Jim Klauber grew up in an aviation family. His father was a partner in a Cessna 205.
“I spent many a Sunday afternoon flying around with him, and lots of time on trips with my parents growing up," said Klauber. "That is where I got my passion for aviation.” Earning his license by his eighteenth birthday, Klauber flew rentals, joined AOPA—and then, something else happened common to many pilots. “Life got in the way, and I quit flying,” he said.
Twenty years passed. Six years ago, he told his wife that for Father’s Day, he wanted to start flying again. He called his former instructor who was still teaching. He joked, “This time around, we might have tested the weight limits in the Cessna 152 we flew! It wasn’t a problem the first time around, but age and weight gain had hit both of us! Nevertheless, I got current, and began flying again.”
His career took him to Owensboro, Kentucky, as president of a community college. He flew with a colleague who owns a 1974 Rockwell Commander, but he wanted his own airplane since rentals were nonexistent in Owensboro.
“The desire to go ahead and buy really got intense when a good friend of mine in South Carolina bought a 182," he said. "I had gotten this friend interested in aviation, got him enlisted in AOPA, got him connected with my old instructor, and watched him get his license. If he took the plunge, it was well high time for me to quit making excuses and live my dream of owning a plane.”
He decided on a 1976 Cessna Cardinal 177B when the owner was finally ready to sell. “The plane had a great engine and great avionics but it had just never been flown," he said. "It had 630 hours TT, and 200 hours on a new engine. Plus, it had a Garmin 530 in the panel. We went on a flight, and I was sold.”
As for future plans for the Cardinal, Klauber said, “I will say that other than the avionics and the engine, the plane is a 1970s dream. Harvest gold and brown, with a dark gold interior; it screams the 1970s to you when you look at it. The only thing missing is John Travolta and a disco ball. Needless to say, paint and interior upgrades are planned in its future!” Recent cross-country trips for family travel have motivated him to get his instrument rating as well. In the meantime, he is trying to convince his “very supportive wife” Teresa to take flying lessons, too.
When it came time to purchase insurance, Klauber turned to AOPA. “I figured that by purchasing my insurance through AOPA, I would also be helping a great organization fight for my rights as a private pilot,” he said.
And what about the premiums? “I had a figure in my mind as to what I would pay annually for insurance, and was pleasantly surprised that the quote was a couple of hundred dollars less than I planned,” he said. Klauber said that as a first-time aircraft insurance buyer, he had loads of questions, all of which were answered completely and professionally. In short, Klauber said, “You could tell customer service is very important to them.”
Whether this is your first aircraft purchase or your tenth, AOPA Insurance has the right plan for you. For more information or a quick quote on aircraft insurance, talk to AOPA Insurance. For more information or to apply for a policy, visit AOPA Insurance online or call 1-800/622-AOPA (2672). Don’t forget, you earn a 5-percent discount just for being an AOPA member.