The transformation began when he turned on the brand-new floor cleaner and began attacking the grime and dried spills underfoot. He hoped that would motivate a dubious staff. When Lynn Nichols bought Yingling Aviation, a struggling fixed base operation (FBO) at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport, in 2000, he knew a turnaround would be a multiyear challenge. Then came the horrors of 9/11 and a further downturn in aviation activity. Dismayed, Nichols told his wife, Sherry, “I ...

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