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The Flight SchoolThe Flight School

“We can do it.” A sign with those words hangs in the lobby of The Flight School in Cypress, Texas. And according to owner Benjamin Paradis, it’s not an empty promise.

That positive attitude runs through everything the school does. Paradis says they have trained deaf and disabled pilots, most of whom other schools would probably turn away. It pushes the students and instructors to do their best, and is a perfect sentiment to go with the evidence of that success that also hangs on the wall.

When a student solos or passes a checkride the student’s photo is tacked to the wall, giving browsers ample evidence with which to judge the likelihood of success at the school. It’s also a way for students to show off achievements, and it serves as a personal reminder of what’s possible. “Everyone in the school has a vested interest in student success,” Paradis says.

But if a student is struggling, he or she isn’t left to wither away under the pressure of training. Paradis and the staff hold a monthly meeting, where among other things, they discuss how each student is doing. That way more experienced instructors help younger instructors through challenges, and the leadership of the school knows exactly what’s going on.

Those relationships are further reinforced through monthly cookouts at the hangar. These started with just a few people, but now 50 or 60 students and their families show up on the last Friday of the month. Paradis says that people have given him a hard time about spending money on the food, but he thinks the investment is worth it. “The money will come,” he says. “I’m here to train students.”

Training takeaway: Monthly meetings have become an integral part of The Flight School’s success. See an example agenda here.

Ian J. Twombly

Ian J. Twombly

Ian J. Twombly is senior content producer for AOPA Media.

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