SUGAR GROVE, Ill. — When David Spano and Tony Sabos set up SimplyFLY six years ago, their goal was to provide flight training under the banner of Power Sports.
They wanted to focus on growing sport aviation by targeting the general public. They do this by taking a REMOS mockup aircraft to local fairs, festivals and other events. There, they sell Discovery Flights: A half hour instructional flight for $75. Around 15 percent of those who make the flight go on to become sport pilots or private pilots.
All of the training is done in REMOS aircraft. SimplyFLY has four of them, plus a new dealer demo aircraft for sales.
According to company officials, the key to their success is their approach to engaging the public. SimplyFLY works to correct false perceptions and present flying as an attainable sport. They don’t “sell” aviation as a mode of transportation, they sell fun.
SimplyFLY, based at Aurora Municipal Airport (KARR), just west of Chicago, offers the Sport Pilot certificate for $6,400 and the Private Pilot for $9,600. That includes 40 hours of flying for Sport Pilot training and 60 hours for the Private, along with ground school. Almost all students pass their check ride in less than the allotted time, according to company officials.
“Once they start on a certificate, we encourage them to fly at least twice a week,” said Spano. “We push them to complete their written before they take their cross country flights. We like to give credit to the forgiving flight characteristics of the REMOS. It’s an ideal trainer that people become comfortable with very quickly. It has worked out so well for our flight training operations that we moved up to become dealers so we can begin to offer sales and service.”
The second REMOS dealer in North America, SimplyFLY represents an expansion consistent with the manufacturer’s desire to develop a global presence for the LSA. SimplyFLY has its own plans to expand to other major metropolitan areas, company officials add.