Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Tuesday announced

it would pay $1.5 billion to buy FlightSafety International Inc., a

company that operates pilot training centers and builds flight

simulators at a plant in Broken Arrow.

Other than a short statement, Buffett did not elaborate much on

the choice.

"FlightSafety is a business that I like, run by a man I like and

admire," said Buffett, one of the country's most closely followed


There was no indication what impact his move would have on

FlightSafety's operations or its work force in Broken Arrow. Calls

to the plant were referred to the company's Flushing, N.Y.,

headquarters. Company officials there did not immediately return


The purchase of FlightSafety brings Buffett, perennially one of

the world's richest men, together with FlightSafety chairman and

chief executive Albert L. Ueltschi, who founded the company and has

assembled a massive fortune of his own.

Berkshire Hathaway, an Omaha, Neb.-based holding company, makes

large investments in other corporations, including stakes in Walt

Disney Co., Washington Post Co., Coca-Cola Co. and Gillette Co.

Over time, Buffett has become renowned for his investment acumen.

"This company has a reputation of being a top-notch company,

well-run, good business, good management. It's reasonably typical

of companies Buffett has purchased in the past," said George

Morgan, a stockbroker at Kirkpatrick Pettis in Omaha and an author

who has written about Buffett.

FlightSafety shares rose 12 percent on the news.

Based in New York, FlightSafety provides training to pilots,

using flight simulators and other techniques, and ship operators

throughout the world.

The company's chief, Ueltschi, has apparently done quite well.

On the Forbes magazine list of the 400 richest Americans, he ranked

No. 332 this year with a fortune placed at $500 million.

Buffett ranked at No. 2 with a worth of $15 billion, surpassed

only by Microsoft's Bill Gates.

The purchase of FlightSafety calls for Berkshire to pay $50 in

cash for each FlightSafety share or $48 a share in Berkshire's

Class A or Class B common shares for a total value of $1.5 billion.

Cash will be limited to 58 percent of the overall price.