The people at Sporty’s Pilot Shop and Sporty’s Academy know flight training. The company claims a student dropout rate of less than half the national average, and through innovative programs and resources, they are seeing their business grow. Now Sporty’s Academy is supporting AOPA’s Flight Training Initiative with a new website addressing student retention.
Sporty’s Academy also encourages students to be part of a community—another influential factor from the research—by recognizing and promoting those who solo. According to Shevers, a bell sounds in the building, and everyone comes out to greet the new solo student. The shirt tail is then cut, a photo is taken, and all of it hangs on the wall for a few weeks until it’s framed and given back to the student.
Through the use of programs such as finish-ups, the recreational course, and a professional cadre of flight instructors, the academy has seen a 30-percent increase in business year over year.