Cessna Adds Training Schools


Textron Aviation reported record growth in 2016 for their network of Cessna Pilot Center-affiliated flight schools. The program added 24 new flight schools last year for a total of 163 Cessna Pilot Center affiliates. Through the Cessna Pilot Center program, Textron Aviation partners with independent Part 61 and Part 141 flight schools around the world to provide flight training on modern Textron training aircraft in conjunction with a standardized King School-based training program, which is accessible to students online or through mobile devices. Some Cessna Pilot Centers maintain a minority of non-Textron aircraft in their fleets—either legacy aircraft or to address sectors of the flight training market not served by Textron. Textron also organizes seminars and resources for Cessna Pilot Center operators.

Cessna Pilot Centers recorded over 7,000 new student pilots last year—up 10% from 2015. For reference, the FAA reported no change in the number of student pilot certificates issued from 2014 to 2015, suggesting significant market share growth for Cessna Pilot Centers.

Trade Winds Aviation, based at Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose, California, has been affiliated with Cessna for over 20 years as a Cessna Pilot Center and Cessna Service Station. They operate a Cessna 182Q Skylane, seven modern Cessna 172SP Skyhawks and one light sport Remos GX. Walter Gyger, owner of Trade Winds, is bullish on Cessna Pilot Centers: “Cessna has been a reliable partner in many ways. Cessna’s focus on pilot training and the support from Cessna and King Schools to assist us with using the [Cessna Pilot Center] tools has been invaluable.”