November 13, 2008
Would you believe that a flight school could book 100 introductory flights in 60 seconds? US Flight Academy in Denton, Texas, did just that in conjunction with Dallas radio station KLUV. A special promotion offered discovery flights in light sport aircraft to the station’s listeners for $40, half the normal price.
Justin Shelley, the academy’s director of sales, heard about the radio station’s half-price promotion and contacted the producer. Shelley agreed to take five of the station’s announcers up for discovery flights, which are intended to be the first lesson leading to a sport pilot certificate. Enthused about their flights, the announcers raved about them on the air. They positioned the flights as a bargain at $40 and promoted them heavily for several days.
Listeners were directed to a special Web page at a specified date and time, and the station’s webmaster confirmed that all 100 flights were booked in less than one minute--setting a record for the KLUV program, which has been running for nearly two years.
The radio station listed US Flight Academy on its Web site, along with the phone number, and an additional 50 flights were booked directly through the Academy. The first several people to show up at the airport with their certificates announced plans to pursue a sport pilot certificate, Shelly said.
Many of the Discovery Flights will be used as Christmas gifts.
“Some people may never use their certificates,” Shelley said. “On the other hand, indications are that quite a few of those who bought them did so with the support of their spouse or parents and have every intention of getting their license. The feedback we got from the flights we booked through the academy was very positive.”
US Flight Academy offers training for the sport pilot certificate, as well as training for advanced certificates and ratings.
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