The San Marcos Skyport and Redbird Chairman Jerry Gregoire both honored.
Austin, TX (Oct 15, 2012) – AOPA’s Flight Training Excellence awards had their debut at this year’s AOPA Summit in Palm Springs. Redbird’s Skyport, along with Tailwheels, Etc. of Florida, received the President’s Choice award.
“We created the Flight Training Excellence Awards as part of a long-term, industry-wide effort dedicated to increasing the percentage of students who earn a pilot certificate,” said AOPA CEO Craig Fuller. “We feel it’s important to have positive role models, so we are encouraging the industry to look at these examples of success and draw inspiration and encouragement from them.” Profiles on all the winners can be found on AOPA’s website, as well as a one-flight training scenario created by the Skyport representative of the Skyport’s award-winning work.
Redbird’s Chairman Jerry Gregoire also accepted AOPA’s 2012 Hat in the Ring Achievement in Aviation Education Award for aviation education excellence. Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg said of Gregoire, “Your accomplishments align with our vision of the perfect recipient, as someone who has dedicated time, energy and commitment to teaching pilots to fly safely through the use of simulation and the innovative programs at Skyport.”
Jeff Van West heads Redbird Media to change how pilots and instructors think about simulation
Austin, Texas (October 11, 2012) – There’s wide agreement that flight simulation is crucial to making flight training more affordable. But truly integrating simulation into flight training too often falls short in the real world. “The core issue is that most pilots and instructors see simulation as an adjunct to flight training and proficiency,” says Jeff Van West, Director of the new organization Redbird Media. “We need to shift people’s concept of simulation such that it becomes a central part of a pilot lifestyle. To reap the benefits, using simulation must become a habit.”
Redbird Media will partner with Redbird Flight Simulations, and other groups, to work this issue for pilots and whole flight schools alike. Programs for individual pilots will range from public events, such as virtual fly-ins and spot-landing contests, to engaging monthly proficiency programs tailored to individual needs. “Get pilots in the habit of coming to the airport for an exciting monthly sim session and they’re more likely to stay in the habit of real-world flying because they’re more comfortable, more proficient and simply at the airport more often,” says Van West.
Roger Sharp, Chief Pilot for Redbird’s Part 141 flight school, the Skyport, says, “Instructor competence on simulator-based training is critical. Unless they are 100 percent bought in, it falls apart.” Redbird Media is working with the Skyport on instructor training for simulation use from complete pilot ratings down to single-hour proficiency sessions. “We’re making teaching guides containing all the details an instructor needs for a complete training experience,” says Van West. “But there will be room in all curriculae to apply their skills as educators more and more as they gain experience with this way of thinking. It’s not only about better instruction; simulation done well is also cheaper for the student while simultaneously more profitable for the school.” Van West will be speaking on this topic at Redbird’s Migration Flight Training Conference, October 22-24, 2012 in San Marcos, TX.
Van West was the editor of IFR magazine, known for its nitty-gritty, real-world approach to flying, and the managing editor of The Aviation Consumer, a pilot’s equivalent of Consumer Reports. He was also co-author of Flight Simulator X for Real-World Pilots, a top-selling book on home simulator use. In addition to the proficiency and training programs, Redbird Media will assist Redbird with publications and public relations.
Over 30 years of aviation expertise advises the world’s fastest growing flight simulation company
Austin, Texas (Oct 9, 2012) – Jack Pelton may have retired as chairman of Cessna Aircraft Company in 2011, but he’s still an active player in the aviation community. One of these roles includes newest member of the Redbird Flight Simulations, Inc., Board of Directors. “We’re thrilled to welcome Jack to the Board of Directors,” said Jerry Gregoire, Redbird Chairman. “Having a board member with Jack’s business acumen and experience is valuable beyond measure. Redbird is grateful for his commitment to aviation.”
Pelton’s career in aviation spans more than three decades, with key roles at Cessna, Dornier Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft. He’s currently on the FAA’s Management Advisory Committee, as well as serving on the boards of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and Corporate Angel Network. Past board positions include the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the National Business Aviation Association. He was also on the FAA’s Future of Aviation Advisory Committee. Pelton has received numerous awards including the Lindbergh Award, the Elrey Jeppesen Leadership Award in General Aviation, the prestigious Aviation Week Laurel for Business and General Aviation, and Experimental Aircraft Association’s highest honor, the Freedom of Flight Award.
While Pelton holds an Airline Transport Certificate with type ratings in several jets, he’s in touch with aviation’s simpler side as a single-engine aircraft owner who restores antique aircraft.