PHO TOGRAPHY BY LARRY MARCUS
It’s only fitting that James Cooling is near impossible to get in touch
with. He’s always flying off somewhere. We profiled the aviator in
2005—he’s a certified pilot with his own aircraft—and learned about
his lifelong love of flying, and his business. “We continue to represent
major U.S. and international corporations with the legal aspects of
their aviation and corporate jet aircraft transactions,” Cooling says
today. “There are a number of new international business jets that
are in the $60 million-plus price range, the Gulfstream G650 and
the Bombardier Global 7000. [The 2005 story] did a good job of
describing what we do. ... Now, everything is more expensive and
more international.” The perks of having your own craft? Lots of
travel. “I have made numerous client trips to Europe, China and the
Middle East and have entertained clients from New Zealand in our
offices in Kansas City,” he says. “I am speaking on aircraft import/
export issues at an international aviation symposium in March. When
the U.S. economy and aviation market was down during the great
recession, China, India and the Middle East became strong markets
for U.S. aircraft.”
Even social networking is heightened by flying. “My Facebook picture
is me on a camel outside of Dubai,” he says. Sound fun? So does
hobnobbing with the stars of aviation, which Cooling did in January
2011 at the invite-only Living Legends of Aviation gala in Hollywood.
Harrison Ford (“And Calista!” Cooling notes), Tom Cruise and John
Travolta were on hand, and Cooling even got to walk the red carpet.
Although Cooling was happy to speak with us, he did lament one fact.
“Right now, we’ve got 14 inches of snow, 40 mph winds and our offices
and the Kansas City Airport are both closed,” he says. “The mayor
declared a state of emergency.” Talk about a no-fly zone.
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