Category Archives: In The News

Taking Off: CA-Based Flight Training Company Expands Into San Marcos

San Diego, CA – Coast Flight Training is expanding from its San Diego headquarters to establish a second location for its airline flight-training program in San Marcos, TX. The new training facilities in San Marcos will focus on training U. S. Military helicopter pilots who are transitioning to in-demand careers as civilian airline pilots for the nation’s top airlines.

The U.S. airline industry is facing a critical shortage of pilots, with more than 617,000-trained pilots needed by 2035 according to studies by Boeing. Pilots earn an average of $58,000 starting salary, plus benefits including travel, climbing to more than $100,000 annually after a few years in the industry, and potentially exceeding $300, 000 annually during a career.

“We are very pleased to be opening a Coast location in San Marcos, where we have been welcomed with open arms by the City, Greater San Marcos Partnership, and in particular Texas Aviation Partners. They created a very positive business environment for us to invest here, create jobs, and help veterans achieve great success for themselves and their families,” said Bryan Simmons, President of Coast Flight Training. A retired United States Marine and military flight instructor, Simmons served as Presidential Command pilot for two U. S. Presidents.

“Having diverse training options available for your workforce is critical to a community’s strong economy,” said Greater San Marcos Partnership President Adriana Cruz. “The Greater San Marcos region’s large veteran population and proximity to major military operations in Austin and San Antonio coupled with the opportunities found in the San Marcos Regional Airport made the Coast Flight facility an excellent fit. GSMP is thrilled to welcome Coast Flight to the San Marcos Regional Airport and we look forward to the doors their program will open for our area residents and veterans.”

“Coast Flight’s choice of San Marcos shows the true value of our airport in our economic development effort,” said City Councilman and Airport Board Chairman, Scott Gregson. “Increased utilization of our facility and being involved with re-training our veterans to help solve a critical shortage of pilots is a win-win for everyone.”

Partnering with Envoy Air/American Airlines Group, Coast Flight Training instructors will launch the first Rotary Transition Program (RTP) class in San Marcos in early 2017, providing complete transition training of Helicopter pilots to meet FAA fixed wing requirements, along with a conditional offer of employment with Envoy/American Airlines upon successful completion of training and certification.

“Envoy Air is proud to team with Coast to launch this new program in Texas, and to promote commercial aviation as a rewarding career for our U. S. Military Veterans. Coast Flight offers outstanding training and produces well qualified pilots that are ready to join the Envoy/American Airlines Group team, and we welcome them to Texas,” said Ric Wilson, Vice President of Flight Operations, Envoy Air.

The RTP is specifically designed to meet the needs of experienced helicopter pilots, who already have valuable skills that can quickly translate to civilian employment. After approximately 90 days of training, pilots will join the Envoy/American Airlines team, which is making the RTP possible for Veterans by providing tuition assistance and a generous hiring bonus.

U.S. Military Helicopter Pilots to train for careers with Envoy/American Airlines

Coast Flight Training is expanding from its San Diego headquarters to establish a second location for its airline flight training program in San Marcos, TX.

The new training facilities in San Marcos will focus on training U. S. Military helicopter pilots who are transitioning to in-demand careers as civilian airline pilots for the nation’s top airlines.

The U.S. airline industry is facing a critical shortage of pilots, with more than 617,000 trained pilots needed by 2035 according to studies by Boeing. Pilots earn an average of $58,000 starting salary, plus benefits including travel, climbing to more than $100,000 annually after a few years in the industry, and potentially exceeding $300,000 annually during a career.

“We are very pleased to be opening a Coast location in San Marcos, where we have been welcomed with open arms by the City, Greater San Marcos Partnership, and in particular Texas Aviation Partners. They created a very positive business environment for us to invest here, create jobs, and help veterans achieve great success for themselves and their families,” said Bryan Simmons, President of Coast Flight Training. A retired United States Marine and military flight instructor, Simmons served as Presidential Command pilot for two U. S. Presidents.

“Coast Flight’s choice of San Marcos shows the true value of our airport in our economic development effort,” said City Councilman and Airport Board Chairman, Scott Gregson. “Increased utilization of our facility and being involved with re-training our veterans to help solve a critical shortage of pilots is a

“Increased utilization of our facility and being involved with re-training our veterans to help solve a critical shortage of pilots is a win-win for everyone.”

Partnering with Envoy Air/American Airlines Group, Coast Flight Training instructors will launch the first Rotary Transition Program (RTP) class in San Marcos in early 2017, providing complete transition training of Helicopter pilots to meet FAA fixed wing requirements, along with a conditional offer of employment with Envoy/American Airlines upon successful completion of training and certification. “Envoy Air is proud to team with Coast to launch this new program in Texas, and to promote commercial aviation as a rewarding career for our U. S. Military Veterans. Coast Flight offers outstanding training and produces

“Envoy Air is proud to team with Coast to launch this new program in Texas, and to promote commercial aviation as a rewarding career for our U. S. Military Veterans. Coast Flight offers outstanding training and produces well-qualified pilots that are ready to join the Envoy/American Airlines Group team, and we welcome them to Texas,” said Ric Wilson, Vice President Flight Operations, Envoy Air.

The RTP is specifically designed to meet the needs of experienced helicopter pilots, who already have valuable skills that can quickly translate to civilian employment. After approximately 90 days of training, pilots will join the Envoy/American Airlines team, which is making the RTP possible for Veterans by providing tuition assistance and a generous hiring bonus.

Coast Flight, founded in 2008 has been one of San Diego’s fastest growing companies, three years running. Coast is a FAA Part-141 flight school and is TSA and SEVP approved to host international students. Coast is also an acknowledged leader in Cirrus training and has been designated by Cirrus Aircraft as a Cirrus Platinum Training Center.

Aviation Career Day Nov. 12 at Montgomery-Gibbs Airport

San Diego, CA – Coast Flight Training and Envoy Air/American Airlines Group are hosting a free Aviation Career Day on Saturday, November 12, Noon to 4 pm, at Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport and teaming up to provide scholarship opportunities for high school seniors and recent graduates with a passion for flight. The U.S. airline industry is facing a critical shortage of trained airline pilots, with more than 600,000 trained pilots needed by 2035 according to studies by Boeing. Pilots earn an average of $58,000 starting salary, plus benefits including travel, climbing to more than $100,000 annually after a few years in the industry, and potentially exceeding $300,000 annually during a career.

To help young adults pursue these in-demand jobs, Envoy Air/American Airlines Group and Coast Flight Training will provide 15 students with full scholarships for 30 hours of Ground School at Montgomery Field in Spring 2017. One successful Ground School graduate will earn a full tuition Grand Scholarship for a complete FAA-certified Private Pilot, Instrument, Commercial and Certified Flight Instructor Ratings, along with a conditional offer of employment from Envoy/American Airlines Group upon successful completion of training and certification (Grand Scholarship is valued at over $73,000).”Envoy Air is proud to support Aviation Career Day which will educate and promote aviation as a rewarding and attainable career. We are excited to partner in the scholarship and look forward to the recipient becoming an Envoy Air pilot,” said Ric Wilson, Vice President of Flight Operation, Envoy Air.

Scholarship applications for Ground School will be available at Aviation Career Day, which will feature the opportunity to sit in the cockpits of Coast aircraft, experience flight simulators, talk with pilots, flight instructors, and enjoy refreshments at the airfield. Register at www.iflycoast.com/career-day to attend and pick up a scholarship application at the event. “I applaud American Airlines, Envoy, and Coast Flight for taking a pro-active approach and looking locally to meet the needs of the innovative airline industry,” said Chris Cate, San Diego City Councilmember in District 6, the home of the City’s Montgomery-Gibbs airfield and many aviation industry businesses. “Coast is excited about introducing talented young people to the potential careers and pathways to train for these high paying and rewarding careers – which do not require a four year college degree,” said Bryan Simmons, President of Coast Flight Training. A retired United States Marine and military flight instructor, Simmons served as Presidential Command pilot for two U. S. Presidents.

Eight Students Receive Employment Offers to SkyWest Airlines

OTTUMWA — The Indian Hills Aviation Pilot Training Program is really taking off.

Wednesday morning, eight students enrolled in the Airline Career Training (ACT) Program received a conditional employment agreement with SkyWest Airlines after they finish their Associate of Applied Science degree.

This means that as long as students complete their program, with enough hours and flight experience, they will automatically be offered a position as a first officer at the airlines, based in San Diego, California.

“It’s basically like a gift card,” said Darren Graham, director of aviation programs and chief flight instructor at Indian Hills. “We give this to them as they go through training, and they don’t have to use it if they don’t want to, but it’s a great for students, and many are focused on going there right after the program.”

The applicants have had lots of training and interview practice up to this point. On Saturday, recruiters from SkyWest conducted interviews with the potential students. They awarded conditional job offers to students with outstanding interviews, high test scores and other criteria.

Graham believes this partnership with SkyWest is extremely valuable.

“We hope this program will attract new students to the industry; just like in any field, students go through all of the training then get experience, but when it’s time to interview, 50 percent don’t get hired,” said Graham. “We want to change that.”

This is the first year that the ACT program has been on the Indian Hills campus. ACT started a year prior via the Coast Flight Training in San Diego.

Graham thinks this program will bring a new sense of professionalism to the aviation program.

“This will raise the bar for our program — it’ll bring a whole new level of professionalism and safety — students are not only representing themselves and Indian Hills but they will be a representative of SkyWest Airlines and the ACT program,” said Graham.

Thatcher Carel, Kasey Murphy, Luis Zelaya, Brennan Parker, Levi Riddick, Aaron Riche, Tim Menninga and Robert Dodd were all conditionally given offers through the program.

Indian Hills flight instructor Michael O’Connor was conditionally accepted into the SkyWest Bridge program. The purpose of this program is to help bridge the gap between completion of CFI certification and building the minimum ATP qualifications as a pilot at SkyWest Airlines.

The SkyWest aircraft participants will fly 65-80 people. For more information on the ACT program, contact Graham at 641-683-4254.

Coast Flight Training Names Col Jeff Bushell, USAF (Ret.) Director of Education and Aviation Standards

Coast Flight Training has created a new position to foster the highest quality preparation for its pilot trainees and has named Col. Jeff Bushnell, USAF (Ret.) Director of Education and Aviation Standards. The retired Air Force colonel, flight examiner and squadron commander brings 43 years of military and airline aviation experience. Col. Bushnell retired from Continental Airlines with over 20,000 flight hours.

“Jeff brings over forty years of experience training pilots to military and commercial aviation standards,” said Will Dryden, Coast Flight’s President. “Jeff developed scenario-based training (SBT) while in the Air Force, long ago adapting it to the commercial carriers and has developed and ushered through the FAA-approval of Coast Flight’s unique scenario-based training program. Among other benefits of this proprietary scenario-based training, student pilots fly the same routes to the same airports as the airlines while training through various high traffic zones; they finish their training more than prepared for an airline job.”

Col. Bushnell served 29 years in the US Air Force Reserves where he began as a pilot, then instructed and tested new pilots, served as Squadron Commander and Wing Inspector General, and finally retired in 1999 as Reserve Advisor to Director of Requirements for the USAF.

In addition to a successful military career, Col. Bushnell worked in the airline industry for People Express Airlines and later Continental Airlines. He developed People Express’s Scenario-Based Training program for the B727 modeled after protocols he designed for the USAF.

Under its Aviation Career Training (ACT) Program, Coast Flight’s four-tiered pre-screening process, Coast Flight advocates for each applicant to ensure they meet the criteria to become a professional pilot, empowering candidates to make informed decisions prior to investing in an aviation career.

“Candidates don’t waste time and money without first knowing if they qualify. Coast Flight’s primary business goal is to create professional, responsible, highly trained pilots who the airlines will hire,” said Mr. Dryden. “We measure our success by the success of our candidates.”