|By Carmelo Turdo|
|Air Associates Pilot Services Office|
|Chief Flight Instructor Austin Palmer|
In order to handle a significant pilot training program, there must be an investment in the aircraft fleet. "We have thirteen aircraft for flight instruction and rental and a full-motion Redbird simulator," Palmer said. He emphasized that the training aircraft, a mix of Cessna 172 Skyhawk and Cessna 162 Skycatchers, are newer models and most are equipped with G1000 avionics. Cessna 182 Turbo and C172RG aircraft are also available for more advanced training and for rental. On-site FBO services ensure that students are provided with everything they need to begin that next training flight.
|A portion of the Air Associates of Kansas fleet|
Serving the student in his or her journey to obtaining various pilot certificates is paramount in the Air Associates of Kansas pilot training program, and various approaches can be made to achieve these goals. The current student demographic for many non-collegiate programs can be summarized as 40-ish with teenage or older children. There is some (but not a lot) of available time and funds to invest in going for that pilot certificate. Flight schools have recognized this trend, and are conscious of the time and cost concerns of their students. Air Associates of Kansas can leverage their Cessna Pilot Center status to provide additional tools such as interactive, computer-based training materials and access to G1000-equipped Cessna 172 Skyhawks at competitive prices. The flight school also has two Cessna Skycatcher Light Sport Aircraft for use in training and building private pilot training time at a significantly lower hourly rate. “We find ways of keeping the cost (of flying) down, and the Skycatcher is one of them," Palmer noted.
We are working on a Career Pilot Program. We can bring someone in with no hours through flight instructor and then on to more advanced ratings…We are utilizing the Skycatcher as much as possible to keep costs down. When building time, the Skycatcher is a great choice to do that less expensively. Start in the smaller aircraft then progress to the Cessna 172 and larger aircraft. The Sport License is a great stepping stone to get your foot in the door. Start Flying the Skycatcher. For someone who begins training for the enjoyment of flight, the Skycatcher is the perfect place to start. Get some experience and build time. Then get your private license. We have private pilots who come out and rent it just because it’s cheaper and a fun plane to fly.
The comprehensive approach to pilot training from student to commercial, multi-engine ratings utilizing in-house resources has been very successful at Air Associates of Kansas. The Aero Experience will continue to explore the Career Pilot Program as we return to Air Associates of Kansas to profile the other services provided at the Olathe, Kansas location. We wish to thank those who provided their time and expertise to the production of this feature, and look forward to producing future articles in this series.