San Jose, CA (PRWEB) October 08, 2013
After years of planning and preparation, Robert Hunt’s dream to offer Silicon Valley residents a low-cost option for earning their sport pilot’s license has finally taken off.
Hunt, a San Jose resident, has created a cooperative business model in which a small group of individuals (known at ABC as Builder/ Pilots) donate time to help build a light sport aircraft from a kit. During the assembly process, the individuals also form a study group and advance through ground school. After the plane is built, it is then used for the Builder/ Pilots to log flight time in preparation for their final check flight with a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) before receiving their sport pilot’s license.
"The build process is closely monitored by experienced mechanics, and receives a Flight Worthiness Certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Association (FAA)," says Hunt, who adds that students’ only financial obligation is a $500 registration fee, half of which is refunded when the student passes a the FAA-required Knowledge Exam and the final FAA Designated Pilot Examiner "check flight."
ABC seeks Sponsor Members, whose seed-money support will enable the cooperative to purchase a Kitfox Series 7 Super Sport Light Sport Aircraft Kit. Sponsors can receive free flight time and other benefits in exchange for their support. Regular ABC Members can also join the co-op and rent flight time in the aircraft.
Elana Gordon (a mother, patient care coordinator & commercial pilot from Santa Cruz) makes the trip to the San Jose area regularly to participate in the Builder/ Pilot study group. "I have always dreamed of being a pilot and since I started flight training in 2003, I have loved being in the air," she says, remarking that ABC’s co-op structure allows her to engage in a professional training activity that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. "I look forward to getting back into aviation and would like to train to be a CFI."
"Our inaugural group of eight Builder/ Pilots has begun ground school, studying for the Knowledge Exam," says Hunt. "We hope to purchase the Kitfox kit soon and begin assembling our aircraft in early 2014."
About Aircraft Builders Cooperative (ABC)
The mission of ABC is to provide free flight training to our volunteer membership. ABC provides ground school and flight training with a certified flight instructor, access to a training plane, and all the materials and supplies needed to acquire a Sport Pilot's License—all for a nominal registration fee and a contribution of time. More info at http://www.aircraftbuilderscooperative.com.
Amy Himes, Development Consultant