March 14, 2017
Everybody loves a comeback kid, right? Except in this case it’s no kid. It’s a B-29 Superfortress bomber named Doc. This monstrosity of a machine has captured hearts everywhere, and why wouldn’t it? This isn’t just a chunk of metal that played a role in our nation’s history. Doc is our history.
Doc was born right here in Wichita during World War II. After actively serving in the US Army for more than ten years, Doc was unceremoniously left in the desert to be used as target practice. Then one glorious day, Tony Mazzolini found Doc and decided right then and there he would restore him to flying status once again. Twelve years later, Mazzolini and his team took possession of Doc and the it was time for restoration. When Wichita welcomed Doc home in 2000, he was in about as many pieces. The team, made up of faithful volunteers, dutifully and carefully began reconstructing the historic warbird. Then in 2013 a group of people signed their names on the dotted line and officially became Doc’s Friends, a 501c3 non-profit created to manage Doc’s restoration and make sure the project was seen through to the end.
Fast forward a few years. Keep reading >
February 2, 2017
People in business aviation are so lucky. Not only do they get to manufacture, market, sell and fly amazing aircraft; they get to work with some of the best people on the planet.
The Wichita Aero Club gala is always a special evening for the Air Capital of the World. We come together to celebrate a member of our community who’s truly left a mark on the aviation industry. I was beaming with pride last Saturday evening as my dad, world-renowned aviation photographer, Paul Bowen, received the honor.
Since 1972, he has been producing the world’s most creative, memorable and enduring air-to-air images. His long list of accolades includes the San Diego Air & Space Museum International Hall of Fame, Flying Magazine’s 51 Heroes of Aviation, Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame, and Canon’s Explorers of Light. He has been part of more than 1,000 magazine covers and ad campaigns.
Naturally, it’s wonderful to see your dad singled out for recognition. As he gave the narrative of his career using his images, he started off by saying:
“When I go to a concert, my favorite part is when the artist tells stories so you leave knowing them and their music better. So that’s what I’m going to do tonight.” Keep reading >
January 8, 2017
Special thanks to Ashley Bowen Cook for the contribution via Blue Sky Aviation News!
When charting your course, consider where you’ve been. But don’t dwell on those experiences.
Bogging yourself down in what was hinders thoughts of what can be. Position yourself carefully and purposefully with knowledge of the past and a vision of where you want to go.
Think of Janus – ancient Roman god of beginnings, transitions, and endings – depicted with two heads, one viewing the future, and one peering into the past. Learn from his balanced approach. He does not appear confused, but centered by insight.
It can be the same with your marketing. A successful strategy considers both past experiences and future hopes. And then, launches with confidence. SmartSky Networks began a journey of a lifetime in 2009.
It brought together a team of industry-leading telecommunications and aviation professionals to launch an inflight connectivity revolution. They built on past successes but stayed open to new ways to overcome entrenched competition. This future-forward focus puts them on track to for a 2017 nationwide network roll out.
You are here
Take stock of the current situation and ask the relevant questions about how you arrived at this juncture. Who was the intended audience? What was the message? Did you make the hoped for connection? Answer with unflinching honesty and don’t gloss over failures. Apply lessons learned along your long and winding road to correct or to confirm your direction.
Executive AirShare got its start in 2000, growing out of a highly reputable fixed-base operation in Wichita, Kansas. Now the nation’s third-largest fractional aircraft provider, AirShare doesn’t limit itself to the nation’s heartland. From its operational centers throughout the Central United States and Great Lakes regions, customers fly all over the United States and into the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America and Canada. It’s grown by developing a do-it-right, get-it-done culture that puts shareowners first.
Prepare for the road ahead. Figure out what kind of creative will be deployed. Consider what worked before. What life can be infused into the strategy. Plot a strategy for leveraging social media and other integrated marketing platforms. Employ a thorough, critical review. Stay on track. Keep the list concise and focused. The way forward will be clear.
Aviation Partners stands apart as a leader in advanced winglet technology. Founder, CEO and aviation legend Joe Clark continually seeks efficiencies to keep aviation on the cutting edge of green technology. That effort extends to Aviation Partners’ outreach, appropriately targeted to its tech-savvy and highly mobile target audience.
A pocket full of sunshine
Rainy days come. Draw from previous wins to maintain motivation and stoke energy for you and your team. Recall the greatest risk that reaped a monumental reward. Let these experiences spur you on and keep the project moving forward. They can keep you from stalling out or worse – kicking into reverse.
Perhaps nothing underscores the value of perseverance more than Glacier Girl, the jewel in Rod Lewis’ impressive Air Legends warbird collectioin. In July 1942, this aircraft (and seven other warbirds), low on fuel, crash-landed on Greenland’s vast ice cap. In 1992, Glacier Girl was taken from its wheels-up position, removed section by painstaking section through shafts carved 25 stories (268 feet) into the ice. The sole rescued survivor of the entire squadron. Since returning to the air in 2002 before a crowd of 20,000, this P-38F Lightning has thrilled thousands more at air shows and events.
Draw upon the insights of others. Collectively, your teammates know more than you. Collaborate and aha moments will come. Take the time needed to share knowledge so you learn from and don’t repeat mistakes.
Look back at your best work, but don’t live on past glory. Face forward and you may find your best work before you.
December 6, 2016
A WAC Membership is the Perfect Stocking Stuffer!
Gift giving can be super tough. What to get the person who has everything? Every toy, every gadget, every… everything. We have an idea that might get you bonus points this holiday season.
What if, instead of loading them with stuff, you indulged their passion? Whether they’ve shown a little bit of interest in aviation, or have deep rooted affection for it, a membership to the Wichita Aero Club is the perfect gift. Your aviation aficionado can make as much of it as they want. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits, of which there are many:
Gold Wing Member Status
Thanks to an amazing partnership with local businesses called the Gold Wing club, we’re able to offer some really great local discounts on things like hotels, fine restaurants, Tornado Transit and even a local shooting range and training facility, Thunderbird Firearms Academy. Catch up on all the juicy details here, but this alone makes a WAC membership incredibly enticing! Who doesn’t like a little extra status around town?
Whether aviation is a pastime or ambition, the Wichita Aero Club events present ample opportunity to network with others in the industry. Learn from those who have been around for years. Those who have risen to the top. Those who are well on their way. Hear their stories, shake their hands, store their business cards in your wallet. Find out where you fit by taking a seat next to someone who can help you find the most exciting, thrilling and comfortable chair around.
Consider our mission statement: The Wichita Aero Club was established to foster and promote interest in aviation, to provide a forum that focuses on the industry’s issues and achievements, and to bring together those with a passion for flight in an environment that expands and enhances professional relationships and furthers cooperation and understanding. Everything the Club does has these goals and values in mind. To say the people involved are passionate about aviation might be an understatement… it’s more like they eat, breathe and dream about it in one way or another. If you or someone you know might thrive in an aviation-enriched environment, a Wichita Aero Club membership is the absolute perfect place to start.
What’s the Next Step?
So, have you thought of someone who fits the bill for a membership? That young family member who mentioned he’d love to study aviation? Your secret santa co-worker who has a model Cessna 182 on their desk? Or maybe you want to convince your boss to get your company more involved in the community. That’s fantastic! Now you’re wondering how much it costs, and what the next step is. We’re glad you asked.
There are lots of different levels of membership, and you can get details on all of them over on the signup page, but a corporate membership is $1,000 annually, and an individual membership is only $100 annually. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s that affordable!
The sign up process is really simple, too. You can pay right online, and we’ll send you the material you can gift. Ready?
We’re happy to answer any questions you have along the way. Just shoot a note to email@example.com.
November 30, 2016
Doc has gotten some exciting exposure recently! In case you missed it earlier this month, check out the video of Doc hitting the skies, as told by CBS’ weekend show, ‘Sunday Morning.”
October 31, 2016
The 37th Annual Kansas Economic Outlook Conference took place on October 6, 2016.
About the CEDBR.
The mission of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR) is to enhance the region’s economic growth and development by:collecting, analyzing and disseminating business, economic and demographic information
conducting applied business, economic and demographic research
serving as a vital link between the business and economic development community, Wichita State University and the W. Frank Barton School of Business.
The CEDBR strives to be recognized by the business and economic development community as: a reliable and responsive source for business, economic and demographic information, and as an essential partner in the region’s economic development process by conducting high-quality, objective research on issues related to the community’s current and future economic well-being.
Thanks to WSU TV for producing this video!
October 17, 2016
First at a Richard Aboulafia-led aerospace panel at Wichita State University’s annual economic outlook conference, then at the Wichita Aero Club October meeting featuring John and Martha King. Both shared insights I’ve been mulling over.
Let’s start with the aerospace panel and Aboulafia’s reassurance that his forecast would be more positive this time. He said his earlier projection when the global aviation downturn hit in 2008 “falls under the category when bad things happen to good people.” Then just to remind us how bad it was, he showed an aircraft delivery chart full of downward lines and said, “That red line at the bottom, that’s what happened to Wichita.” The difference this time around, he said, is that the strong correlation between oil prices and large aircraft has less effect on Wichita’s small and midsize markets. He practically had us dancing in the aisles when he added that the serious body blow to Wichita’s small and midsize markets is a thing of the past. The worries today, he said are more for big aircraft, such as those manufactured in Savannah.
Aboulafia’s chart for aircraft production from 2006 to 2025 shows growth. That steady, light-blue ribbon represents business aviation. Not soaring, but certainly holding its own. Steady as she goes.
Fellow panelists Jason Cox and Dave Franson acquitted themselves well, as always. Franson recounted why Wichita will remain the Air Capital – not the least of which is that we’ve manufactured more planes than anywhere on the planet – more than 300,000 since the 1920s. Cox, a third-generation aviation supplier, spoke about the fourth revolution or the internet of things having arrived “like a teenager on Instagram.” And, it’s obvious Cox welcomes the innovation these new technologies and possibilities bring.
At the Wichita Aero Club luncheon following this panel, John and Martha King provided a global picture of flight training. John started things off with a bold statement, “Flight training determines the future of aviation.” Yes, they’re apt to be biased since flight training is their business, but they also bring a perspective molded by decades of experience. “Flying made the world accessible to us and changed our view of the world forever,” said John.
After coming from a panel more focused on the manufacture of aircraft, it was good to be reminded of the importance of the human element – specifically pilots. Having enough of them to fly our fleets and training that keeps them aloft.
“Experience is a lousy teacher,” John said. “It gives the test first then teaches the lesson after . . . We need to develop a new risk-management vocabulary and system.”
As always, technology keeps things interesting. “Here come the drones, and they’re a big deal,” said Martha. In less than a year, more than 550,000 unmanned aircraft were registered. Manned aircraft number less than half that. And the drones keep getting better, with huge advances in drone see-and-avoid technology. “Boy is it coming fast,” said Martha. Both Kings encouraged the aviation community to welcome remote pilots into the fold, but they acknowledged that privacy concerns make us look at operators skeptically. “We have a fascination and a fear of anything that rises up into the third dimension,” said John.
October 10, 2016
Thank you, Kings!
by Grant Boyd: Wichita Aero Club Intern, WSU Sophomore
“We landed the aircraft and there were sirens and lights going on behind us while the cops told the pilot to open the door slowly and put their hands up.” Now this evokes quite an image in my head. What exactly did this pilot do to receive such a warm welcome? While they never said specifically what they did to get such attention, it was not for anything bad. If it had been these folks would not be the aviation leaders that they are today. The perpetrators in question were John and Martha King. Now if you are a pilot, I am sure this name rings a bell. Well, if it doesn’t-it should.
Why should it? It should because they have taught almost half of all pilots how to fly. Their successful courses (and last name) have led to them fittingly being labeled Flight Instruction Royalty. As in flying, the King’s never stop learning. They are on a constant quest of knowledge which they then pass along to their customers. Not only do they seek knowledge, they “make” knowledge. They are active in partnering with the FAA in making new programs that allow for safer operation of general aviation aircraft. Their hope in making safety a priority and reducing the number of accidents in general aviation is that more people will come around to aviation.
Along with the future oriented mindset of increasing safety, The Kings also talked about other trends in the industry. One such of these being the drone industry. After only eight months of drones requiring to be registered by the government, they almost outnumber the amount of registered manned aircraft by 100%. That is large amount, but the number will only rise in coming years. The expectation is that there will be millions of drones sold next year and that has interesting consequences for manned pilots and the industry as a whole. Although they agreed that there may be a divide between manned and unmanned pilots, The Kings said that manned pilots need to welcome drone operators into their community. They said by doing that, even in small numbers, they will reduce the pilot shortage in America; which is a very big problem.
The pilot shortage in America was a big topic discussed by The Kings and it is obviously something near and dear to their heart, being pilots and leaders in the industry. They brought up other ideas to bring in new pilots. They compared how the United States certifies pilots versus certification standards in other countries. There are pros and cons on how other countries do their pilot training and certification. There was a lot to consider in their rules and how we can apply them to the United States to garner more pilots in the industry.
There are a lot of problems facing the aviation industry currently. From drones to Airmen Certification Standards, The Kings talked about the issues. They are playing an active role in finding solutions, as well. It was a pleasure to have Flight Instruction Royalty come and speak to the Wichita Aero Club.
September 27, 2016
Career Connections Are Waiting For You At WAC.
If you have a passion for aviation and are wondering where to get started, you’re in the right place! The Wichita Aero Club will inform, connect and empo
wer you straight to the career of your dreams. Aviation comes in all different shapes and sizes… and so do the Aero Club’s members. We’re individuals, big companies, small companies, old and young. But there’s one thing we all have in common. We love this industry! And what do you know, we’re lucky enough to live in the center of it all – the Air Capital of the World.
First of all, you should know that membership with the Wichita Aero Club gets you exclusive access to events and information. You want to network? Perfect. We host monthly luncheons where you can mingle, make incredible connections with those who have been in the industry for years, and listen to featured guests share their insights. We’re even gearing up to host John and Martha King for our October luncheon at Crestview Country Club! Plus, we get really excited about things like local flight training education opportunities, and restoring the historical B-29 named Doc.
So you should definitely consider membership with the WAC. You won’t regret it, and you’ll make some lifelong friendships in the process. It’s cost effective, too: individual membership is $100 per year. And if you’re a student, it’s only $35 per year! Want to convince your company to sign up? That’s fantastic – we’d love to have you. Get more information here!
Before you go, we want to share one more thing. In addition to monthly events, we also offer yearly scholarships to help promote financial assistance to aviation-related institutions. So get in the mix, and maybe even get some extra cash to help make your aviation dreams come true.
If you want it to happen, so do we!
September 12, 2016
Wichita, KS—John and Martha King may be among the most recognizable people in general aviation. Literally millions of GA pilots have taken flight instruction from them. They certainly are two flight instructors who have received more recognition—as in honors and awards—than any others, because their video flight training programs are not only exceptionally popular, they’re also exceptionally good! King School students start as beginners and can carry on until they become Air Transport Pilots or Certified Flight Instructors themselves. John and Martha have helped more than half a million pilots reach their aviation goals and their courses are so effective that more than 98% of their customers pass their FAA exams on their first try! No wonder they’re considered Flight Training “royalty.” Of course, having the surname “King” probably doesn’t hurt either! Whatever the reason, they’re bona fide experts on what’s happening when it comes to learning to fly—a subject that’s always been an extremely important one in Wichita, where more flight training aircraft have been built than anywhere else in the world. Join Us for Lunch! On Thursday, October 6, 2016 at noon, John and Martha will address the Wichita Aero Club luncheon in the Tapestry Dining Room at the Crestview Country Club located at 1000 North 127th Street East, between 13th Street and Central Avenue. It will be the first time that the WAC has met at Crestview for a luncheon. The Club is the site for the Aero Club’s annual Golf Classic each June. “We’re looking forward to hearing from the Kings on October 6,” said Dave Franson, president of the Wichita Aero Club, “because they are literally the world’s leaders in flight education. They have made pilot education available to the masses by putting their training seminars—which are exceptionally clear and easy to follow—on video and staying abreast of the technological advances and making those videos compatible with virtually all the multimedia devices. They are the first and only husband and wife to both hold every category and class of FAA pilot and instructor certificates. That also means they know what is happening in the flight instruction marketplace—how it is changing and evolving. How simulation is affecting it; how the aging fleet and the rising cost of new aircraft is impacting it. They certainly can offer some insight into the perceived future pilot shortage as the number of military and civilian trained pilots declines and the industry faces the concept of UAVs and drones in a re-defined and re-regulated next generation airport and airspace environment. I’m not trying to put a lot of pressure on them to address a lot of difficult issues, but these are two people for whom I have tremendous respect and I’m really anxious to hear their insight into the future of flight training because it all starts there.” The Wichita Aero Club luncheon will begin at noon at Crestview. Ample parking is available at the Country Club, which is located approximately half a mile east of the intersection of 13th Street and K-96 in East Wichita. The main entrance to the site is midway between 13th Street and Central on 127th Street East. Parking is available both to the north and south of the main Clubhouse. The luncheon is being held on the same day as the Economic Outlook Conference hosted by Wichita State University’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR) at Century II, which will also feature an aerospace panel consisting of Teal Group Analyst Richard Aboulafia, WAC Member and Cox Machine President, Jason Cox and WAC President Dave Franson. The EOC Aerospace event will conclude before the mid-morning break and the entire conference will end at 11:30 AM. Attendees of the EOC who wish to attend the WAC luncheon will be offered the WAC member discount of 25% simply by showing their name badge or ticket at the door. Cost of the WAC luncheon is $40 for non-members, $30 for members. Tickets may be purchased at the door or on-line at www.wichitaaeroclub.org using Pay Pal or credit card.
Questions? Call us at 316.641.5962 or 316.665.2699.