Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Another Intro

I flew another introductory lesson today. I'm fond of those. This one developed in an unusual way. A couple months ago I received a call from a guy in California who had found our website. He had a brother who lives near here, and wanted to pay for an intro lesson for him. I took all the information, and waited for a call that never came in.

Finally, I got that call yesterday, and we scheduled the flight for today. After talking to him a bit, I found out that he had already been in the plane we were going to fly. He owns a paving company, and does a fair share of business with one of the owners here, who works for Carter Machinery. He had flown along, just for the enjoyment of it. I'm glad he told me that, because I would have been rather surprised if I hadn't known it before.

I have a relatively unique view on intro flights, which the owners of the airplanes thankfully share. Most schools I've known of, try to minimize the cost, providing about 20 minutes of time in the plane. Rush them in, rush them out, to save a few bucks. Our view is to take a small financial loss if necessary for a good prospect, because if that prospect becomes a customer, we will get that back, and then some. There's no good reason to skimp on the one thing that may bring the customer back to your door.

Sometimes, as a result, we will give a introductory flight for free. I always try to give something extra though. Usually that means just taking the time to ask a few questions and let their responses dictate the rest. Then, I will always give about 20-30 minutes of ground instruction for free, on the preflight inspection, and any other thing that comes up. I don't want the customer feeling like I am hurrying him through.

Anyway, this guy showed up, and we went through my normal type of intro. Except that he seemed to pick up on the concepts quickly. He managed to taxi without much help. He helped with the takeoff, then I didn't really need to do anything from there. I showed him the basics of how to control the plane, and just told him what to do. He handled it beautifully. I would have suspected he already had several lessons under his belt.

He also seemed genuinely interested in learning, so I may have a new student in the next week or two.


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