Tuesday, October 02, 2012

it's been awhile....

First off, I know it has been a long time since my last blog post and it has been really busy here at the school and we have had a lot of things happen over the past few months, especially with the excessive heat the past few months, BBQ's, Tower Tour's and our students passing check rides!

Here is the latest and greatest...

We have had a lot of graduates over the past few months and I wanted to highlight a few...

Tamera earned her wings in 41 hours with our Chief Pilot Bill. Her next goal is to master the art of IFR flying!
Tibbi earned his wings with CFI Steve and is looking forward to flying his family to all those cool destinations he went on during his training.

Welcome back to Fly Corona Spenser! Spenser was a CFI for Fly Corona in the past, he now has his CFII and is back in the rotation with us. Come on by to say hello and fly the skies with him.

Our very own CFI Nick is now CFII NIck! Congrats on knocking out the CFII rating and you did an awesome job doing all the radio calls with the handheld mic. I am sure Andrea was impressed.

We have a lot of new shirts hanging on the rafters of the school... Congrats on the first solos by:

Boo Spence, Bobbie Normandie, Charles Powell, Christian Gonzalez, Fady Kfoury, Adam Kissling,

Last month, we said good bye to our Chief Pilot Matt Caldwell, he was promoted to First Officer of Skywest. He is now flying the Brazilia's. All his students and staff miss him and wish him all the best in his new career.

In other school news, we received our FAA Part 141 Certificate! We are really excited to be an approved school. We will be submitting the additional courses for Instrument Rating and Commercial License this week, once approved we can then apply to accept VA Benefits. We are also hoping to have approval from SEVP so we can start issuing I-20's and kick start our International Pilot Program.
We have a new office manager, come on by and meet Estela. She is working hard to ensure that the office is running smoothly and that everyone is dispatched on time!

August 1, we removed the fuel surcharges from the menu and we have new pricing for all the aircraft. We are still very competitive with the other schools in the area as to pricing, but I am sure that we are the friendliest and have the best flight instruction crew in SoCal!

Be on the lookout for our new website that will be launched very shortly. We will have everything updated and including a new section for career outlook, international pilot program, our new professional program.

Lets do a roll call on the CFI's...

Bill Spence: Chief Pilot: 48 years experience and is currently flying with American Airlines.
Nick Kilkuts: Assistant Chief: now with over 1,000 hours of dual given, ready to fly 6 days a week
Maria LeBlanc: Assistant Chief: She has over 6 years of teaching experience in a Part 141 School.
Asa Cosby: Asa has been flying with us on a part time basis since January and he just loves to fly and teach
Brian Craig: Brian just had is 1 year anniversary of being a CFI, he is a technology guru, just ask him about the GoPro and Cloudahoy app.
Steve Hosterman: Steve is a retired United Airlines Captain and has over 30 years of flying experience.If your goal is fly with an airline, he is your guy!
Spenser Phillips: Spenser has returned to the line up as a CFI and CFII. He is passionate about flying and teaching and he is always willing to take you on his Beach Tour or Hollywood tour!
Kate Darwin: Kate has many years experience teaching the aviation program with Mt SAC. She has a lot of skills and is currently working on her MEI checkride. She loves to teach multi engine and our deaf pilots.

Come on by and greet our new friendly lineman Frank. He is busy washing, waxing and detailing the aircraft and I can tell you that they look like new! If you don't believe me, come by and see for yourself. We are so proud that the aircraft are looking new, mechanically sound and the radios are also being upgraded / fixed this month.

Here is the rundown in Maintenanceland......

61Q - is looking nice after spending the day in the detail shop.
241 - will be heading for 100 hour next week. She is fun to fly and can challenge you on your flight skills!
68U - just came out of 100 hour and waiting for cooler weather to prevail
739 - is in the shop having a new engine put in and the prop overhauled. We are expecting her to return to the flight line mid next week
4DT - will have the radio fixed this week
556 - had fun on the check ride with Tamera and DPE Andrea, she was in for 100 hour last week and ready for more
94M - got all cleaned up and ready to roll
8UH - had a minor scratch on the cowling and prop, will be repaired during the next 100 hour. She is a great flyer! Our newest aircraft to the fleet. She sports a 180hp engine, 1015lb useful load, sports a Garmin 430 and 495 with TCAS, electronic Tach, autopilot.
63B - went in today for a mag repair, should be out in a few days and then she will be ready to go!
17J - is flying like there is no tomorrow
182 - had its Com 1 radio fixed and is a joy to fly
0DA - This twin is anxious to fly, the Comanche is like flying a Ferrari, she is fast and sleek!
387 - Is running great, had the left engine cylinders overhauled and all the mags overhauled. She is a workhouse and loves to haul a lot of people around. Do I hear Vegas anyone????

We are all trying to stay cool during this last heat wave of summer? Come on by and grab some sky, it is a little cooler up at altitude. If you do fly in the heat, remember to bring lots of water as you do not want to suffer from dehydration.

Stay cool, fly safe!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Airline Pilot Shortage?

You have most likely already heard that there will be an airline pilot shortage in the US and around the world.  This story was just published on all the major news stations and newspapers this past week. Here is a link to the story from NBC. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TRAVEL_AIRLINE_PILOT_SHORTAGE_TRVOL?SITE=WCMHTV&SECTION=TRAVEL&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

So you are most likely wondering what is Fly Corona doing about this? Well, I can tell you that we have been working very hard to stay ahead of the curve in developing a Professional Pilot Program that is different that all the other programs. How can we do this? Well, we have a program that is written by a current United Airlines Captain and will be taught by current airline crew and retired airline captains. This program will include pilot career planning, interview techniques / preparation, crew resource management, airline operations, jet transport systems, flight technique analysis, Electronic Flight Management Systems, Airline flight crew procedures, seminars offered by the FAA and more. Not only are we in talks with partnering with a local University to meet the 1,000 hour ATP requirements, we are also building connections with major airlines to interview our students.

You might be wondering if the flight school atmosphere is going to change? Well, I can tell you that it is not. The Corona location will still have the friendly staff, laid back atmosphere that you are used to. We will still offer all the current programs and ratings. We are very interested in teaching people to be safe while enjoying their flight training. We will continue to add aircraft and staff to meet the needs of the customers / students. If you are interested in knowing more about the professional pilot program, I encourage you to talk to Matt (our chief pilot), Steve, Bill or myself. We are in the process of adding a second location for the professional pilot program and a new fleet of aircraft. I will disclose more information as it becomes available.

Since I mentioned new aircraft, we have some great news. We are expecting 2 more aircraft to the Fly Corona fleet. On Monday July 16th, we anticipate the arrival of another 172N, this one is beautiful. It has an engine upgrade to 180hp, Garmin 430GPS, Garmin 495GPS coupled with traffic, auto pilot, very clean and low time hours. This will be an IFR favorite. The other aircraft will be a brand new, 2012 Cessna Skycatcher. We will have 2 skycatchers on the line.

We will also welcome back 61Q, our beloved 150 who has been patiently waiting for a new engine. The engine is expected to arrive early in the week and should be available for the weekend. So watch the schedule as we will reactivate it when it is ready to fly!

So, here is what is going on in Maintenanceland. You may already know, but Waypoint Maintenance has move to a great location in Riverside. We purchased the maintenance shop and we will continue to provide excellent, high standard maintenance to the aircraft of the school and to other customers.

Aircraft roll call.....
526 - In for 100hr, should be back and flying by Wed.
241 - Is going into 100 hr on Tues
68U - is still flying strong
739 - Is in for 100hr inspection and will be ready on Tue.
4DT - is flying great
556 - is enjoying all the new attention being the new kid on the block
94M - finally had some downtime today for a spit and polish. She is ready to fly some more
63B - has been on a lot of day trips and even passed an IFR checkride last week!
17J - Back from 100hr and ready to rock
182 - is enjoying life and the many renters it has. Come on in for a checkout to see what all the fuss is about!
387 - The Seneca is enjoying new students. Gone to Philadelphia and back and also passed on a check ride
0DA - 'Yoda" is back from its annual inspection and flies better than ever.

Looks like I remembered them all. It is getting tougher all the time to remember the entire fleet... whew!

This past week, we welcomed the Deaf Pilots Association to Fly Corona! I have really enjoyed getting to know all of them. We kick started the week off with a bbq and aircraft wash fundraiser. They met their donation goal and did a fantastic washing job! They might have a second career as line guys! They met every morning at Fly Corona, or at the Ayres Inn to have safety meetings and then they went out flying to different locations. This Saturday, July 14th, we will have yet another bbq on the observation deck at the airport and a banquet that evening. If you want to know more about the organization, their website is: http://www.deafpilots.com/

This year, I have also really enjoyed all our international friends that came and flew with us. We had Vlad from Ukraine who did time building and Roman from Italy, then we had Steven and his posse from France who always made us laugh, David and Pierre from France was also here for time building. Steve from Australia stopped by for a month and added 100 hours on a 150 and about 20 hours on a 182. He also did a video of his time here and you can see it on our facebook. At the moment, we have Christian and Daniel from Spain. I wish all of you the best in obtaining your flying dreams, some are airline bound and others are flying skydivers up to the limits. We look forward to seeing you all again someday.

Our instructor roster has changed as well. We have:

Matt - our chief pilot
Steve: he started 6 weeks ago and has already completed 1 student through the private pilot test. Akheel made it through in record time, 3.5 week. Steve is a retired United Airlines captain and has significant military time and flying.
Maria: She has been instructing at Pinnacle Aviation in Carlsbad the past 6 years and we are looking forward to having her on the Fly Corona team.

Whew, it has been a very busy month or so and we will continue to do our best to keep you informed on school and industry news.

Fly safe and blue skies


Friday, May 18, 2012

Did June gloom come early???

It has been a really strange month with quite a few storms and cloudy weather, almost feels like June gloom came early. It is also a perfect time for our IFR students to get some actual IMC flying. We have several students starting on June 1 on their flight portions and a few more that are completing the ground class and will start flying soon.

We have had a few more new private pilots! Our Canadian friend, Chad Elwood earned his wings with CFI Nick and had a great checkride with DPE Andrea.

17 year old Jordan Pastor earned his wings with CFI Nick and DPE Andrea

Ken Johnson has completed the difficult first checkride earning his Private Pilots license with CFI Matt and DPE Andrea.

Other items of interest:

We are getting closer to our first class for the Professional Pilot Program. This program will take you from 0 hours to 250 hours in 150 days. and CFI 30 days after that. The airlines are expecting a hiring boom in the near future and this is the perfect time to start your career.
We are continuing to add to our programs of interest, we are in the development stage of adding the Airline Career prep class. This class will prepare you for both the airline interview and the ground class.

We are also getting closer to our approval of issuing M-1 visas and the start of our international pilot program.

June 9th is the 2nd annual Mud Run here at the airport. We will be relocating a few aircraft to Riverside for those who want to fly that day. If you are in the area, come on by and checkout the static displays, beer garden, food truck vendors and of course, the mud run. It should be a great day for everyone!

We are always looking for stories, pictures and videos of your amazing flights with us. Please email your stories to the office: fly@flycorona.come or post on our facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/FlyCorona

Here is what's happening in maintenanceland.....

526 - is having fun with the time builders
68U - is still running strong
739 - Has a new landing light and ready for more night flights
4DT - Had a battery solenoid replaced and is ready to roll
556 - Is getting a new group of followers and loves to fly
94M - is scheduled for a 100hr checkup next week
63B - is catching a lot of airtime
241 - The new skycatcher has completed its annual and ready for all comers. If you have not flown a 162 yet, you should come out and take it for a flight. I promise you that your skills will be challenged.
182 - Is enjoying  the cross country flights and new checkouts this past week
387 - Our Seneca is now fixed and is running like new. Ready for new checkouts and is an excellent aircraft to get your multi engine rating in.
17J - is available and ready to grab some sky!

Come and grab some sky, the weather forecast is looking great!!!!

-- Kevin.