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California Flight School owners...help yourselves

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Just read this article in the daily newsletter from Vertical Mag. Thought I'd help distribute it as I know Jim Brannan, having attended & instructed at his school Mazzei Flying Service. I can tell you having worked at many other schools since, he is the most knowledgeable and insightful instructor I've had and worked with. He's been in the industry over 30 years and he's committed to the flight training(both fixed and rotary) industry and making it more efficient and effective for students.

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Brannan, though, is taking things seriously: he has reached out to flight schools in a letter to rally a co-ordinated opposition to the inclusion of flight schools in AB 48. A public hearing is scheduled in Sacramento on June 7th to get inputs from the flight training community. Brannan is suggesting that as many as possible attend. Further, he hopes that by working with the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Helicopter Association International (HAI), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the media, the obvious flaws in this legislation will be brought to the attention of key California State Assembly representatives, as well as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.


A vocational flight school exemption sounds like a long shot given that the bill is the direct result of the failure of SSH. Where were NATA, HAI, AOPA and the other flight school owners when SSH was operating?


"[T]he obvious flaws in this legislation"...are what"? The cost? Who should pay for vocational school oversight if not the schools and the students? Especially since California is broke and is raising fees on state university students..."Can you tell our readers Mr. Politician why the taxpayers are having to pay to protect students from predatory vocational schools?"


This could be a good thing for well managed and adequately capitalized vocational schools (the law doesn't apply to Part 61 recreational flying clubs that offer training) by driving out all the shoestring operators and sending those students to the better run schools.


A good move by California...although too late to help the SSH students...other states (like Utah that was negligent in its oversight of SSH) should implement the same protections.

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I tend to agree with fry on this one. The failure of the industry to police itself with the Silver State debacle has forced outside intervention. That being said, I think most other flight schools in the industry knew what was happening but were powerless to legally interfere.


Second to Jerry and his ilk, I put a lot of the responsibility on trade publications and organizations like Vertical and HAI for promoting Silver State's agenda. Vertical published positive stories and press releases from Silver State itself. If I remember correctly, HAI even appointed Silver State reps to the Flight Training committee.


I understand that legal difficulties were possible (as I recall even this forum was served with a cease and desist regarding negative Silver State posts), but what is the point of having these organizations if they do not address the real issues affecting us?

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Either way it is just more regs, red tape and paper work that isn't needed. Who cares what happened with SSH, they didn't MAKE people sign the dotted line for a $70k loan! Personal responsibility still counts some in this country, same with the housing debacle, no bank FORCED anyone to sign the dotted line! More regs NEVER help anything!!

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Who cares what happened with SSH...


Obviously no one in "the industry"...which is why it must now contend with more regulation and additional costs. One guy...literally...was allowed to screw it up for everyone else. The cost of the SSH era just continues to grow.

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