Flight Training - August 2012 - 6

RIGHT SEAT

By Ian J. Twombly
VISIT OUR WEBSITE! http://flighttraining.aopa.org

NOMINATE THE SCHOOL OR INSTRUCTOR WHO IS THE BEST IN FLIGHT TRAINING
y first flight school was a dark and dirty place. The building seemed as if it had been around since the first foot of concrete was poured for the runway. The Cessna 152s were tired and beaten. The maintenance technicians had contempt for students, and I had no idea who the owner or manager was. My only human connections to the place were through my flight instructor and the woman with the charming British accent behind the desk.
Despite that, I wouldn’t say it was a bad school. In fact, I thought the airplanes were wonderfully inexpensive and I idolized my flight instructor. All of my training was through smaller Part 61 flight schools, and I can honestly say I was more or less happy at each. Yet if I take my experience and expand it to the broader flight training market across the United States, my experience was unusual. Roughly 70 to 80 percent of people are dropping out of flight training. I think the answer is that the flight school was good for me. I was an invincible college kid. I didn’t care about customer service or a clean facility, or even particularly safe airplanes. But I have no doubt that business professionals from the community felt differently. Many probably believed they were getting ripped off by the place. In flight training, as in any business, one size does not fit all. What works for one student doesn’t necessarily work for another. If I’m learning to fly for pleasure, CFIs who wear Hawaiian shirts could be a fun and welcome sight every lesson. But if I’m trying to learn how to fly to advance my business, maybe that approach isn’t appropriate. Running a flight school, then, is hard work. Walmart and Ferrari both have great success targeting a specific customer base, albeit at opposite ends of the spectrum, because the pool of potential customers for each is measured in the many millions, or billions in Walmart’s case. Flight schools don’t have that luxury. The market for flight training is small, and schools have to try and be all things to all students. Unfortunately the result is that at least a few students fall through the cracks. The good news is that the guts of what makes a great school are consistent, and it’s not about Hawaiian shirts or epaulettes. AOPA studied the attributes a few years ago, and published the results on its website (www. aopa.org, keyword flight training experience). The next step was to shine a light on the country’s best schools, which is why we launched the AOPA Flight Training Excellence Awards. A school that wins an award will exemplify what it means to be a great flight school, as defined by the criteria in the research. We’re asking for your help to nominate the school or instructor you believe embodies the best in flight training. The deadline is August 24, and the awards will be given at AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs in October. Go to the same link above and fill out a short nominating form. If you do, we’ll send you the challenge coin pictured here. And don’t worry if the lights are a little low and the walls a little dingy. Your school could be a gem.
Email Editor Ian Twombly at ian.twombly@ aopa.org; Twitter: ijtwombly; and visit Flight Training on Facebook.

BE HEARD

Publisher | Craig L. Fuller Senior VP, Media/Editor in Chief | Thomas B. Haines Editor | Ian J. Twombly Editor at Large | Thomas A. Horne Managing Editor | Julie Summers Walker Technical Editors | Mike Collins, Jill W. Tallman Senior Editors | Dave Hirschman, Alton K. Marsh Editorial and Production Assistant | Sylvia Horne Administrative Assistant | Miriam E. Stoner Contributors | Pete Bedell, Greg Brown, LeRoy Cook, Budd Davisson, Rod Machado, Walter Miller, Dan Namowitz, Wayne Phillips, Bob Schmelzer, Jack Williams, Kathy Yodice

M

Design Director | Michael E. Kline Art Directors | Elizabeth Z. Jones, Jill C. Benton Senior Photographer | Mike Fizer Photographer | Chris Rose

eMedia VP | Chris Ward eMedia Managing Editor | Alyssa J. Miller eMedia Editor | Sarah Brown Web Designer | William Rockenbaugh Web Production Manager | Lezlie Ramsey VP Advertising | Carol L. Dodds Advertising Production Manager | Brenda D. Ridgley Advertising Sales and Marketing Manager | Liz Tarver Online Advertising Manager | Michael Wilcox Advertising Coordinator | Donna Stoner Advertising Representative | The Orison B. Curpier Co., Inc. East | 732-946-0130 Central, International | 607-547-2591 South Central, West | 214-789-6094 Editorial and Advertising Offices 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD 21701 301-695-2350 / FAX 301-695-2180 email: flighttraining@aopa.org
Copyright © 2012, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. All rights reserved. No part of this monthly magazine may be reproduced or translated, stored in a database or retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or other means, except as expressly permitted by the publisher; requests should be directed to the editor. This publication is presented with the understanding that the information it contains comes from many sources for which there can be no warranty or responsibility by the publisher as to accuracy, originality, or completeness. It is presented with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering product endorsements or providing instruction as a substitute for appropriate training by qualified sources. Flight Training will consider unsolicited submissions. All manuscripts and contributions should be sent to flighttraining@aopa.org. Reasonable care will be taken in handling manuscripts, but the magazine assumes no responsibility for material submitted.

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Flight Training - August 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - August 2012

Flight Training - August 2012
Contents
President’s Perspective
Right Seat
Letters
Something to See
How It Works
After the Checkride
Tech Tip
News
Final Exam
AOPA Action News
Since You Asked
Success Story News
Member Products
Training Products
ASI News
Flying Carpet
FOLLOW THE MAGENTA LINE
TIME TO CHILL
GETTING WET
TECHNIQUE
Weather
Accident Report
Flight Lesson
Perfect Storm for Pilot Shortage
Career Advisor
Tech Talk
Flight Instructors in the Hot Seat
Good Times for CFIs
Crossed Up
Advertiser Index
Debrief
Flight Training - August 2012 - Flight Training - August 2012
Flight Training - August 2012 - Cover2
Flight Training - August 2012 - Contents
Flight Training - August 2012 - 2
Flight Training - August 2012 - 3
Flight Training - August 2012 - President’s Perspective
Flight Training - August 2012 - 5
Flight Training - August 2012 - Right Seat
Flight Training - August 2012 - 7
Flight Training - August 2012 - Letters
Flight Training - August 2012 - 9
Flight Training - August 2012 - Something to See
Flight Training - August 2012 - 11
Flight Training - August 2012 - How It Works
Flight Training - August 2012 - After the Checkride
Flight Training - August 2012 - Tech Tip
Flight Training - August 2012 - News
Flight Training - August 2012 - Final Exam
Flight Training - August 2012 - AOPA Action News
Flight Training - August 2012 - Since You Asked
Flight Training - August 2012 - 19
Flight Training - August 2012 - Success Story News
Flight Training - August 2012 - Member Products
Flight Training - August 2012 - Training Products
Flight Training - August 2012 - ASI News
Flight Training - August 2012 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - August 2012 - 25
Flight Training - August 2012 - 26
Flight Training - August 2012 - 27
Flight Training - August 2012 - FOLLOW THE MAGENTA LINE
Flight Training - August 2012 - 29
Flight Training - August 2012 - 30
Flight Training - August 2012 - 31
Flight Training - August 2012 - 32
Flight Training - August 2012 - 33
Flight Training - August 2012 - TIME TO CHILL
Flight Training - August 2012 - 35
Flight Training - August 2012 - 36
Flight Training - August 2012 - 37
Flight Training - August 2012 - GETTING WET
Flight Training - August 2012 - 39
Flight Training - August 2012 - 40
Flight Training - August 2012 - 41
Flight Training - August 2012 - TECHNIQUE
Flight Training - August 2012 - 43
Flight Training - August 2012 - Weather
Flight Training - August 2012 - 45
Flight Training - August 2012 - 46
Flight Training - August 2012 - Accident Report
Flight Training - August 2012 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - August 2012 - Perfect Storm for Pilot Shortage
Flight Training - August 2012 - Career Advisor
Flight Training - August 2012 - 51
Flight Training - August 2012 - Tech Talk
Flight Training - August 2012 - Flight Instructors in the Hot Seat
Flight Training - August 2012 - Good Times for CFIs
Flight Training - August 2012 - Crossed Up
Flight Training - August 2012 - 56
Flight Training - August 2012 - Advertiser Index
Flight Training - August 2012 - 58
Flight Training - August 2012 - 59
Flight Training - August 2012 - 60
Flight Training - August 2012 - 61
Flight Training - August 2012 - 62
Flight Training - August 2012 - 63
Flight Training - August 2012 - 64
Flight Training - August 2012 - 65
Flight Training - August 2012 - 66
Flight Training - August 2012 - 67
Flight Training - August 2012 - 68
Flight Training - August 2012 - 69
Flight Training - August 2012 - 70
Flight Training - August 2012 - 71
Flight Training - August 2012 - Debrief
Flight Training - August 2012 - Cover3
Flight Training - August 2012 - Cover4
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