The days learning about flying from John and Martha King by watching VHS tapes are long gone, but after more than 40 years evolving their pilot courses, King Schools has said goodbye to physical media and is now delivering 100 percent of its pilot courses online.
“We have followed two rules that have kept us relevant,” John King explained. “One, we have always solicited customer feedback and been very responsive to it. Two, we have kept up to date with technology. When we started King Schools 44 years ago, our ‘content delivery system’ was Martha and me speaking to an audience in person. We would fly to a local airport, teach a few dozen people for a couple of days, and then fly to our next destination and do it all over again.”
After successfully converting their live classes to VHS tapes, King Schools became the first aviation training company to display full-screen video on computers, giving pilots the ability to take quizzes paired with each video lesson, test themselves with sample FAA exam questions and track their progress throughout the course. Through it all, King Schools grew to become a leading aviation training provider.
Barry Knuttila, King Schools CEO, said the Internet can now replace DVDs for instant access to course material from any device. “The free King companion app lets you download and take lessons offline and when back online, your progress is automatically synced with King Schools’ servers and immediately visible from all other devices,” he said. “Our customers made it clear that they prefer the advantages of online courses, so it was an easy decision to discontinue the computer-installed, disc option.”
Online is not the end of the technological transformation for King Schools, though. Knuttila said new formats, such as augmented and virtual reality “will no doubt provide opportunities to deliver even more effective training in our next 40 years.”