“Engine instruments are green, airspeed’s alive, Vr,” I announced more from habit. The small Cessna climbed into the evening sky with steady grace. She’s a work-horse; the C172. A great airplane to teach future pilots, a fairly steady platform for commercial photographers, traffic watch reporters, pipeline inspectors, fish spotters, and short distance pleasure flights. Angela Wong is a Realtor and a friend. I put her in the pilot’s seat while I sat in the co-pilot’s position. I can do that because I’m a CFII (Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument) and officially I was giving Angela an Intro-Flight, a precursor to taking flying lessons.
After turning cross-wind and departing the KVNY airport traffic pattern I handed the airplane over to Angela. “Your airplane,” I spoke over the intercom-headsets. Angela did as I had instructed and dutifully responded with, “My Airplane.” By forcing students to get into the habit of announcing who is actually handling the controls, pilots remove any ambiguity about which one is flying and therefore, no one is pushing while someone else is pulling. If only life could be this easy.
Angela handled the airplane well. Under my command she flew us from Van Nuys to Malibu where we dropped to a mere thousand feet above the ocean and took in the beauty of the receding sun. A flawless flight that drew to mind how thankful we are for all the blessings we both have in our lives. Mostly opportunity, freedom, good jobs we both love, and friendships.
Later that night over dinner Angela asked me a Title Insurance question. “Have you run into any interesting Title issues lately?” I guess I should mention that besides being a pilot, I sell Title Insurance for one of the largest Title Insurance companies in the nation, Chicago Title. Five recent deals instantly came to mind. I almost didn’t know where to start. “Well, last week I had this deal.. a husband and wife are splitting. The husband doesn’t want to sell their house so the wife gets a court order. The Realtor finds a buyer but the husband refuses to sign any documents. We couldn’t close the deal without his signature because the court order demanded the sale of the house but had no provision to convey Title.” Angela understood immediately. She has years of experience. “So we’re left with two choices. Get the guys signature or go back to court and get an order that gives a court clerk signing power.”
I went on, “Then there was this couple, the wife is falling ill so the husband gets power of attorney and grants the house to himself. But a funny thing happens, the husband ends up dying before she did! Anyway, the Title had a cloud because, by law, you can’t use power of attorney to enrich yourself.” (See: Live Each Day Like It’s Your Last…)
Angela cut off a piece of steak and put it on a plate for me. “That’s too much,” I protested. Angela says, “No it’s not. Take it.” Then laughing she says, “Your steak! Now I want you to say, “My steak.”
Driving home that night I started thinking about all the minor complications that can derail a Real Estate transaction. People who think they know – often don’t. Later their good intentions cause problems on the ownership of their property. That’s why it’s imperative to have a good Realtor on your side. Further, that’s why it makes good sense to go with a reputable Title Company, like Chicago Title. Your Title company can provide a lot of important information.
Similarly, airplane crashes rarely happen over one big mistake. Statistics show crashes are usually caused by a series of small errors that eventually add up to something bad happening. Good reason to have a good Flight Instructor and to develop good habits early on. “Your airplane.”
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Note: I’m a Title Rep. In other words, I sell Title Insurance. Comments made here are my own and do not necessarily belong to my employer; Chicago Title & Escrow.
Chicago Title has been in business for more than 160 years. It’s a company you can trust.