May 22, 2012, issue of 'Flight School Business' newsletter
Trouble viewing this email? View it online.
Aviation career website launches
With so many different choices, navigating the path between student pilot or college student and work in the aviation industry can be difficult. A new nonprofit called Aviation Workforce Development recently launched as an information resource to help people down this road. Although being a pilot is the most obvious, and maybe the most desirable career track in aviation, it’s certainly not the only way to make a living in the industry. Aviation Workforce Development goes beyond pilot job opportunities to focus on everything from line service to airport planning. Although launched initially as a single-point source for aviation career information, the group has plans for further expansion into job boards and more.
Flight hours up, accidents down in 2010
The combination of increased flight activity and fewer accidents added up to lower noncommercial accident rates in both airplanes and helicopters in 2010, according to a preliminary report issued May 16 by the Air Safety Institute. The accident rates of commercial GA flights—charter, crop-dusting, and external load operations conducted for pay—maintained the improvements seen over the past five years. Publication of the Air Safety Institute’s annual Joseph T. Nall Report, which contains detailed analysis of a single year’s GA accidents, has been postponed while the National Transportation Safety Board completes its investigations of 2010’s fatal accidents. In the meantime, the Air Safety Institute has compiled a concise statistical summary of the GA accident record of 2010 and a preliminary tally of accidents in 2011. The report is available for download. Read more >>
FAA modifies regulation on Class D taxi operations
A general aviation pilot based at a small airstrip faces many challenges when using larger, more complex airports. Under past practice, a ground clearance listing a series of taxi instructions—with no mention of runways crossed—might have been one of them. To cross, or not to cross? That was a question to ponder. Such is no longer the case: The FAA changed its policy and halted abbreviated taxi clearances long since, in keeping with NTSB recommendations. The recent change removed from the Class D airspace regulation language that had allowed controllers to omit runway crossing instructions from taxi clearances, with permission to cross any and all runways encountered along the route implied—but not stated. The final rule was issued May 14, and remains subject to comment until June 13. Comments may be submitted online by searching for FAA Docket No. FAA–2011–1396. Those who choose to comment are encouraged to share a copy with AOPA.
Flight training legend dies
Evelyn Bryan Johnson, the legendary Tennessee flight instructor and designated pilot examiner better known to her many students over the years as “Mama Bird,” died May 10 after a period of declining health. Johnson was 102. She took her first flight on Oct. 1, 1944, and earned her private pilot certificate the following June. Johnson added a commercial certificate in 1946, became a flight instructor in 1947, and was named a designated examiner in 1952. She also became one of the first female helicopter pilots and got involved in the Civil Air Patrol. From 1951 through 1954, and again in 1960, Johnson raced in the Powder Puff Derby. Read more >>
Is flying hard?
How many times do our prospective students ask this seemingly easy question? Be careful how you answer, though. The details of your response need to operate on a thin line between easing fears and overpromising. Because the bottom line is that for some people, flying will not come naturally, while others will be modern-day Bob Hoovers. Read more >>
Do you know where the majority of your customers come from? Take the poll >>
We know Flight School Business readers are flight school owners and managers, but how many are pilots? Running a flight school is a labor of love, and that was clear in the near-unanimity of certification among readers.
Where do your customers come from?
With so many different channels to market to, it’s impossible to know where your customers are coming from—unless you ask. That’s exactly what AOPA did as part of its research into the optimum flight training experience. The responses have broad implications for how to effectively market and bring in new students. Read more >>
Small businesses and startups often find the need for legal services, but just accessing an attorney for one hour will generally set you back anywhere between $250 and $400. Online companies such as Rocket Lawyer offer affordable and readily accessible legal services through a monthly service plan format. For less than $40 a month, your small business can have a lawyer create and review contracts and documents as if they were on retainer to your company. Letters and corporate minutes can also be reviewed. Additionally, the company has partnered with another plan provider, Legal Club of America, to provide lawyers from their network who will work with your company at 40 percent off of their typical fees on more in-depth matters.
Institute checks and balances
All flight instructors, especially those new on the job, struggle somewhat with the decision to let a student go solo. Why not take a cue from Part 141-approved schools and institute a system of checks and balances? Stage checks may seem like unnecessary makework to some, but the benefits can be worth the extra effort. It gives you a chance to verify an instructor’s work, it gives the student a new perspective, and it helps standardize the operation. Read more >>
Editor: Ian Twombly
© 2012 Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association | 421 Aviation Way Frederick, MD 21701 | Phone 800/872-2672 | Fax 301/695-2375