At a press conference at last week’s Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo in Lakeland, Florida, John and Martha King, along with King Schools CEO Barry Knutilla, announced a product designed to ease the complex process of keeping track of the progress of flight students. The Cessna Training Application (CTA) will help instructors at Cessna Pilot Centers schedule training sessions, fly them and record the required data electronically.
Within the app, the flight school can store training sessions for multiple students. Once a student’s information is entered into the system, it takes very little time to set up a training session. The system autoloads the course the student is training toward. It will also load the phase and scenario that the student should be working on based on prior progress.
One terrific feature is that the app keeps track of the students’ progress in terms of the hourly requirements for flight conditions such as night, solo, simulated instrument time, etc. The app breaks down how much time the student has logged for each category, how much is required and how much time remains before the student qualifies for the checkride, allowing the instructor to quickly evaluate whether a student meets the requirements for the applicable rating.
King Schools has put a big focus on simplicity to make logging the training session as quick as possible. Logging ground instruction and maneuvers completed for a training session is as easy as tapping a button on the screen. The buttons are set up for scenario-based training, so the instructor can check off whether the student is in the “instruction”, “describe” or “explain” stage of each ground school scenario and “practice”, “perform” or “manage/decide” stage for each flight maneuver. The instructor doesn’t have to wait to log the progress but can quickly log it by tapping the buttons during the training session. The training log also serves as a checklist.
The app allows the user to choose an abbreviated version of the checklist with each task to be evaluated or a longer version with standards of completion for each task. In addition to the instructor log, the app also has an optional evaluation column for the student to grade his or her performance.
King Schools CTA app also makes logging the flight time very quick. There is an option to copy the total flight time entered for each applicable flight condition, such as cross-country, night, pilot-in-command, solo, etc. Holds and approaches are also easy to log by tapping the screen.
The app can be used on multiple platforms, so the information can be logged as the flight training progresses. Once the platform is connected to Wifi, the training session gets synced and stored automatically. The instructor can sign off the training session right on the screen of the tablet for complete electronic record keeping.
King Schools’ CTA was developed exclusively for the Cessna Pilot Center network and is expected to be available from the app store in the next few weeks.