Archive for November, 2009
One school, in Maryland, is negotiating with a mall to position an aircraft outside a large department store during the holiday shopping rush. They’ll staff the airplane in the hopes of attracting potential pilots among the throngs. Another FBO is doing the same thing at an upscale mall in Texas, and just today a news release crossed my inbox in which Air Orlando said it’s going to position a Remos GX inside the Florida Mall Wednesday night so that it’ll be sitting pretty in time for Black Friday shoppers. (With its folding wings, the Remos makes this kind of display setup pretty smooth.)
And a brand-new flight school owner is using a pricing scheme for flight instruction and aircraft rental that he says gives customers a “round number” so that they can more adequately budget their training expenses, just as they would for a fitness membership or a car payment. Tim Poole, who recently opened GT Aviation at Potomac Airfield in the Washington, D.C., Flight Restricted Zone, calls it a kind of a “club” format. A monthly fee purchases five hours per month, or one lesson per week; a higher fee bumps that up to 10 hours, or two lessons per week.
What do you think of these ideas? What else could flight schools be doing to attract customers?
DeMoraes basically called the promotional campaign hypocritical in light of parent company Disney’s recently announced plans to cut its fuel emissions in half by 2012. According to her calculations–she said she sought the help of various “aviation pundits”–the stunt would have used around 400 gallons of fuel containing around 800 grams of lead and around three tons of CO2, among other pollutants, if each event took about one hour of flying time.
Good news for Ms. DeMoraes and ABC: A company at a German trade show figured out how to tie banner ads on flies and released them at the show. Here’s a video. No carbon emissions! Just lots of really tired flies.
As part of this promotion, TBO has made loads of chocks bearing the BTO name, plus the names of the Gateway FBOs.
But wait, there’s more. Students in the Bahamas have given a special touch to a select few chocks: They’ve painted Bahamian-themed scenes on them.
I was pleasantly surprised to receive one such set of chocks from the artist herself! At the BTO booth, tenth-grader Rhudi Kerr gave her “The Swimming Pigs” chocks. (Seems that pigs on Big Major Cay are wont to swim in the ocean.) So Rhudi painted her chocks with a pair of piglets making their way in those famed turquoise Bahamian waters. What a prize! Thanks for the chocks, Rhudi and the BTO! I promise I’ll give them their well-earned place of honor.
I have just one “Mama Bird” story: Johnson was a featured speaker at a Women in Aviation conference several years ago. In a soft Southern accent–she was born in Kentucky and lives in Tennessee–she recalled just how she came to be a pilot. Her husband was serving in the military during World War II. Left on her own, she was looking for an activity to fill her quiet days. Should she try tennis? Golf? She saw an advertisement that read, “Learn to Fly” and said, “I believe I’ll do that.” What began as a whim became a career that influenced thousands of pilots. Happy birthday, Mama Bird!