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Sporty's 'reinvents' intro flightSporty's 'reinvents' intro flight

Sporty’s Academy, the flight school arm of the online and brick-and-mortar pilot shop, announced a new plan for aspiring pilots to experience the joys of an introductory flight. Sporty’s Flight Experience bundles three flight simulator lessons, a Learn to Fly online course, and one hour of dual instruction in an airplane for $549.

Sporty's Academy uses Frasca Mentor Cessna 172 Advanced Aviation Training Devices in its introductory flight package. Photo courtesy of Sporty's Pilot Shop.

The Batavia, Ohio-based Sporty's Academy has “reinvented the introductory flight process by enhancing and enlarging it” for a custom experience, the company said in a news release. Each of four individual one-hour lessons are fairly short for modern consumers, Sporty’s Academy President Eric Radtke told AOPA, and the curriculum allows instructors to offer aspiring pilots a custom experience.

Rather than becoming frustrated in a moving aircraft’s noisy 3-D environment, Radtke said students rehearsing basic maneuvers in a simulator are instead encouraged and more self-assured. The simulator precursor also serves as a comfortable learning platform during cold winters and hot summers, and leads to fewer weather-induced cancellations.

The time commitment itself “is relatable to most people,” Radtke added. “It’s kind of like a lunch break on a standard work day. We’re going to keep it light and we’re going to keep it fun.” He said the Sporty’s Flight Experience package dovetails with plans to make the joys of flight more attainable for more people.

“We’re taking the view of being more of an ambassador to flight rather than instructors,” said Radtke. “We hope this might inspire other schools that might not have an option like this, to consider it. We’re a firm believer that a rising tide lifts all boats.”

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Flight School, Pilot Training and Certification, Learn to Fly

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