Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Aviation Opens Cessna Pilot Center at Wiley Post Airport

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Aviation Opens Cessna Pilot Center at Wiley Post Airport

Article excerpt

Oklahoma Aviation has opened at Wiley Post Airport in Bethany.

The pilot center offers flight and ground instruction, aircraft rental and pilot supplies.

Oklahoma Aviation is the only Cessna Pilot Center in Oklahoma, and one of only 274 in the world, according to President Tom Kilpatrick.

The start-up company has two Cessna 172 Skyhawks, the most widely produced and widely distributed aircraft in history, said Kilpatrick. One plane is a 1998 model, and the other is a 2004 model just minutes old - literally.

The Cessna Pilot Center model around the country is of newer aircraft, and brings in a much different pilot, said Kilpatrick. Our demographic target is a male, age 30 to 50, who wants to learn in better aircraft with better instructors because he can afford it and has time for it.

That's the target customer that has not been reached here, he continued. Those people, those professionals & expect to be taken care of very well, but they go out and they see this older fleet and they choose to not enter aviation.

Oklahoma Aviation started with a large investment, spending $270,000 on aircraft alone. Fortunately, aircraft do not depreciate like cars do, said Kilpatrick. Newer aircraft can boast a better avionics package and safety features, he added.

Cessna is the best of the best, said Kilpatrick. When I started investigating the idea of opening a flight school and aircraft rental operation, I looked at who was doing it the best in the world, and the name that kept rising to the top was Cessna.

Oklahoma Aviation uses Cessna's systems, procedures and materials for training purposes, though neither company has ownership interest in the other. Cessna's computer-based instruction system allows pilots in training to learn at a pace and location of their own choosing, and earn their licenses in 10 fewer flight hours, on average, than they would at another flight school. When weather conditions do not permit flying, a flight simulator is available at the center.

When you learn to fly with a Cessna Pilot Center, you are also eligible for a Sallie Mae Financial Corp. professional education loan, notes Oklahoma Aviation's Web site. …

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