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"We had an art director come in here last week here with the back of his shirt ripped away," says Joe North, CEO/creative director at Sullivan Higdon & Sink, a Kansas ad agency. The AD had just completed his first solo flight -- and in a quaint aviation rite, the instructor tore the back off his student's shirt. We're not making this up.

SH&S has five amateur pilots on staff and several more in flight training. That may have something to do with an unusual job perk: anyone who works for the company can get flying lessons at the agency's expense. That's because the 66-person shop has always had aviation accounts -- Learjet for 14 years, and Cessna for the last decade. "We want our people to understand our clients' business as deeply as possible," explains North. "Makes for better creative, too, when you can talk pilot-to-pilot." To further that goal (and "to get us home in time for supper," the CD quips), the agency will soon take possession of its own Cessna 182 Skylane, a propeller craft that seats four.

One problem: SH&S has offices in Kansas City and Wichita, and there is cordial disagreement over where the plane will be hangared and who gets to fly it. "Down the road, we may have to get a second one," North sighs. If he can afford it, that is. The market price for a 182 Skylane is about $200,000 -- but presumably,

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