The hangar area at Skyport in San Marcos, Texas.
Wednesday, Jan. 4, 8 p.m.: Eight Vaughn students are excited to begin flight training at Redbird's Skyport here in central Texas. Vaughn has entered into a partnership with Redbird to provide students with their private, commercial and certified flight instructor certificates as well as the instrument, certified flight instructor-instrument and multi-engine ratings. Students will train here for the next three weeks. Redbird, a leading simulator manufacturer, has taken its innovative and simulator-centric approach to flight training.
As an administrator at Vaughn for the past 16 years, it is incredibly fulfilling to see students pursuing their dreams of flight at such a beautiful location. This brand-new facility opened in November, and students will be training in 2011 Cessna 172s that will be replaced each year (after about 1,000 hours of flight), providing students with the optimal training tools. As students walked through the front doors this morning they were ushered into a conference room and given the training materials they will study extensively over the next three weeks. Roger Sharp, the chief flight instructor, discussed the importance of each student asking questions and practicing with all of the technology and simulation tools available. After lunch, students were paired up with their flight instructors. Students and instructors got right to work in the simulators.
This roughly 30,000-square-foot facility is spectacular. A training center sits on one side and the flight-based operation occupies the other, with a 12,000-square-foot hangar in the center. The weather in San Marcos has been clear and in the mid-60s, and several students will be ready to go up for their first flights Thursday (Jan. 5). In a quick chat in the hotel lobby this evening, the students talked about how thrilled they were with the first day, felt very comfortable and were excited to get in the air. Looking forward to another great day Thursday.
—Sharon DeVivo, Senior Vice President