Blog about aviation & marketing

General aviation and flight schools….can they survive? I don’t think so – we need real business approaches to make this work.

Airplane Business 9 Comments

Once again, another flight school bites the dust after a futile attempt to drain all their capital and operate it like it is a fun social place to hang out.  For those who “think” owning a flight school is about the high price of an airplane rental = profits, do you have something to learn!  Even experienced people in large corporate management can’t seem to figure out how the flight school IS a business, and needs to operate using business fundamentals!  What are we talking about here?  First, while purchasing a flight school, did you think to look at the profit and loss statement to determine the actual value of the business?  Everyone else in the world does this, but in aviation most seem to not figure this out until it is too late.  Why is it that knowing how to fly an airplane qualifies you for operating a business?  For those in the manufacturing of airplanes, Cirrus, Cessna, Beechcraft, Piper, the fact is to keep the doors open, you have to operate as a business.  Until someone in the industry figures out that the flight school is the most critical part to growth, yet is the least focused group in the picture, aviation is on a down hill slide and isn’t going to get better anytime soon. Read More

Why new and better airplanes will spark demand for general aviation piston aircraft.

Aviation Thoughts 5 Comments

Yesterday I attended a funeral for a friend and pilot who I had known many years ago.  I hadn’t seen this person in twenty five years, but remembered him as a nice guy who flew his own airplane, and he owned a total of five airplanes before giving up flying somewhere back in the mid 1980’s.  The funeral gave insight into how much this person really enjoyed flying, as the pastor related the comments posted on the sign in sheet, and from the family who talked about their father and his enjoyment of flying.  Although just a private pilot who never obtained an instrument rating, he had many enjoyable hours taking the family on vacation, and using the airplane on business for a seed company sales team he was on.  What does this have to do development of new piston airplanes?  The photo of the airplane on display that was taken in the late 1970’s, was a 1949 Beechcraft A35 Bonanaza.  It looked striking, with the polished aluminum and dark blue original paint scheme, I was impressed by how timeless a Bonanza can really be! Read More

A dwindling pilot pool – Take note AOPA, NBAA, EAA, and GAMA…the problem is easily solved!

Flight Training 14 Comments

Kind of a bold statement, but that is what we do here 🙂  Instead of the lost in the woods approach, and the “feel good” about doing nothing to reverse this trend, lets get down to the seriousness of a dwindling pilot population, both recreational and professional.  Although there are a few ideas to jump start single engine piston airplanes and the private pilot that will fly them, the answer is not all that obvious, why?  It is because the industry is ASSUMING the flight school knows what they are doing! A very dangerous approach, and is why general aviation piston airplanes and the number of pilots is in serious trouble. Read More