California flying club named to Top 10 flight schools list

Photo Caption: BFC's Fred Webster, William Woodbury and Janice Sullivan were also named to AOPA's “Top 100 Flight Instructors” for 2014.

Are clubs becoming the dominant force in local flight training?

When Bakersfield Flying Club president Bill Woodbury learned that the club had been named as a top tier American flight school, he was shocked for two reasons: First, he never thought of his club as a flight school and, second, his group had never sought such notoriety.

“Of course I was pleased and honored to learn of our recognition,” said Woodbury, “but to say I was surprised is an understatement.”

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Barefoot flight training in a SeaRey

*Flight PLanning

“We sell fun,” says Helen Woods, manager of Chesapeake Sport Pilot in Stevensville, Md., a flight school specializing in Light-Sport Aircraft and recognized by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) as one of the 50 best flight schools in the nation.

The school operates a fleet of European-made LSAs, but being located next to the beautiful Chesapeake Bay, with hundreds of potential water landing spots to explore, Woods has shifted her focus to the Searey “flying boat” amphibian made by Progressive Aerodyne in Tavares, Fla.

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Hillsboro Aviation sells flight school

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HILLSBORO, Ore. — Hillsboro Aviation has sold one of its three core business groups, the flight training division, to Renovus Capital Partners and Graycliff Partners.

Hillsboro Aviation will continue to operate its charter and sales and service divisions with a focus on charter services, aircraft sales, MRO, avionics services and parts sales.

This next chapter for Hillsboro Aviation includes a new 45,000-square-foot building on 5.4 acres at the Hillsboro Airport to be completed in early 2016.

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MZero Aviation: A new kind of online ground school

Jason Schappert

You may know someone who attempted to do private pilot ground school online. The courses often consist of reading pages of material, followed by quizzes to see if you learned the material. It can be a challenge to stay motivated and it’s not unusual for student pilots to give up.

It happens at brick and mortar classes as well when hard copy books are used. The amount of material can be overwhelming, and to some people, especially millennials — those born in the late 1990s — the book work seems archaic. No wonder the drop-out rate tops 80%.

Jason Schappert, the founder of MzeroA.com, an online ground school, has beaten those odds and, in fact, reversed them by embracing the digital age.

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Eat Sleep Fly

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Mark Robinson, the Chief Instructor Pilot of Revolution Aviation, was a particularly happy man Aug. 12 because his business was celebrating one year of operation — and oh, what a year it has been.

Robinson is the founder of Revolution Aviation, located at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, California, approximately 20 nautical miles south of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The flight school teaches people how to fly airplanes, helicopters, and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). Robinson believes it is the only flight school in the nation teaching people how to fly RPAs.

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