Dan Verda, Director of Operations and General Manager, Coast Flight Training RTP Facility, San Marcos TX
I am proud to announce that Coast Flight Training has added two new partner airlines to their Rotor Transition Program: Mesa Airlines and SkyWest Airlines. Adding these two, along with our current partner, Envoy Air, brings us to three regional carriers that we service with our world-class training program!
Coast’s Rotor Transition Program, with locations in San Diego, California and San Marcos, Texas is an accelerated program designed to get former military helicopter pilots the fixed-wing qualifications and flight time they need to qualify for jobs as First Officers with our partner airlines. Each person attending our program receives a tailor-made program that fits their needs based off of the amount of rotary and fixed-wing time that they already have. The ultimate goal: a job as First Officer at one of our premier partner airlines!
Coast Flight Training started the country’s very first rotor transition program back in the summer of 2016, and since opening its San Marcos, Texas location in January of 2017, has put over 300 people through training and into seats with regional carriers.
If you’re a military, former military, or civilian commercial helicopter pilot, all you need to qualify is your commercial rotorcraft helicopter certificate, a 1st class aeromedical certificate, and 750 flight hours in rotorcraft to qualify for the restricted ATP.
We’re excited to have Mesa and SkyWest aboard as our new partners, and we’re excited to continue to provide quality service to all our partner airlines as we continue to grow this program across the country and provide job opportunities to helicopter pilots nation-wide.
If you’re interested in a career with the airlines and think you qualify, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn, contact Coast Flight Training’s recruiting at 858-279-4359, or check out our website at www.iflycoast.com.
From the Marines to Coast Flight Training to a First Officer at Skywest Airlines
1. How did you first hear about Coast Flight?
I attended a Marine Corps Inactive Ready Reserve Muster held at PETCO Park.
2. Why did you choose Coast Flight?
Coast Flight allowed me to use my GI Bill to pay for flight training which made my dream a realistic prospect.
3. What are some of your favorite experiences you’ve had at Coast?
My favorite experiences were the times where I had the most trouble. My entire private pilot training was nothing but failure after failure after failure. I never once thought that I didn’t have what it took. I knew that I just needed more time. I was blessed to have instructors who never gave up on me and those experiences are the ones that taught me the most important lessons about perservence.
4. What are some of your favorite experiences you’ve had flying?
I got my CFII in September of 2016 which was perfect timing for the wettest winter I have experienced in San Diego. During that time, all of the instrument flying that I got a chance to do was the most exhillerating experiences I’d had to that point. It not only put my skills to the test but it also allowed me to train my instrument
4. What are some of your favorite experiences you’ve had flying?
I got my CFII in September of 2016 which was perfect timing for the wettest winter I have experienced in San Diego. During that time, all of the instrument flying that I got a chance to do was the most exhillerating experiences I’d had to that point. It not only put my skills to the test but it also allowed me to train my instrument students to the highest levels by incorporating scenario based training and enhanced weather awareness.
students to the highest levels by incorporating scenario based training and enhanced weather awareness.
Also, I flew to a little airport in Pismo beach with my best friend (who I happened to be giving instruction towards his MEI). We got some beach cruisers at the FBO and rode into town to have burgers at a local spot before flying back.
5. What are you most excited about with SkyWest?
I want to change people’s lives. It’s the little things that matter when it comes to customer service and I want to be the guy that creates a positive and lasting impression on someone. I want people to be as excited about flying as I am.
6. How was your transition from student to instructor at Coast?
In my experience, the transition happened over the course of about 8 months. From the time I had my instrument rating and I started getting halfway decent at flying, I spent a lot of time teaching people what I had learned. I led study groups and even flew with other students well before I become an instructor. I eventually got my Ground Instrutor Certificate and was actually hired as a ground instructor teaching 3 hour or more classroom lectures in addition to one on one sessions. When it was time to take my CFI checkride, I was already an instructor. I believed in myself, I just had to make the examiner believe.
7. Do you have any advice you’d share with prospective pilots?
I would urge pilots at any level to never stop learning. Spend time actively trying to find ways to challenge yourself so that you can get better. It will make you a more proficient and safer aviator.
8. Tell us about your time in the military. What branch and rank were you?
I was a corporal of Marines and was fortunate enough to be able to serve overseas in Okinawa, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Bahrain over a 4 year period. My job title was Bulk Fuel Specialist so I built portable fuel farms and dispensed JP-8 for both ground and air operations.
9. How did you get into photography? What’s your inspiration?
I was always into looking at things. It sounds weird, but if you stare at anything long enough your imagination can take you to some interesting places. You can build stories and worlds in your mind. It’s uncanny, but I’ve been doing that for years and my outlet for my imagination was writing and playing music. Well anyway, I guess I got kind of good at iphoneography (which is like a real term these days). People would compliment my instagram stuff more and more often. It was fun for me, but mostly trivial. Then one day, a fellow student at Coast handed me a DSLR and told me to learn how to use it. IT changed my life. Instantly after looking through that glass I knew that I could actually create art! I was stunned by how much better a photograph could actually look. I guess my goal with photography is share what I see when I view the world. A photographer(s) that stands out to me as a primary influence is John and Debora Scanlan.
In March 2018, Coast Flight welcomes 2 Tecnam P2006T Twin aircraft to our fleet.
These aircraft will allow us to offer more flight times and a quicker way to move through multi-engine ratings. Additionally, the Tecnam is ideal for flight training with the advanced Garmin G950 IFR avionics. These aircraft are fuel efficient and have upgraded avionics for ease and comfort. Start your multi-engine flight ratings today!
Exterior and Interior
Equipped with four passenger seats and fully retractable landing gear, this high-winged aircraft has high quality cabin visibility and room for passengers and luggage. The aluminum aircraft is spacious and light, resulting in a high payload to total weight ratio. The fuel tanks are onboard the engines, and each hold 26.4 gallons of fuel.
These aircraft come with upholstered seats and headrests with vertical adjustment capabilities to allow comfort for pilots and passengers of all sizes. There is one vent outlet per passenger (4 total), and both heating and defrost systems to keep the cabin that perfect temperature and avoid frost on the windows.
Weight and Dimensions
Each Tecnam P2006T is 8.46 feet high by 28.5 feet long, with a wingspan of 37.4 feet. The cabin width is 4 feet, and it comes with room for four passengers. These Tecnams are designed for a maximum takeoff weight of 2,712 pounds, allowing for baggage up to 176 pounds and a useful load of 906 pounds. These aircraft are spacious enough to fly comfortably, and with the fuel storage ability, you can fly across thecountry in them.
Engine and Performance
These aircraft are ideal for general aviation airports and transportation as they use minimal fuel. They can travel 669 NM at a time, and are great for VFR day and night flights, as well as IFR training. The have a max cruising speed of 150 KTAS and run best on Mogas and Avgas fuel, of which they only consume 9 gallons per hour.
All two of the new aircraft are less than 5 years old and come with Garmin G950 IFR avionics upgrades. This upgraded system includes G950 Integrated Flight Deck System, GDU-1040 Primary Flight Display and Multi-Function Display, GDC-74A Air Data Computer with Oat Probe, and GRS-77 AHRS. It also comes with the GMU-44 Magnetometer, Digital Audio Panel with Marker Beacon Intercom, Mod S Transponder, and Back Up Instruments. These aircraft also have integrated control which is displayed on PFD.
These new additions to the Coast Flight fleet are ready to take you to the sky. We have extended our booking capabilities and would love to get you scheduled for your first flight in a Tecnam P2006T today!
In the aviation industry there are a handful of milestones that every pilot looks forward to. Once you begin flight training, the first one of these is your first solo flight. But how do you celebrate such a big accomplishment?
There are two main ways of celebrating a pilot’s first solo flight in the industry. One tradition includes cutting the back of the pilot’s shirt off to symbolize cutting the end of the student “riding the instructor’s coattails.” While this is a very visually symbolic way to celebrate, and it leaves the pilot with a keepsake to look at in the future, fewer flight schools are staying with this tradition and more are switching over to the Solo Dunk.
At Coast Flight, we celebrate every first Solo Flight with a Solo Dunk. Everyone in our facility will gather around the pilot, taking pictures and videos while the pilot’s flight instructor has the honor of dumping a bucket of water on the pilot’s head. The pilot is then congratulated by the entire Coast community and has a good laugh while rewatching the videos.
This month, Coast had two very special Solo Flights take place, and they were quickly followed by the Solo Dunk celebration: Adam Vornsand and Nick Cline. Adam and Nick both won scholarships through Coast Flight at the beginning of the summer, and they’ve been working hard with their instructors to learn the ins and outs of flight and aircraft. Both pilots successfully took their first Solo Flights in a Piper Archer, and now have one major milestone checked off their list, with many more to come!
Coast Flight has partnered with Envoy Air, an American Airlines subsidiary, to ensure our students receive the greatest benefits and job security in the industry. Students in the Airline Direct (AD) or Airline Career Training (ACT) Programs can build seniority for Envoy while they flight instruct to build their 1,500 hours of flying time. Once there, they’ll enter Envoy’s Pipeline program with flow through to American Airlines, allowing them to join the top paying company in the industry.
Just when we thought we had seen it all from Cirrus, they came out with an aircraft that seems like a dream: the Cirrus Vision Jet. The Vision Jet is a one of a kind personal jet that doesn’t fit any of the pre-existing jet categories. It was built with the Cirrus pilot in mind, created to burn about half the fuel of a light jet, and be cheaper than the single-engine turboprops that can’t fly as high or fast. The Vision Jet is a personal jet created to need no flight crew; if you’re a Cirrus Pilot, it’ll take almost no time to start flying your own Vision Jet.
The Vision Jet was created to almost mirror the Cirrus piston aircraft, with switches in the same locations. It also includes the signature Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), which is a first for a turbine-powered aircraft. While this is one of the smaller personal jets, the Vision Jet has plenty of room for up to 7 people and their baggage. Because Cirrus wants to make the perfect jet for their customers, the seating plan is completely customizable, so you can have more room for passengers or luggage, depending on what works best for you. The large windows let in a lot of natural light, and there is plenty of headroom in the cabin for everyone to relax and enjoy the flight.
The Cirrus Vision Jet is on the smaller side of personal jets, with a length of 30 feet 7 inches and height of 10 feet 9 inches. The cabin width is just over 5 feet and roughly 4 feet tall. The wingspan of the Vision Jet is 38 feet 7 inches. This new personal jet has plenty of room for all of your belongings, with a maximum ramp weight of 6,040 pounds and takeoff weight of 6,000 pounds. The jet’s basic empty weight is 3,572 pounds. The Vision Jet also gets great fuel mileage, with a maximum fuel weight of 4,900 pounds and maximum usable fuel of 2,000 pounds.
The new Cirrus Vision Jet, model FJ33-5A, is manufactured by Williams International and has a thrust of approximately 1,800 pounds. In order to take off, the Vision Jet requires 2,036 feet, and 3,192 feet to takeoff over a 50-foot obstacle. The stall speed with flaps is 67 knots, and max cruising speed is 300 KTAS, with a landing ground roll of 1,628 feet.
These jets come with the following benefits as part of the standard Vision Jet: CAPS, Cirrus Perspective Touch by Garmin Cockpit, Flight Into Known Ice System, modular seating for five adults, air conditioning with climate control, 3-point crew airbag seatbelts, large windows for perfect visibility, leather interior, and 4 USB power ports. The Vision Jet fits perfectly inside the standard 40-foot hangar for easy storage.
Customers can upgrade their Vision Jets to include: 6th and 7th third-row seats, entertainment display, 115V AC power, multi-zone climate controls, WiFi ground links, Perspective Global Connect, dual-tone paint, enhanced interior lighting, Perspective ECS, and enhanced real-time weather radar.
Being part of the Cirrus Life means using your personal aircraft to better your flying experience and avoid overwhelming it with complex operating systems. That is why the Vision Jet is perfect for every Cirrus Pilot! No additional crew is required to fly the Jet, alleviating one additional stress of planning flights.
If you’re interested in purchasing your own Cirrus Vision Jet, Coast Flight is happy to help ensure you get the perfect aircraft! Contact us for all your flight training and management needs.
In a recent blog post, we announced that Adam Varnsand and Nick Cline won the Coast Flight Grand Aviation Scholarships. Adam was the grand prize winner, receiving a scholarship for $75,000 to cover his flight training from Private Pilot (PPL) to Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), and Nick was awarded a scholarship for 50% off his flight training costs at Coast. Since receiving the exciting news of winning these scholarships, these two young men have begun the process of joining Coast’s Airline Direct Program by interviewing with Envoy Air to receive their Conditional Offers of Employment. The two interviewed with Natalie Nielsen, Envoy’s Director of Pilot Recruitment, and David Streit, Envoy’s Pilot Recruiter, on May 15th, and are planning their training start dates.
We’ll be checking in with Nick and Adam throughout their time at Coast Flight to see their progress and what they’ve been able to accomplish with this amazing scholarship opportunity. However, before they even begin, we were eager to sit down with Adam and ask him a few questions about his dream of becoming an airline pilot. Here’s what he had to say:
I’ve always had a passion for flying. The first time I realized that I wanted to make flying my profession was probably in middle school. My teacher had us research careers that we were interested in for an essay and I decided to do some research on becoming a pilot. After my research, my general admiration for flight turned into my professional goal.
My favorite lesson so far is the lesson on weather because an understanding of weather patterns is critical for safe flight. I found it so interesting that I did more research on weather patterns and predictions to the point where, during our most recent storm, I was following along on the radar images of the storm as it moved through and I endeavored to anticipate the path of the system.
I’m most excited about getting my Certified Flight Instructor Rating so that I can teach other people and share my passion for flying with others. However, I also think this will be the most difficult certification to get because not only will I have to know the information, but I’ll have to know it well enough to teach others.
As a casual history buff, I’d like to visit culturally significant, but easily accessible historical sites. I’d love to use my passion for flight to further my interests in history around the world. Eventually, I’d like to visit every one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, including Machu Picchu and the Great Barrier Reef.
After answering our questions, we asked Adam to about his excitement for this new opportunity. He shared that he couldn’t wait to start training and was extremely grateful for the opportunity Coast Flight has given him. We have no doubt that Adam and Nick will bring a lot to the Coast Flight family, and we can’t wait to see them progress to their dream career as professional airline pilots.
Read how the Grand Aviation Scholarship was awarded in our previous blog.
These two men have been awarded Coast Flight’s Grand Aviation Scholarships, and will now begin their career as airline pilots.
Adam and Nick, along with 23 other students, won Coast’s Ground School Scholarship, which covered the cost of their Private Pilot Ground School. At the end of the course, all 25 students took their written exam, and then those with the highest scores combined with regular participation and professionalism, were invited to interview with Coast Flight Executives as finalists. Four students made it into the interview round, and Adam and Nick were chosen as the winners.
Now that Adam and Nick have committed to following their dreams to becoming professional pilots, their journey is ready to begin. On May 15th, the two will interview with Envoy Air to receive their individual offers of employment before they begin training at Coast Flight. After their interviews, here’s a breakdown of what their pathway to becoming professional pilots will look like:
Adam and Nick will begin their first steps in becoming professional pilots at Coast Flight. Coast offers some of the highest quality training available and has been recognized with several awards of flight training achievements. These two will receive individualized training and education to meet their needs to succeed in the program.
After receiving their Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) rating, Adam and Nick can start working as flight instructors. They’ll get paid while they work to finish their 1,500 hours required to be employable by commercial airlines. After graduating, these two will have roughly 280 hours of flight under their belt. Fortunately, with Coast, they can get paid to reach their 1,500 hour goal by working for Envoy Air at Coast Flight. All of the benefits of being employed by Envoy Air will begin as Adam and Nick help new pilots learn to fly.
Upon completion of their 1,500 hours, Adam and Nick will be able to begin flying with Envoy Air. Envoy operates regional flights as an American Airlines subsidiary, and will give the guys an opportunity to begin flying larger aircraft with more passengers. Envoy offers an industry-leading flow-through to American, providing Adam and Nick a direct path to the career of their dreams.
After three to five years at Envoy air, the guys will be able to continue their airline careers with American Airlines. In only seven years from the day they start training, they will be fully immersed in the career they’ve always wanted. Once Adam and Nick begin their careers with American Airlines, they will enter in line for seniority progression. The longer they fly, the more money they make – top pilots make over $300,000 a year to work only a few trips every month. They’ll also get to pick routes, utilize travel benefits, and enjoy seeing the word.
Coast is extremely happy to offer this opportunity to Adam and Nick, and can’t wait to see them progress through their airline careers.
Additionally, Coast is pleased to have an offer for the students who didn’t win the Grand Aviation Scholarship. For those 23 students, Coast was still able to offer them a partial scholarship to continue their flight training. If the student attended all ground school classes, he or she was offered a mini scholarship of $10,000. This amount is to be applied to his or her flight training in Coast’s Airline Direct program, and will be divided in $2,000 increments towards the Private Pilot, Instrument, Single Engine Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor, and Certified Instrument Instructor ratings. Coast flight is pleased to remain at the forefront of the flight training industry and is eager to help these students advance their careers.
This year, Earth Day is on Saturday, April 22nd, and the airline industry has some creative ways to celebrate and contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions produced. Currently the airline industry is responsible for about 2% of global carbon emissions and that number is expected to exponentially grow, hitting 22% by 2050. As a result, the industry has recognized that is has a responsibility to keep our air clean and reduce as much negative environmental impact as possible. Here are some of the most creative ways we can see the airline industry helping keep our Earth clean:
The Solar Impulse was the first solar powered airplane to fly across the United States, through the night, and between continents. The First Round-The-World Solar Flight was manned by pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, and lasted from March 2015 through July 2015. This aircraft was the first to fly completely on solar power, with absolutely no fuel, leading to a cleaner way of air travel.
The crew was the first to fly five days and five nights straight solely using solar power, setting countless records, and more importantly, setting a new challenge for the airline industry. According to Bertrand Piccard, “The problem with our society is that, despite all the grand talk about sustainable development, we are a long way from making use of the clean technologies that are already available to us. Those solutions bring opportunities to create jobs, make profit, sustain the growth of the industry, and at the same time protect the environment.” Piccard and Borschberg want the airline industry, and the world, to explore the possibilities of clean, renewable energies like solar power and get creative with the future of flight.
“Boeing airplanes use 70 percent less fuel now compared with the start of the Jet Age through technology alone,” shared Julie Felgar, the managing director of Commercial Airplane’s Environmental Strategy and Integration team. To continue increasing this percentage, Boeing has recently released its family of Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
The 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliners are both roughly 20% more fuel efficient than the airplanes they were created to replace, while the 787-10 is 25% more fuel efficient. Because of this, less fuel is used, producing less carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Additionally, the new Dreamliner family now flies more direct routes, meaning less fuel is used to make stops along the way. The Dreamliner aircraft are also larger in space, meaning more people and baggage can fly with the same amount of fuel being used.
American Airlines is also working to reduce carbon emissions through replacing their fleet with new, more energy efficient models. Their goal is to fly the youngest U.S. based fleet internationally, and replace older aircraft which burn more fuel, produce more emissions, and have increased energy costs. Newer aircrafts are made to burn less fuel and utilize new energy technology, so the change in fleet will greatly decrease American’s contribution to carbon emissions and fuel inefficiency. American Airlines is proud to boast that they have played a key role in U.S. based airlines reducing emissions by 3.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from 1978 to 2012. They’ve been at the forefront of the environmentally friendly flight industry, and plan to remain innovative and key players in the changes to come.
Industry leaders are making the following changes to help contribute to reducing carbon footprints:
The United Nations’ Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) met in October of 2013 and signed an unprecedented agreement to stop emissions caused by international aviation at 2020. After this, ICAO agreed that all growth must be carbon-neutral, if not carbon-negative. From 2021 through 2026, 65 countries have agreed to participate in the process of becoming carbon-neutral. Starting in 2027, participation will be mandatory for all major countries. This stands to be a long-term plan for the aviation industry to reduce its carbon emissions and contribute to the well-being of our planet.
The 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship is underway and, for the first time in eight year, it’ll be coming back to San Diego, CA. The Air Race came to town for the first time in 2007, then again in 2008, and 2009. After an eight year hiatus, the competition will come to San Diego for its second stop on April 15th and 16th.
Today, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship is known as the fastest and most exhilarating motorsport competition ever. The competition was conceptualized in 2002, and executed for the first time in 2003. The concept was to create the most advanced aerial challenge in existence, and the expectations were quickly met and exceeded. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship quickly gaining mass interest from pilots and fans alike.
This race is now a huge spectacle with its combination of low altitude, high speed, and extreme maneuverability. These characteristics are what attract the top 14 pilots in the world to spend months fighting to win the title of World Champion.
In order to win, these pilots must navigate their way around an aerial racetrack, maneuvering through 82 feet high pylons with minimal spacing and extreme accuracy. The goal of each race is to get the highest points by flying the fastest possible time and collecting the least amount of penalties. At the end of each Race Day, pilots are awarded points based on which place they finished in, and at the end of the nine month race season, the pilot with the greatest number of points is named the Red Bull Air Race World Champion.
The Master Class category is the group of pilots all spectators come to see. They’re the best of the best, and the ones battling for the title of 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Champion. Here’s a rundown of what these pilots’ schedule looks like:
In addition to the competition to become the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Champion, there is another race which takes place during each event: The Challenger Cup. This is a division of newer pilots who are just dipping their toes in the world of thrilling motor sports. In this division, nine pilots race to develop their low altitude flying skills within racing conditions. By adding this introduction to the sport, safety is increased as pilots get a taste of the true competition before entering the Master Class category.
With only one stop under their belt, the pilots are all standing an equal shot at first place for the 2017 season. Thus far Martin Sonka from the Czech Republic is in first with 15 points, followed by Juan Velarde of Spain with 12 points, and Pete McLeod of Canada with 9 points.
Cirrus Aircraft is sponsoring Michael Goulian, who took 6th place in Abu Dhabi, but has much higher expectations for his time in San Diego. After taking home the first DHL Fastest Lap of the season, Goulian and the entire Cirrus team are eager for the next race to be under way.
If you’re interested in attending the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship event in San Diego, tickets can be found here: https://www.universe.com/users/red-bull-air-race-san-diego-4TR9SB.