AOPA and Sporty's Pilot Shop are again sending some 2,000 free "Learn to Fly Here!" highway directional signs to flight schools nationwide to mark the way to local flight training.
"When we sent this same sign a few years ago, it was such a success at boosting flight training that we decided to send it again," said Sporty's Chairman Hal Shevers, who also operates a flight school at Sporty's home base airport in Batavia, Ohio, east of Cincinnati. "We know from our own experience that these signs really can help boost a school's business."
"AOPA and Sporty's really believe in the importance of promoting flight training," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "That's why we are active founding members of the industry-wide 'Be A Pilot' program, and that's why as organizations we devote even more resources to promoting general aviation." (Both AOPA and Sporty's are platinum level supporters of Be A Pilot, and Shevers is the 2001 chairman of the organization.)
The reflective, white-on-green metal "Learn to Fly Here!" signs are traffic-sign quality for durable mounting on standard signposts. The design also features the silhouette of a general aviation aircraft to help define the concept of flight training.
Prospective students often actually have difficulty finding a flight school on the airport during their first visit. The AOPA/Sporty's signs help, while reminding the public that flying is taught at that airport.
The signs were sent to all flight schools registered with Be A Pilot. Also included in the packet were reprints from AOPA Flight Training magazine for flight instructors to give to their students, including "Ten Ways to Save on Flight Training." (Flight schools that didn't receive a sign may call 202/637-1382 to register with Be A Pilot.)
Last fall, AOPA and Sporty's produced a series of brochures designed to promote flight training businesses as well as aviation safety. Those brochures were also sent to registered flight schools.
How to Choose a Flight School is designed to address the basic concerns of new flight students including choosing between Part 61 and 141 schools, the type of training aircraft to choose, and different ways of completing ground school.
The second brochure in the series, How to Choose a Flight Instructor, gives the flight student a resource to make an informed decision on who will lead them through their flight training.
Flight schools can place the brochures on their counters, hand them out at local airshows, or use them in mailings to prospective students. Additional brochures are available to flight schools in packets of 50 by calling AOPA at 800/USA-AOPA (800/872-2672).