Consider this quote from Irish aviation executive Willie Walsh talking about the boss of a competing airline, Virgin's Richard Branson. "I don't like him, I don't admire him, I don't buy his bullshit." Or consider Michael O'Leary of Ireland's Ryanair, "I don't give a shit if no one likes me. I'm not a cloud bunny or an aerosexual. I don't like aeroplanes. I never wanted to be a pilot like those other platoons of goons who populate the airline industry."
The world of aviation is full of arrogant, combative individuals who may be providing a service to a world growing ever more reliant on air travel. But they are at the same time helping the industry’s descent to ever-lower levels of respect.
Then consider Nick Tramontano, who, along with his long-time friend, retired Sikorsky president Jeffrey Pino, died in a crash on Feb 5th in Arizona. He was a class act.
Called the “Mayor” of Connecticut’s Oxford Waterbury Airport by the airport’s actual manager, Matthew Kelly, no one has anything but nice things to say about Nick.
“He was wonderful,” Kelly told me. “You always left a conversation with him, with a smile.”