Learn to Fly Month Begins Next Week

Learn to Fly month offers many opportunities to attract new pilots. Flight School Association of North America

May 1-31 is Learn to Fly month, a month-long effort to help flight training providers attract new pilots. This year, the drum beat is even louder than in the past as the shortage of career pilots continues to make news. Of course, Learn to Fly month doesn’t focus only on career aviators. The efforts will also try to attract new pilots who want to learn to fly because they're enamored by the idea of sailing along a mile or so above the earth headed wherever they want, whenever they want.

Learn to Fly month, the brainchild of the Flight School Association of North America, recently published a comprehensive list of PR tactics designed to help flight schools and flying clubs convince potential pilots to explore the possibilities. The FSANA has already given users permission to take advantage of its suggestions and the FSANA graphics created to help add new business to their operation.

FSANA suggests a flight school or flying club create a short 30 to 60-minute ground school to introduce people to aviation and flight, as well as offering introductory flights or air tours. Consider scheduling an airline or business aviation pilot or a mechanic or CFI to speak to a local group. Invite potential students to a cookout and offer a few training related giveaways. Of course, all of these ideas assume the school already has a healthy e-mail contact list, or other outlets to share these invites. This does translate into a marketing focus many organizations may need additional communications help to pull off.

Media opportunities demand a bit more attention, although the rewards can be impressive because a reporter’s audience can be huge. Create a good news release or simply invite your local media to attend an event or even offer them a special media discovery flight. Suggest a local radio station or podcaster live-broadcast your Learn-to-Fly event.

FSANA suggested some basic themes to encourage people by letting them know that flying is fun and that it can add a new dimension to their lives. Flying can also increase your quality of life and be used for personal business transportation. Flying represents a solid career opportunity and of course, learning to fly is one of life’s great adventures.

So, ask yourself … what’s your school or flying club going to try next month in order to get more people to walk through the door and take a look?

Rob MarkAuthor
Rob Mark is an award-winning journalist, business jet pilot, flight instructor, and blogger.

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