Redbird Flight Simulations announced Oct. 22 that its Proflight Academy in San Marcos, Texas, has been sold to Williamsburg, Virginia-based Tempus Applied Solutions.
Tempus will continue to train pilots at the Redbird Skyport in San Marcos, using Redbird devices and RedHawk aircraft. According to Redbird CEO Todd Willinger, the only effective change is who is running the school on a daily basis. “It is still a laboratory for Redbird with the distinction that someone else is operating it,” he said. Curriculum, data collection, and training automation will still involve Redbird.
Billed as a flight training lab when it opened in 2011, the academy had grown to become a full-fledged flight training operation with multiengine and CFI training. As a result of positive customer reviews the school was named on the Honor Roll in AOPA’s Flight Training Excellence Awards. The success was part of the problem for the company, Willinger said. “We were operating it too much like a traditional for-profit flight school and getting away from the core objectives.”
Willinger hopes the new operators will provide additional value to the flight training community. Many schools have pushed Redbird to expand the Proflight Academy concept beyond its current location, something Willinger says they didn’t have the ability to do. “I entered into this agreement viewing this as a much larger, strategic relationship for Redbird than just leasing the flight school,” he said. With the resources to expand nationally, Willinger thinks Tempus will bring new opportunities for Redbird.
As part of the deal, Tempus will join the academy in Redbird’s new ImagineFlight network, a user group of flight simulator operators. Although a highly diversified aviation company, this is Tempus’ first foray into general aviation flight training.