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13 More Obstacles

The commitment to take the remaining Falcons from Pan Am was just two weeks away, but Federal Express was running out of funds and facing a financial crisis. We had fallen behind on the payments to Little Rock Airmotive for the earlier conversions, and the modification center was holding back on the parts stored for the conversion of the remaining planes. Two important suppliers were threatening to close the door on the company, and numerous others were sending menacing messages about past-due bills.

We’d underestimated the capital required for the launch, thanks to the following surprises:

  • Our initial plan assumed we would lease planes fully modified. We instead had to purchase the Falcons and fund the modifications ourselves. ...

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