Paragon Flight has recently entered into some powerful partnerships that have boosted opportunities for more students to learn to fly. Whether training commercial pilots to take on exciting careers while easing the pilot shortage, recreational pilots who seek the freedom and thrill of flight, or others who want to complement a future career in the aviation industry with a coveted commercial license, the demand for professional flight training is high.
In May, Paragon Flight signed an agreement with LaGrange College to create the school’s first-ever aviation minor. With Cessna Skyhawk aircraft and a corresponding flight simulator housed on campus, the program is already full for fall 2023, with dozens of students planning to enter the program in 2024.
The alliance with LaGrange College happened because of partnerships – first with our Chief Flight Instructor Jeff Wolf, who was long-acquainted with LaGrange College Trustee Rhett Yates, also a trained pilot. They planted the seeds for the program years ago. Then, because of the trailblazing leadership at the College, which seeks to develop curriculum that will give its students multiple career options, the deal happened quickly with no significant hiccups. Our organization’s respective values, approach and mission made us extremely compatible partners.
Simultaneous with this partnership, Paragon Flight opened an office with a full-suite or training services at the LaGrange-Callaway Airport, located within a few miles of the College. The airport management team gave us a traditional southern welcome and made the opening of our first location in Georgia an easy and enjoyable one.
This year’s first significant partnership – opening a Paragon Flight office in Punta Gorda, Florida in the first quarter – began on an exceptionally high note. Never before have we received such a welcoming response from everyone involved in an airport community. While other small schools operate out of the Punta Gorda Airport, ours is the first fully operational flight school there – six days a week, nine hours a day, with Paragon Flight’s Assistant Chief Flight Instructor, Lt. Col, Dennis Zabka (Ret.) at the helm, Just over six months in and we are the airport’s top producing flight school – and our relationship with the airport and Charlotte County Airport Authority is one of mutual respect and admiration,
Bottom line? Positive partnerships have resulted in two additional locations for Paragon Flight and a host of new students, supporters and friends. We’re committed to retaining and promoting these partnerships and continuing to be good humans in all of our interactions – even when we do encounter the inevitable bumps.