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Friends Of Air 1st

In the nearly 30 years that Mike has been involved with the MU-2, he has had the privilege to develop an extensive extended family of MU-2 enthusiasts. We would love to add your contributions to this section of the website--anecdotes, photos, videos, etc. to celebrate these relationships.
Air 1st installed the MTs on my Marquise this past Thursday afternoon [11/6/14] with Mike Laver and I doing a flight check Friday morning.  Everything very professional and my short fuse schedule was accommodated and I am most appreciative.  I have a few comments now and will try to add as I fly more.

It helps being in the charter business that this is a business expense for me and I believe it helps my business that my customers know that when the latest and greatest comes along they will see it on my MU-2 in due time.

I am grateful to Mike and Air 1st for enhancing the fleet in this way.
Earle Martin, Owner of Mitsubishi Marquise, N644EM
 I bought an MU-2 recently from Mike Laver largely because I did not buy one a few years ago. How could that be? Please allow me to elaborate. 

A few years ago when I was flying my Cessna 414A I considered an MU-2. I was working with Mike Laver and we flew a P model back from Tulsa together. Everything was arranged, all I had to do was "pull the trigger". I asked Mike to bring the airplane to my home base so my wife could see it and ride in it before I bought it. Mike brought it over and on that very morning I learned a business transaction in which I was involved had an unexpected disruption. I became uneasy about the business environment and told Mike at lunch with my wife (the airplane nearby) that I felt uncomfortable moving forward. Mike Laver, being the gentleman and professional he is, counseled me. He told me not to move forward if I was the least bit uncomfortable. Wait, how could this be, an airplane salesman telling me not to buy the airplane that I essentially had committed to buy? 

What I realized then, and which has been reinforced for the years since, is Mike is not concerned about his financial
gain, but rather what is in his client's interest, even if that means some short term financial pain for Mike. 

In my case he immediately and consistently supported my decision to not move forward on that airplane. (By the way, it had one of the best interiors I have ever seen.) Rather than make me feel guilty or ashamed that I backed out at the last minute, he was a true gentleman and supported my decision. To read more click here.

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 Dale Eisenman, owner of Mitsubishi Solitaire, N477DD
Our relationship with Air 1st began in the Fall of 2010 as a result of a fortuitous encounter with Mike Laver at the annual NBAA convention in Atlanta.  Wayne Haub, President of H & H Color Lab in Raytown Missouri, had tasked me, his chief pilot, with a litany of things to do in service of our company's flight department at the annual show. The task of learning all I could about MU-2's fell somewhere mid-list, between locating L.E.D. strobe lights for our Cessna 421, and attending a forum on proper radar operation. At that time, the prospect of acquiring a new aircraft was purely speculative, and we were not shopping for a plane or looking for a new friend. We ended up finding both in Atlanta.

     When I wandered into the Mitsubishi Service Center Booth at the show, I didn't know a Solitaire from a Marquise, a K from an N, or frankly a Garrett from a Pratt, but that didn't matter. Mike greeted me as if we were old friends and went instantly to work deciphering from my ill-formed questions, exactly what it was that our flight department required. Our list was as simple as it was universal; Go fast, go far, do it safely, comfortably, and economically. To this Mike responded, "Check, check, check, check, and check."

     "And, Mike, there's just one more thing," I added. "It has to be the best in the world."

     I missed my forum on radar operations that day, but I did spend an incredibly enjoyable and informative afternoon with Mike, who's attentiveness to my questions, and, tolerance of my ignorance, impressed me beyond measure. As fortune would have it,  this would be the first of many days I would spend being mentored by Mike Laver. Even at this first meeting I sensed a kinship and excitement about the prospect of doing something unique and wonderful with the MU-2.  I was hopeful  Air 1st and Carolina Turbine Support had the ability to make that happen. When I left the convention, I wasn't sure if Mr. Haub would ever acquire an MU-2 for me to fly, but if such a decision were made, I knew who we would call, Air 1st. To read more, click here
 Tim Stanley, Chief Pilot, N888WW (Platinum Series MU-2 Marquise owned by Wayne Haub)
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 "I talked to Mike several years ago regarding an MU-2 but never met Mike until last October when we sat in a golf cart talking about the airplane I had in mind. He was most gracious and was never a salesman. He said he believed he had an idea of what I was looking for and started describing his concept of the Platinum Series MU-2 he was working on. We are now a year later and what I now have is an absolutely incredible airplane and great new friend and mentor and entire group of new friends at Air 1st and CTS, which is a whole other story. Mike and Tom's group at CTS are also incredible and just wonderful people to get to know.

I feel as if I have a new family with all of you and look forward to a long relationship. At the end of the day I like relationships and doing business with people that earn it."

Randy Kerns (Owner of Platinum Series Marquise and 2013 Queen of the Fleet winner, N54RK)
The most precious cargo flies in the safest, most reliable of aircraft." Ken Murphy (Former owner of an MU-2 "K" model, N64LG) 
"A growing family requires more room...fortunately the MU-2 has it covered either way."Ken Murphy (Current owner, MU-2 Marquise, N78PK) 

Ross Russo and wife, Sue (photos below) enjoy the freedom afforded by their MU-2 Solitaire, N62CN (above and below right).