Thu, Jun 21, 2012
It was quite an event... and one that featured a unique brand of excitement that we do not see too often in the GA world anymore -- the feeling that something "really different" is right around the corner.
The event we speak of was Redbird Skyport's 'birthday' of November 8th, 2011 -- a date to remember... for the first time in a LONG time, aviation industry luminaries gathered together to celebrate the start of something unique, innovative and utterly NEW. A multi-faceted aviation research and development laboratory, located in San Marcos, TX, the Redbird Skyport is the culmination of the efforts of Redbird Flight Simulations and King Schools and is supported by a growing number of industry partners.
Skyport is designed to be the first step in developing solutions to the challenges of a shrinking pilot population, staggering student drop-out rate and the ever increasing cost of flight training. The innovative aviation laboratory will include a full service FBO, flight school, and aviation experience center. All aspects of the project will provide a test bed for innovative hardware, software, business processes and ideas with the goal of revitalizing general aviation.
The event also provided an excellent chance to gauge the potential impact on the GA world, as judged by a number of industry vets and experts... folks like outgoing Avemco Boss, Jim Lauerman... a guy who know his way around the flight training biz in no small way. Lauerman's bio notes that with over 4,000 hours of flight time, his career has spanned almost every aspect of general aviation. Starting in the Navy as an acoustic sensor operator aboard a P-3 Orion, he eventually 'went civilian' where he purchased and managed his own flight school and Grumman-American dealership, which he later sold to become Chief Pilot and Chief Flight Instructor at Elliot Beechcraft. In 1985, National Aviation Underwriters recruited him to enter the aviation insurance profession and was eventually promoted to Vice President of US Specialty Insurance Company (USSIC) and later, became the Executive Vice President of Operations at Avemco. He became President of Avemco in 2007 and retired in January of 2012.
Join Aero-TV and Jim Lauerman for a look at the potential of the Redbird experiment.
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