Jim Coltrin and Andy Bailey
Although they have different experiences with aviation, a passion for piloting is what brought friends and business partners Jim Coltrin and Andy Bailey together. The duo met in 2019 when a mutual friend introduced them, and they instantly bonded over flying. Their love for aviation has come to take center stage, and they even named their company, True North Advisors, after their passion for flying.
“Only about 2% of the population can fly a plane,” explains Coltrin. “It’s always pretty cool when you meet someone and share a hobby with them that not everyone can do. Piloting played a big role in our friendship in the beginning, and it has also brought us closer as business partners.”
Coltrin’s father first taught him to fly when he was just 10 years old, and by age 17, he had already received his pilot’s license. Bailey, on the other hand, was first introduced to flying several years after joining the Army in 2002. Upon leaving the military in 2014, Bailey learned to fly fixed-wing aircraft after years of flying helicopters.
“I enjoy traveling more than flying,” admits Bailey. “Being able to fly allows for a great lifestyle. I get to meet so many people, and it’s always great getting to meet other pilots. Not to mention, you don’t have to deal with traffic.”
This ability to network and also visit clients plays a major role in the lives of Bailey and Coltrin, but the duo derives a lot of personal pleasure from piloting as well.
Coltrin currently flies a Piper Cherokee Six 300, which he co-owns with his father, and while he does note that it’s a bit on the slower side when in cruising speeds, the plane can carry a lot of weight and is very stable. One of Coltrin’s favorite places to visit is the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, and piloting also allows him to regularly visit his daughter in Columbia, South Carolina.
Bailey’s aircraft of choice is his Piper Arrow, which he notes is highly efficient and aerodynamic. Although Bailey only travels with family for about 10% of his trips, he recalls the time he flew his daughters to Crystal River, Florida, as one of his most memorable. “They wanted to swim with manatees, and it was a special trip because I was able to do that for them,” Bailey remembers.
Bailey also likes to take in the warm weather at the beach and notes that he can get to Destin, Florida, in about two hours. It’s a trip he makes regularly. Regardless of where and why they travel, flying has had a major impact on Coltrin and Bailey’s relationship both professionally and personally.
“Flying is very special to me. I have a network of family and friends that I like to fly with, and it helps to grow our bond,” says Coltrin. “I enjoy it because it helps me relax from a demanding job and provides me with a certain sense of freedom that I can’t get any other way.”