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and ITAR compliant. “If you are accredited or certified at all, compliance costs are going up,” Braddock says. “Government and other regulations just keep increasing. As a result, we find more people (in the industry) exploiting loopholes and cutting corners to compensate for increasing costs. It’s hard to compete with that without being a whiner or whistleblower, and we don’t want to be that.”


Another rather surprising concern Braddock has is too much technology being introduced into aircraft. “I hate to say this because we are a heavily avionics-driven company, but I’ve been reading that it really hasn’t drastically improved safety or decreased incidents. We’re getting away from people really knowing how to fly aircraft hands-on.”


When reminded that a recent Rotorcraft Pro survey found that only 40 percent of active helicopter pilots thought that more advanced technology had definitely made flying safer, Braddock replies, “It’s like a veteran pilot told me, ‘There’s too much heads down, not enough heads up.’ A good study for someone to do would be to determine when technology becomes more of a distraction than a benefit.”


Finding Opportunities


While challenges and concerns abound, one growing opportunity Southeast Aerospace sees is in refurbishment and repurposing programs for older airframes like the Black Hawk. The veteran-owned small business is also finding engineering and manufacturing opportunities for items like kits and harnessing.


Another opportunity is in the unmanned aerial vehicle “drone” sector. “We’ve reached out to some of these companies, just to figure out what our place would be. Whether it would be for training, repair or support, I don’t know, but I look at it as an opportunity instead of a threat.”


Seeking opportunities rather than fearing threats is the spirit upon which the Braddock family launched and built their business. Even when there are dark days, they find rays of hope. “There’s no need to point fingers and complain, instead let’s figure out what the solution is. I really think that one of our keys


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to success is that we never sat around in doom and gloom. Even after 9/11 we didn’t say, ‘Well, that’s the end of business or the world as we know it.’ Instead we asked, ‘What’s next?’ I know this all sounds basic, but you really have to live and breathe being solution-oriented every day.”


Braddock then leaves us with this


philosophy, passed down from his father that guides him today. “My mantra is,


I


won’t ask someone to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.” Namaste.


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