King Schools, NAFI Announce Scholarship Winner, New Program Focus

Free marshalling course joins the Kings’ ongoing safety efforts.

John and Martha King, co-chairmen of King Schools, pose with King Schools CEO Barry Knuttila, winner Allen Reenders and wife Sandy, NAFI Chairman Bob Meder, NAFI Chairman Emeritus Ken Hoffmann, and NAFI Board of Directors member J.D. DeBoskey.King Schools

Like so many of the exhibitors at the 2021 Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo, King Schools delivered its latest updates to the aviation industry in a hybrid format making the most of the technology while giving a chance for in-person contact. The livestream briefing, led by King Schools CEO Barry Knuttila, broadcast the conference from the show grounds, and it featured a free new product, a well-deserved promotion, and the delivering of a scholarship jointly with the National Association of Flight Instructors.

The new product—a free marshalling course—seeks to fill a gap identified by the Kings as potentially troublesome for pilots. Said John King, “A pilot may see many different marshalling signals at a busy airport or event, so we cover them all [in the new course]. From start-up and departure to arrival and shut-down, this course has the common signals, as well as specialty and seldom-used signals. Like any other phase of flight, risk management is also a vital part of taxiing and parking safely, so we cover risk management best practices while on the ground too.” Martha King continued: “After a long flight, many general aviation pilots have found themselves in front of a marshaller, realizing they were either unfamiliar with, or very rusty on, marshalling signals. We developed this course to help fill that gap in aviation training.”

The second announcement shined a light on a previously unsung member of the King Schools team, Kim Hanson, who has been promoted to the role of business leader for professional pilot courses. King Schools has accumulated 21 courses that build on certification courses to lead the development of pilots within their chosen aviation career paths. Hanson’s job will be to add to and strengthen this portfolio in recognition of the opportunity they provide for the company and those pilots who enjoy the King Schools training methods. Hanson said, “King is a household name when it comes to preparing pilots for a professional career. My goal now is to build our courses for professional and turbine pilots to that same level. I am excited to learn new things and to be challenged, and I am honored to have this opportunity.”

Last on the agenda, Knuttila and the Kings invited Robert Meder, chairman of NAFI, to the stage to present the 2021 King Schools/NAFI Scholarship to Allen Reenders, of Longmont, Colorado. The scholarship includes $5,000 in cash towards flight training, and free lifetime access to all King Schools courses, including flight instructor refresher courses (FIRCs). The estimated value of the scholarship is more than $18,000. Reenders and his wife Sandy thanked the Kings and NAFI for the award. “I am so grateful for those people in my life and am excited that as an instructor I will to be able to help aspiring pilots and share my passion for flying,” said Reenders. “Giving back is going to be a blast. Maybe that’s giving an hour or two of free instruction or perhaps it’s an invitation to go fly for lunch somewhere. It could be as simple as a little bit of encouragement. I plan to constantly be aware of my opportunities to promote and encourage pilots.”

Meder, CEO of NAFI, added this: “The past winners of this scholarship continue to have a really positive influence on the aviation community. This is our fifth year of partnering with King Schools, and we have been fortunate to have an incredible list of recipients who all remain dedicated instructors. We at NAFI are so proud of their achievements, I encourage you to check out their stories and be inspired.”