for this scholarship students must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident and it will be awarded without regard to sex, race, religion or national origin.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!