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Flight School Spotlight: Tailwheels Etc.
Need more CFIs? Tailwheels trains its own—fast
Our brand-new feature, Flight School Spotlight, introduces you to the industry innovators around the country. In our first installment, Jim Pitman spotlights Tailwheels Etc., Lakeland, Fla. There’s no CFI shortage at Tailwheels, which has created its own spinoff company to train flight instructors in just three weeks. The accelerated program works, said Project Coordinator Debbie Sparks, because the flight school screens applicants and works with them before they arrive in Lakeland to ensure they are well prepared for the fast-paced program. Although it’s rigorous, the program is not all work and no play. The flight school hosts a weekly hangar lunch for customers and employees that helps to build camaraderie and provides support to keep students on track. The results? An 88.2 percent first-time pass rate—well higher than the national average. Think your flight school should be featured in Flight School Spotlight? Send us an email. Read more >>
Redbird Migration to host ‘Flight Training’ Excellence Awards
Redbird Migration, a national gathering for flight training professionals, will host the 2016 Flight Training Excellence Awards on Oct. 24 at Redbird Skyport, San Marcos Regional Airport (HYI), San Marcos, Texas. The awards will honor the best flight school, best flight instructor, president’s choice, students’ choice, outstanding flight schools, and outstanding flight instructors. For more information on Redbird Migration, see the website.
Groups to NTSB: Tell public GA is safe
Twenty-one organizations representing hundreds of thousands of general aviation and business pilots have sent a letter to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) asking the panel to “publicly convey that general aviation is one of the safest modes of transportation in the United States.” The letter refers to a story on NBC Nightly News about a recent aviation accident, and says that the information NTSB provided to NBC led to an inaccurate portrayal of GA safety. Read more >>
FAA challenges Santa Monica city officials
The FAA is investigating the City of Santa Monica’s recent initiation of eviction proceedings against both of the airport’s fixed-base operators. Subpoenas served on Sept. 26 demand documents and testimony regarding the city’s stated intention to provide aeronautical services after the current providers are evicted. Santa Monica’s obligation to keep the airport open is not satisfied “simply by keeping the runways open to all classes of users,” the FAA said. Read more >>
Tennessee flight school tests drone waters
Seats sold out within hours when Murfreesboro Aviation in Tennessee offered a new drone pilot ground school. The phone started ringing as soon as emails hit inboxes, and the class sold out before the flight school’s general manager could get a blog post on the company website. The flight school is considering adding hands-on training for drone operators. Anecdotal evidence suggests that training offered to commercial drone pilots may help schools fill seats in Cessnas and Pipers as well. Read more >>
Ohio CFI offers free ground school
An Ohio certificated flight instructor who loves aviation and wants to give back to science, technology, engineering, and math education is launching a free private pilot ground school class at Pickaway County Memorial Airport (CYO) in Circleville. Ben Powers said he hopes to offer flight instruction at the airport. He is negotiating with an aircraft owner to put an airplane on leaseback, so that those who complete the ground school can move into training if they wish, according to the Circleville Herald.
Does your flight school offer drone instruction? Tell us in this week’s survey >>
In the Sept. 20 issue, we wanted to know whether your flight school was in business on Sept. 11, 2001. Here are the results:
Give ’em a call
The call to action is one of the simplest and most effective marketing tools that you can put on your website. Are you using one? Jill W. Tallman explains what makes a good call to action, and why it can bring customers to you. Read more >>
If temporary flight restrictions aren’t a part of your flight school’s curriculum, they should be. With the election season in full swing, temporary TFRs could pop up all around the nation. Help your clients learn how to stay ahead—and out of—TFRs. See the AOPA website for a collection of resources, including the FAA’s TFR map, a printable intercept procedures card, and more.
Green on green
How does a new flight instructor get experience? Newly minted CFIs have a lot to offer, such as being razor-sharp on maneuvers and letter-perfect on the federal aviation regulations. A CFI’s students will defer to his or her presumably greater wisdom, and that’s why it’s critical that new CFIs use good judgment. Read more >>
Editor: Jill W. Tallman
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