‘…As It Turns Out, General Aviation Is Resilient’
This article written by Maria Morrison, SNFDD Feature Editor originally appeared April 18,2021 on the Aero News Network website. To view the original article Click Here
The previous year brought hardships for all businesses, and King Schools, Inc. was no exception. However, the aviation instruction giant is back at the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo this year with optimism and new courses.
“We had a lot of concerns and a lot of insecurity,” said King Schools CEO Barry Knuttila. “But as it turns out, general aviation is resilient. We have the kinds of people who don’t give up easily on their goals.”
The coming year will see a return to new inflight videos with the new configuration of a Cessna 172 with 5 or 6 cameras. With this setup, Knuttila said, King Schools can do more instructive video through many camera angles to show more concepts and ideas.
Therefore, King Schools will be reshooting all the preview flying videos in their Cessna courses, and then eventually move on to reshooting all flying videos in all King courses.
As their employees began working from home in 2020, King Schools saw an uptick in the number of people using the products. With generally more free time, people increased both their number of ratings and their knowledge, Knuttila said.
More folks will likely be signing onto King Schools in the coming months to access the newest free course: Understanding Aircraft Marshalling. The course advertises “Your guide to the ground signals you might see on busy ramps, at fly-ins, airshows and aviation events!” and will join the 13 other free courses offered by King Schools.
“We’re making a habit of creating free video courses for the flying public on information that needs to get out there,” Knuttila said.
The course, which goes deeper into different marshalling signals and how they work, will ideally give pilots more security and confidence.
“We take care of pilots from the first idea of learning to fly all the way through potential career as a professional pilot,” Knuttila said
Another demonstration of this commitment is the promotion of Kim Hanson to business leader for professional pilot courses. Hanson, who has been with King Schools since 2005, is a helicopter commercial pilot, CFI, and CFII, as well as a fixed wing private pilot.
She was previously the flight instructor refresher course manager but now will help lead the company toward improvements in professional courses. King has over 21 professional pilot courses available on its website, most for corporate and part 135 operators, and some for part 121 operators.
“In the past we have not put as much emphasis on that part of the business as the quality of the courses demands,” Knuttila said.
The Kings’ press conference concluded with a line of aviation enthusiasts getting thumbs-up photos with the Kings, asking for logbook signatures, shaking hands and saying hello.