The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated aviation, including most flight schools. In this video from AVweb, Paul Bertorelli interviews three flight school operators and we hear what they’re doing to mitigate infection risks for pilots, students and instructors. But in the end, you’re on your own to determine what you think the risk is.


  1. Good information. Though our flight school regularly does the precautionary things mentioned, this serves as a good “checklist” when students inquire “what are you doing to help keep me safe if I take training there?”

    I also liked Paul’s unique position in the video–superimposing himself on the view of the Cub panel makes it look like he is sitting in the rear seat facing backward in flight–a unique way of “distancing” himself from the front seat occupant.

    Hard to read the instrument panel backward (fortunately, there aren’t many instruments to read!) Perhaps the compass is printed in reverse so it can be read in a mirror–like a DC-9! (laugh)

  2. Good topic. I noticed during the interviews that there is an awareness. A recognition of the contagiousness of the covid-19 virus and its scope. But, as we rollon, it looks like we are getting sloppy. Maybe relaxing our guard just a bit too much. We have a population of over 330 million people in the US and the covid likes that. We have the largest flight training populous and the covid-19 likes that too. Social distancing seems to work, but it’s not possible during dual flight instruction or while on the ground in close quarters. Going into the cockpit is like having unprotected sex haphazardly. Not the smartest move a person can make.

    Now, the disease spread continues, the US is surpassing 2 million infections and over 112,000 deaths. All in a very short period, about 4 months. Meanwhile, there is no vaccine, but there is a confusing prophylactic plan, and a highly politicized orientation. Herd immunization is not working. Is it time to resume dual flight training? I do not think so. At least not until the end of the year. Give science and the healthcare system some slack.

  3. Has anyone been into a Lowe’s or Walmart? It’s like a rave party. This literally has to be the most overblown and over-reacted to situation in my lifetime. The CDC has changed its position so many times, the only thing they have demonstrated is that they clearly know nothing. The data and models are flawed making any number suspect.

    Is it real? Yes. Is it deadly? For some, yes. For most no. Should we be taking precautions? Yes. Should we be going insane? No.

    A few minutes researching how COVID—19 deaths are counted should be done by anyone wishing to say the sky is falling. The data is so corrupted it’s nearly worthless.

    I say this every flu season (and COVID-19 is deadlier than the flu), people should social distance from each other even if they aren’t sick, they should wear masks if they feel sick or better yet, stay home and self-isolate so as to not bring your sickness to others at home or at work. Wash you hands. Keep your hands away from your face. Work from home during flu season. These are all simple things to prevent transmission. But no, this is not what happens. Instead, after watching commercial after commercial about being sick, people run to the drugstore and buy some sort of masking agent and then off they go back into the community spreading their sickness.

    I don’t understand this focus on flight training, airlines are the problem, mailing sardine-canned people in airplanes that get not much more than pick up the trash cleaning between flights, then packing another Petri dish of who knows what around the globe at 500 knots which only amplifies the efficiency of virtual infection by orders of magnitude.

    • Personally, I think you are being too hard on the CDC to say that “they clearly know nothing”.
      There has been a learning curve; this is, after all, a unique situation. I think most of us as pilots are science-based creatures. And, even if they [CDC] have modified their guidelines as research and realtime experience dictates… I’m still far more inclined to follow the health professional’s advice over political talking heads.
      And while the media and society are moving on, the professionals are holding their collective breath.
      I am too. Cases are still rising in nearly half the states. I’ve chosen to wait a little while longer before I shoe-horn myself into a 172 with a CFI.

  4. I agree with Gil A. Even some of the medical professionals my wife knows at the university she works at don’t agree with a lot of the CDC’s recommendations. I got much more grief from the barber shop owner on his insisting on wearing a mask than the doctor I saw for an appointment in his office. The doctor never brought up the subject of me not wearing one. Most of the passengers I have flown on recent charters don’t wear masks and those that have remove them when I tell them during the passenger briefing that wearing the mask inside the plane is strictly voluntary, and that our (flight crew) masks come off when entering cockpit.