Avionics News November 2015 - 71
Loran-C that indicated if you needed to turn left or right
by noticing if the numbers went up or down.
After many failures searching for the heads, we got a
break. When the ship's captain was watching the LoranC fervently and getting more comfortable with the operation, he dropped his hand and the diver dropped in
the water. On the bottom, he dropped a weight with a
long rope on it. Then he searched the bottom in circles
by letting out a little rope at a time. After an eternity, with
the whole crew and a representative of the oil company
staring at me, we saw the diver surface. When he raised
his hand to tell us he found it, a cheer erupted on the
ship and untied all the knots in my stomach. I went from
a failure to a genius in a heartbeat. I wrote the whole
adventure for Avionics News, and it made the cover.
Writing became the one area I worked that technology
gained the most. From Loran-C to GPS, it was easy to
write articles for Avionics News. One time, a man called
and asked if we bought used avionics. I said we did, but
I needed the serial numbers to see if they were reported
stolen. He had some good boxes including a KNS-80.
I took the list and told him to call me back. Checking
the numbers against the stolen equipment list, they all
came back clean. Just to make sure, I called King Radio
with the numbers. It was registered to a company north
of San Francisco, so I called them with the information.
They said they had the aircraft in their hangar undergoing an annual with all the radios removed. I then asked
them where the radios were, and after a short wait, he
told me they were nowhere to be found. Busted!
I called the San Jose Police Department with the information, and we developed a plan to catch the suspected
thief. I arranged a meeting to buy the units. When he
called me back, he asked if they were reported stolen
and I told him they were not. We arranged for him to
bring them to my shop around closing time the next day.
At closing time, he had not appeared. There was an undercover detective across the street at a car with the
hood up, feigning car trouble, and another detective in
the shop. I thought he wasn't coming, so I got in my car
and parked in front of my shop. Then, a man came over
from the accessory shop next door and asked the detective as he was emerging from my shop if he was Jerry.
Just like on TV, the thief was pounced upon by both detectives. He asked one of the detectives if they would like
some money to let him go, and the detective replied, "No,
they pay me too much already." Of course, he denied everything, but they found his car parked at the terminal.
He denied ownership of the car, too, but the detectives
told him if he didn't hand over the keys they would pry
the trunk open. He gave them the keys. My daughter,
Pam, who was my secretary, had stayed late to watch it
Jerry Gordon once took a break from avionics and owned a TV repair
shop in Grant, Michigan. He quickly returned to the avionics industry.
all go down. She drove by just as the arrest was made,
but she didn't have her glasses and missed the whole
thing. Naturally, I wrote the story for Avionics News. The
FAA called and asked permission to republish the story in
its magazine, which was proudly granted.
Another trick implemented in the area was a thief
would take a radio, like a KX-170B from an airplane,
and search for another plane with the same model installed. Then, they would install the stolen one in the
plane and remove the installed one. When the owner
who had been robbed would report the serial number,
it didn't show up, as it was flying in the unsuspecting
aircraft owner's plane. When the stolen radio was sold,
it had a good serial number.
I loved working in California, but my family was getting lonesome for Michigan.
I sold my shop to another business on the field, and
we moved back. We purchased a place on 5 acres and
are still there after 23 years. I started a shop in Fremont,
which is around 15 miles from home. I ran it with my son,
Lance, doing installations. I gave him a pager whenever
I needed help in an aircraft or an installation. I made a
deal with him to quote his labor charge for an installation. That is what I paid him for the job; it worked well.
As a new kid on the block, I had to prove myself and
hoped to get accepted by the other businesses on the
airport. A man had an aircraft sales business and decided to throw some work my way. He purchased a Cessna
150 in Illinois and had it flown to Fremont. He needed
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