World’s foremost flight trainers feted at “A Night Among Kings” hosted by the Wichita Aero Club and Exploration Place

February 7, 2011 8:00am

Wichita, Kan. (Feb. 5, 2011) – A gathering of approximately 100 local government and business leaders were on hand at Wichita’s Exploration Place on Friday evening, February 4, 2011 for a reception honoring the world’s foremost flight trainers, John and Martha King of San Diego, California. Co-founders and principal instructors for the King Schools, the couple developed video curricula used by pilots worldwide to learn to fly. It is estimated that more than half of the pilots currently receiving instruction are using or have employed the Kings’ materials.

The event was co-sponsored by the Wichita Aero Club and Exploration Place and also included members of the Lindbergh Foundation board, of which the Kings are members, who were in Wichita to participate in a panel discussion on aviation and the environment at the Aero Club’s monthly networking luncheon on February 3. They included Kermit Weeks, founder of the Florida-based Fantasy of Flight Museum, futurist John Petersen, founder of the Arlington Institute Larry Williams, chief executive officer of BRS, Inc., makers of ballistic recovery whole-airplane parachute systems, who also serves as Chairman of the Lindbergh Foundation Board, and David Treinis, founder of Black Sheep Consulting and vice-chair of the Lindbergh Foundation Board.

“John and Martha King are so much a part of the current flight instruction landscape that it’s hard to imagine how it was done before they introduced their video instruction into the process,” said Dave Franson, executive director of the Wichita Aero Club while introducing the Kings. “It’s a great pleasure to have them here in the ‘Air Capital’ since they are, undoubtedly, indirectly responsible for increasing the market for Wichita-built airplanes by a significant amount.”

The Kings spoke briefly to the reception audience, which included several Sedgwick County (KS) Commissioners and local business leaders. In their typical alternating presentation style, they emphasized the importance of teaching youngsters math and science, encouraging them to pursue aviation-related activities and pointed to opportunities like Exploration Place’s Aviation Adventure Camps as outstanding ways to foster interest in flying. “With a dwindling pilot population, it’s all about attracting kids to careers in aviation,” John King said. He and Martha also emphasized what they referred to as “the dynamite elements of aviation training or TNT. Those letters stand for Trust, Needs, and Triumph,” they pointed out. “Trust is key to any student starting out to do something as exciting as learning to fly…and it’s important that, as instructors, we identify and meet their needs, especially since flight training is an investment of both resources and personal self esteem. The triumph comes with the successful completion of the challenges of learning to fly and the way that accomplishment can change the life and perception of the individual,” they concluded.

The Wichita Aero Club hosts monthly luncheons, an annual golf tournament (on June 12, 2011 at Crestview Country Club) and an awards dinner where it presents the Wichita Aero Club Trophy each year. Founded in October of 2008 to foster and promote interest in aviation, provide a forum focused on the industry’s issues and achievements and bring together those with a passion for flight in an environment that expands and enhances professional relationships and furthers cooperation and understanding, the Club is planning to host several other receptions and social events during the course of the year featuring aviation notables.