“Being A Pilot Is A Hard-Earned Privilege”

I HAVE A PASSION for flying.

I love airports, airplanes and anything to do with aviation. I’ve flown a dozen different single and twin engine aircraft — including jets. I particularly enjoy the capabilities of my Twin Cessna 421C. It flies high and fast, is pressurized, and for me it’s a hard-working business asset.

However, it’s interesting to note, I became a pilot by accident.

While living in Manhattan, Kiri and I would leave the city every weekend during the summer to get out of the heat and head up to the beautiful area around Woodstock. She’d be working in the garden and I’d be pacing around.

One morning she said, “Look, you need to get a hobby.” So I got in the car and was driving around thinking about what I could do while I was up there every weekend. I saw a sign that said, “Learn To Fly.” So I drove to the airport, which was basically a runway about 2,800 feet long with a bend in it like a boomerang. I went up with the flight instructor (who was a guy about 21 years old). I was terrified. But once I got up there I really felt comfortable. So I signed up for lessons.

Once I got into it, I was totally obsessed and soon earned my pilot’s license for single engine. Then I got my single engine instrument rating. Then I got night rated so I could fly at night, as well as in the clouds on instruments. Then I got my multi-engine rating. Then I got my multi-engine instrument rating. Then I got my night rating in the multi-engine.

We bought a single engine Piper Turbo Arrow and flew to the Hamptons in the summer from Woodstock and to the beach or Nantucket with the kids (they were babies then) in the back in their bassinets. Then we bought a six-passenger Twin Cessna 340 and used it to fly all over New York and on longer business trips.

At this time I was busy with the Diligent IPO and didn’t fly for almost a year. Then, when the company went public, Kiri agreed with me that a great reward for all the hard work would be a new plane, a Cessna 421C.

We now use this plane as a time-saving business tool that permits us to travel efficiently to hard-to-reach destinations.






Brian’s “glass cockpit” upgrade of the avionics in his Twin Cessna 421C was featured in Twin & Turbine magazine.

As an intriguing “second interest to international business” - Brian is a USA, FAA Certified Falcon Jet Pilot, licensed to fly the Falcon 50 as captain or SIC - despite having his own, full time dedicated flight crew - he often flies his own business and corporate missions.

Brian’s upgraded avionics includes a Dual Garmin G600 synthetic vision panel — so if you’re landing in the mountains in the clouds, instead of looking at an attitude indicator and seeing just gray outside, you actually see hills, roads and lakes and the plane flying between the mountains. It also includes color radar, moving maps, multiple GPSs, dual transponders, and a state-of-the-art auto-pilot (actually more features than most commercial airliners).

Here’s Kiri with the Cessna 421C which Brian thinks is the ultimate personal twin-engine aircraft. It’s pressurized, can fly above the weather up to 30,000 feet — and yet it’s affordable to run.