What does this means to you [students of Quality Flight Training and Costa Papanicolaou]?
First and foremost, to all my [Costa’s] students, I [Costa] will continue to be your instructor, continue to provide the same individualized service, and we will continue to fly the quality aircraft that you have come to expect. That said, you will now have MORE options – joining with Third Coast Aviation LLC (TCA) gives us access to a fleet of aircraft ranging from our 145ME to complex and high performance aircraft as well.
Second, we will now have a fully approved (hence log-able), modern, flight simulator to aid in our training. Instrument students will most certainly benefit from this greatly and for primary training we now have the tools to provide training even if weather conditions do not permit flight! Also, this gives the opportunity to prep for a variety of avionics configurations such as [Garmin] G1000 glass cockpit.
Third, the cost of your flight training will NOT be significantly altered. As you know, currently the aircraft rents for $120 per hour plus book rate on fuel and the instructor fee is $55 per hour. After the transition is finalized, the rental cost of the aircraft will increase by $20, HOWEVER, the instructor rate will drop to $65 per hour billable only during the period of time you are actively engaged with the instructor as apposed to a flat rate, and the fuel cost covered. This balancing aspect will keep your costs more or less on par with what you have come to expect from Quality Flight Training.
Fourth, TCA is a growing enterprise. This means that for those students who are pursuing a commercial certificate, this joining will provide a ready made path to join professional aviation as TCA hopes to recruit commercial pilots from within our flight training school.
Fifth, TCA will provide a TCA Student Association which you will have access to if you wish. It is in no way required, but you can sign up any time to get the services it provides. These services include:
- Access to rent all aircraft in the fleet for your personal use (Note that renting of the aircraft will not be available to the general public to ensure quality control over who is flying).
- You will receive one hour of free sim time every month on our Elite Systems PI-1000 Professional AATD 5-screen flight Simulator.
- The Association will keep track of when you are due for your Bi-annual and/or IPC and provide it as part of the Association membership.
- At any time that you need currency (night landings, passenger carrying requirements, etc.) a CFI will be included as part of your Association membership.
- For any new aircraft brought on the flight line you will be provided a CFI for an aircraft check-out to ensure you are competent and comfortable in the aircraft.
- Every month, there will be an Association Members Seminar provided at no cost, wherein topics in regulations, avionics and safety will be discussed and a refresher seminar on a monthly rotating schedule will be provided as well (topics of airspace, weather, performance charts, etc.).
The cost of joining and getting all the above services will be a $99 annual payment and Association dues of $40 monthly. Again, not a requirement but available to all.
Finally, joining with TCA will provide a number of other services which I, operating alone, would not be able to bring you. The flight school will be staffed during normal business hours so you can call any time and reach a staff member for concerns regarding scheduling, checking out the aircraft for solo flights, booking sim time and the like. There will now be an accounts department to answer any questions regarding billing or help make payment arrangements. And, finally, there will be additional CFIs available should I not be available or should you just need to ask questions as you progress through your training.
All in all, I am very pleased to make this merger and believe you will be as well. You will receive a follow up e-mail with all the details when the process of merging is complete within the next two weeks and, in the mean time, everything will remain just as it always has.
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