Flight Training - March 2013 - 36

WHAT IS CAPCOMM?

It gathers together all AOPA’s efforts to reverse the
decline in the pilot population. We’ve lost 200,000
pilots over the past 30 years and the downward
trend simply must be stopped. CAPComm is not a
short-term marketing program. It’s a serious structural change at AOPA, designed to tackle a serious
problem.
WHAT SORT OF MAJOR PROGRAMS WILL CAPCOMM

AN AVID PILOT, Adam Smith is part owner of a 1946 Piper Cub
as well as a Cessna 180 and is enjoying the camaraderie of
work at AOPA (above). But he's also a two-wheel enthusiast who
bicycles to his job at AOPA nearly every day (right).

BE WORKING ON?

We have three primary initiatives in the first year—
flight training, flying clubs, and what I’m calling pilot
activation. We will continue the work of the flight
training initiative to get after the poor completion
rate. We plan to grow the community of flying clubs,
and are going to get pilots more active in their flying.
HOW SERIOUS IS THE ISSUE OF FLIGHT TRAINING
COMPLETIONS?

Four out of five flight students don’t make it.
That’s an unacceptable number. If we can decrease
the dropout rate by just 10 percent, that would add
3,700 new pilots per year to our ranks. Shannon
Yeager has recently been brought on board to lead
this effort. In addition to being an avid pilot, he has
experience as a scuba and skydiving instructor. Aviation can learn a lot from how other industries bring
people through a training and certification process.
We have a lot of catching up to do, especially with
customer service.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AROUND FLYING CLUBS AND
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH THEM?

We plan to move flying clubs from being almost a
subculture, right into the mainstream of aviation. The
concept should be on par with owning or renting. A key
action is to create a nationwide network of clubs. This
will not just support the 650 clubs that already exist
today, but will help stimulate many new ones. Our goal
is to reach 1,000 clubs in five years. Having a network
will bring up some interesting new possibilities. What
if being a member of your local flying club made it possible to fly at lots of other clubs around the country?
WHAT IS PILOT ACTIVATION?

Success is not only about bringing new people into
aviation, but also how well we keep them. We think
there are as many as 500,000 lapsed pilots in the
United States. They’ve gone to all the trouble to get a
certificate but then stop flying. So we need to work on
the retention rate of aviation, that’s the basic goal of
our pilot activation initiative.

WHAT HAS AOPA DONE SO FAR THAT YOU THINK
HAS HELPED IN THIS AREA, AND WHAT’S ON THE

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH THIS?

HORIZON?

As with our other big initiatives we’ll start with
research. Why do people leave and what makes them
stay? We’re intrigued by programs such as the Virginia
Aviation Ambassador Program [participants get a nice
leather jacket for visiting every public-use airport in
the state, attending an event, a safety seminar, and visiting museums] and Aviation Adventures’ Rusty Pilot
program. These tell me there are ways to get people
active again.

We were thrilled to receive 2,500 nominations for
the first set of Flight Training Excellence Awards. It
made clear that for all the problems we see, there are
some terrific flight schools and instructors out there.
The turnaround will be built on these good people.
Later in the year we intend to put tools in place that
will start guiding customers to superior experiences,
probably through a user rating system similar to Yelp
and others.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE EASIEST AND THE MOST
WHAT PART DO FLYING CLUBS PLAY IN THIS?

36 /

DIFFICULT OF THESE INITIATIVES?

Our research tells us that clubs bring a compelling
mix of affordability and social community. Sharing
the cost of aircraft ownership through a club makes
a lot of financial sense. And every piece of research
we’ve ever done tells us that where there is community in aviation there is stickiness. People in flying
clubs stick around.

Nothing we’re doing is easy, but the feedback for
flying clubs has been overwhelmingly positive. We
have a tailwind there. I feel more challenged by flight
training. Some people aren’t on board, and there is so
much variation in the industry—from the individual
instructor with no airplane to the big flight training
academies.

FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG


http://FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

Flight Training - March 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - March 2013

Flight Training - March 2013
Contents
President’s Perspective
Right Seat
Letters
Not What It Appears
After the Checkride
How It Works
ASI News Action
Training Products
Since You Asked
Member Products Final Exam
Checkride
Flight Lesson
Flying Carpet
The "S" Word
Women With Wings
Problem Solver
Technique
Weather
Aviation's Glass Ceiling
Career Advisor
Tech Talk
Juggling the Airplane
The Known to the Unknown
You're Not Done Yet
Advertiser Index
Debrief
Flight Training - March 2013 - Flight Training - March 2013
Flight Training - March 2013 - Cover2
Flight Training - March 2013 - 1
Flight Training - March 2013 - Contents
Flight Training - March 2013 - 3
Flight Training - March 2013 - President’s Perspective
Flight Training - March 2013 - 5
Flight Training - March 2013 - Right Seat
Flight Training - March 2013 - 7
Flight Training - March 2013 - Letters
Flight Training - March 2013 - 9
Flight Training - March 2013 - Not What It Appears
Flight Training - March 2013 - 11
Flight Training - March 2013 - After the Checkride
Flight Training - March 2013 - How It Works
Flight Training - March 2013 - ASI News Action
Flight Training - March 2013 - Training Products
Flight Training - March 2013 - Since You Asked
Flight Training - March 2013 - 17
Flight Training - March 2013 - Member Products Final Exam
Flight Training - March 2013 - Checkride
Flight Training - March 2013 - 20
Flight Training - March 2013 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - March 2013 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - March 2013 - 23
Flight Training - March 2013 - The "S" Word
Flight Training - March 2013 - 25
Flight Training - March 2013 - 26
Flight Training - March 2013 - 27
Flight Training - March 2013 - Women With Wings
Flight Training - March 2013 - 29
Flight Training - March 2013 - 30
Flight Training - March 2013 - 31
Flight Training - March 2013 - 32
Flight Training - March 2013 - 33
Flight Training - March 2013 - Problem Solver
Flight Training - March 2013 - 35
Flight Training - March 2013 - 36
Flight Training - March 2013 - 37
Flight Training - March 2013 - Technique
Flight Training - March 2013 - 39
Flight Training - March 2013 - Weather
Flight Training - March 2013 - 41
Flight Training - March 2013 - 42
Flight Training - March 2013 - Aviation's Glass Ceiling
Flight Training - March 2013 - Career Advisor
Flight Training - March 2013 - 45
Flight Training - March 2013 - Tech Talk
Flight Training - March 2013 - Juggling the Airplane
Flight Training - March 2013 - The Known to the Unknown
Flight Training - March 2013 - You're Not Done Yet
Flight Training - March 2013 - 50
Flight Training - March 2013 - Advertiser Index
Flight Training - March 2013 - 52
Flight Training - March 2013 - 53
Flight Training - March 2013 - 54
Flight Training - March 2013 - 55
Flight Training - March 2013 - 56
Flight Training - March 2013 - 57
Flight Training - March 2013 - 58
Flight Training - March 2013 - 59
Flight Training - March 2013 - 60
Flight Training - March 2013 - 61
Flight Training - March 2013 - 62
Flight Training - March 2013 - 63
Flight Training - March 2013 - Debrief
Flight Training - March 2013 - Cover3
Flight Training - March 2013 - Cover4
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