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06/08/2022 3:05 pmBirds of Paragon to compete in all-female cross-country Air Race Classic2022

45th annual race kicks off June 21 in Lakeland, Florida, covering 2,500+ miles over four days of airspace challenges to the terminus of Terra Haute, Indiana

Fort Myers, Fla.---June 8, 2022---Birds of Paragon, a three-person female flight team from the award-winning Paragon Flight Training, will take to the skies to compete in the 45th annual Air Race Classic (ARC) June 21–24. ARC is an all-female cross-country air race that tests pilots’ skills over four days through changing terrain, weather, winds and airspace. Birds of Paragon will vie for the top spot against almost 50 teams as they traverse a total 2,549 miles from Lakeland, Florida, to Terra Haute, Indiana. Making the journey as part of the Birds of Paragon rookie team are Florida-based certified flight instructors from Paragon Flight Training—Katie Truedson (pilot) of Babcock Ranch, and Connie Hite (flight instruments navigator) of Cape Coral—as well as 19-year-old co-pilot and avionics lead Cassie Thompson-Pride of Fort Myers, who is a member of Paragon Flight’s student ambassador team. “Birds of Paragon is excited to continue the legacy of female air racing through ARC,” Paragon Certified Flight Instructor Connie Hite said. “This is truly a team effort, and we are especially grateful to Paragon Flight for both their financial and moral support of this team—and in their promotion of women in aviation and aerospace.” Paragon Flight Training is sponsoring the team, supplying them with one of its brand-new Piper P100 (registration N305UM) aircraft for the race, overnight lodging expenses, uniforms and other flight race essentials. “We are very proud of this exceptional team of women pilots,” Paragon Flight Training President and Owner Chris Schoensee said. “These ladies exemplify the spirit of Paragon Flight and our collective passion for flying and achieving – we are thrilled to be supporting them. I’ve seen the time and dedication they’ve put into preparing for this event and I certainly would not want to be competing against them; they are going to be amazing.” The Air Race Classic follows a different route every year. This year’s defined course will present a variety of challenges and learning opportunities for flight teams—yet be within the endurance range of the slowest airplane. There are multiple predefined airports that the team must fly to, but landing at each airport is optional depending on what the team decides. Each team must be on the ground prior to sunset at a designated race stop, and those teams determine how many days they want to take to finish the course – factoring in strategy, weather, and airplane endurance. During the race, individuals will be able to follow the progress of their favorite racers from the ARC website. Cash prizes are awarded to the top 10 – with the highest-scoring team receiving a total $6,000 cash, plus medallions and awards for each team member. For more information, visit the ARC 2022 race page. About Paragon Flight Training Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA 141 and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of 30 aircraft, and advanced simulator technology, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company is in the process of a 28,000-combined-square-foot expansion slated for completion in 2022. Learn more at ParagonFlight.com. --- Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero EAFocus Communications Tel: 248.260.8466 Email: barbara@eafocus.com
05/19/2022 12:58 pmParagon Flight Training signs education alliance agreement with Purdue University Global as flight school partner2022

Integrating Paragon’s newly redesigned Professional Pilot Program (P3) curriculum will boost timely entrance to commercial pilot careers for students in Purdue Global’s aviation program

Fort Myers, Fla. ---May 18, 2022--- Paragon Flight Training, an award-winning flight training academy based at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida, in conjunction with Purdue University Global, West Lafayette, Indiana, announced a new flight training partnership that will reduce the overall time and expense it takes for students in Purdue Global’s acclaimed aviation program to earn their Bachelor of Science in Professional Flight. The announcement was made by Paragon Flight Training President and owner, Christopher Schoensee. Beginning immediately, students accepted into the Purdue Global professional flight degree program can complete their Bachelor of Science degree courses online through Purdue Global, while completing professional flight training at Paragon Flight or one of several other Purdue Global affiliates across the country. Purdue Global’s professional flight degree program is a collaboration, announced in 2019, between Purdue Global and Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. Paragon Flight’s Professional Pilot Program (P3) was recently redesigned with a streamlined curriculum that improves students’ learning experience for becoming pilots. FAA-approved, the safety- and quality-focused program is unique to Paragon Flight and prepares highly qualified individuals for a well-paying career as a professional pilot at an accelerated pace. “We are privileged to enter into this partnership with Purdue Global’s aviation program,” Schoensee said. “Purdue University has a deep and unrivaled history in aviation—producing some of the brightest pilots in the country—and we look forward to working with Purdue Global’s up-and-coming future pilots. Like Purdue, Paragon is laser-focused on excellence. Our Professional Pilot Program is designed to attract candidates that have the mental aptitude and foundational skills to become safe, confident and high-performing pilot leaders—in addition to displaying unwavering moral character and a strong work ethic. We believe this relationship will augment the development of top flight students while addressing a critical need for pilots.” Students conducting flight training at Paragon who complete all five flight FAA certificates/ratings – Private Pilot Certificate, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot Certificate, Flight Instructor Certificate and Multiengine rating – will receive 45 college credits from Purdue Global toward their bachelor’s degree in professional flight, equivalent to one year of college credits. Students who have college credits from previous schools may also receive additional transfer credits. In addition, through this education alliance agreement, Paragon Flight students, employees and immediate family members—including spouses, domestic partners, children, siblings and parents—will receive a 20% tuition reduction for undergraduate degrees and certificates, and a 14% reduction for graduate degrees and certificates. Students qualifying for Title IV Federal Financial Aid can apply the funding to the Purdue Global Professional Flight degree. “As U.S. airline pilots approach the federally mandated retirement age of 65, the industry faces a drastic shortage of pilots,” Andrew Rachmell, Professional Flight Business Development Specialist at Purdue University Global, pointed out. “Reports forecast a need for more than 800,000 pilots over the next 20 years, so this partnership is designed to get students flying immediately, shortening the timeline to professional pilot in order to meet this demand—and save students money while allowing them to graduate faster. In every respect, this alliance is a win-win – combining the quality of Purdue’s legendary aviation program with Purdue Global’s flexibility and affordability and Paragon Flight’s award-winning, nationally-recognized flight training program to benefit flight students.” In addition to Purdue University Global, Paragon Flight participates in a flight training affiliate program with Liberty University, where students can earn their Bachelor of Science in Aviation online from its School of Aeronautics while completing flight training through Paragon Flight. For more information about the Purdue Global – Paragon Flight partnership, please contact Andrew Rachmell, Professional Flight Business Development Specialist, Purdue University Global at arachmell@purdueglobal.edu or 561-703-0480; or Christopher Schoensee, President and Owner at 239-747-0056. About Purdue University Global Purdue University Global delivers personalized online education tailored to the unique needs of adults who have work or life experience beyond the classroom, enabling them to develop essential academic and professional skills with the support and flexibility they need to achieve their career goals. It offers personalized paths for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University’s flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest Indiana, as well as serving science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. For more information, visit purdueglobal.edu. About Paragon Flight Training Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA 141 and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of 30 aircraft, and advanced simulator technology, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company is in the process of a 28,000-combined-square-foot expansion slated for completion in 2022. Learn more at ParagonFlight.com. --- Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero EAFocus Communications Tel: 248.260.8466 Email: barbara@eafocus.com Tom Schott Senior Director of Strategic Communications Purdue Global tschott@purdue.edu
03/25/2022 9:58 amParagon Flight’s Redesigned, FAA-Approved Professional Pilot Program Accelerates Commercial Pilot’s License Process2022

Reduced training time, new financing options will help address global pilot shortage

Fort Myers, Fla. ---March 25, 2022--- Paragon Flight Training, an award-winning flight training academy based at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida, is pleased to announce the redesign of its Professional Pilot Program, a fast-track training program for individuals seeking to obtain their commercial pilot’s license and pursue a career in the commercial aviation industry.  The announcement was made by Christopher Schoensee, Paragon Flight Training President and owner. Paragon Flight’s Professional Pilot Program (P3), designed for full-time students, can now be completed in as few as seven months, with fewer required hours and at a very competitive price. Following completion, graduates receive their commercial and certified flight instructor licenses and are given preferential consideration for employment at Paragon as flight instructors. “In the past 36 months, we evaluated every aspect of our legacy career pilot program, from the curriculum and aircraft to the student’s cost and financing options. Our goal was to significantly improve the student’s learning experience – and what we were able to accomplish is second to none in the industry,” Schoensee said. “P3 is a streamlined, safety- and quality-focused program unique to Paragon Flight that prepares highly qualified individuals for a well-paying career as a professional pilot at an accelerated pace. It is an important response to the industry’s desperate need for professionally prepared pilots in commercial airlines that also addresses the practical considerations and costs of professional pilot training.” To be eligible for the Paragon Professional Pilot Program, candidates must pass an aptitude test and a skills assessment to ensure they possess the foundational skills necessary to endure the rigors of P3 and become an exceptional pilot. “Before we invest in training a pilot – and before they invest in us – it’s imperative that we select only top caliber students that have the ability and foundation to be successful in this field,” Schoensee said. The redesigned curriculum has received special FAA approval, which Schoensee noted is an acknowledgement of Paragon Flight’s consistently high safety and performance history. In addition to a faster training time, those admitted to the program can benefit from new student loan financing options with reasonable interest rates that ease the financial burden of becoming a professional pilot. The announcement of  P3 comes on the heels of Paragon Flight taking possession of its first of 10 Piper aircraft, the Piper P100i, slated for delivery in 2022. The acquisitions are part of the five-year fleet modernization component of the company’s long-term strategic plan, which includes the purchase of an additional 40 Piper aircraft over the next five years. Paragon Flight is also in the process of expanding its learning center, adding 9,000 square feet of training space within a 28,000 combined square-foot expansion. About Paragon Flight Training Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of 20 aircraft, and advanced simulator technology onsite, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company is in the process of a 28,000-combined-square-foot expansion slated for completion in 2022. --- Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero EAFocus Communications Tel: 248.260.8466 Email: barbara@eafocus.com
02/16/2022 8:12 amFleet modernization begins as Paragon Flight takes delivery of first of anticipated 50 Piper training aircraft2022

Piper partnership, expanding fleet come on the heels of groundbreaking for 9,000 square foot learning center as company’s strategic vision moves forward.

Fort Myers, Fla. --- February 16, 2022 --- Paragon Flight Training, an award-winning flight training academy based at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida, is pleased to announce it has taken possession of the first of 10 Piper aircraft slated for delivery in 2022. The acquisition is part of the five-year fleet modernization component of the company’s long-term strategic plan, which includes the purchase of an additional 40 Piper aircraft over the next five years. This effort comes as the company ramps up efforts to train more pilots in response to the global pilot shortage while simultaneously becoming the dominant player in the U.S. domestic flight training market. The announcement was made by Paragon Flight President and owner, Christopher Schoensee. “It’s exciting to see our growth plans further unfold with the addition of this beautiful Piper aircraft – which we are confident is the training aircraft of the next generation,” Schoensee said. “It follows our groundbreaking in January for an expanded 9,000 square foot learning center on Page Field and brings us one aircraft closer to our goal of tripling our current fleet with the additional purchase of up to 50 Piper aircraft by the end of 2027. Our partnership with Piper, beginning with this first aircraft purchase, represents a milestone in the history of Paragon Flight.” The new training platform is the Piper P100i, a modernized version of Piper’s time-tested Archer training aircraft, a staple of the industry for more than 30 years. Paragon Flight Chief Flight Instructor Jeff Wolf and Paragon Flight Administrative Director Sarah Schoensee took delivery of the aircraft from Vero Beach, Florida-based Piper on January 31. John Calcagno, Piper Aircraft President & CEO, said it was a momentous occasion for both organizations. “Piper Aircraft is proud to work with Paragon Flight as they expand their pilot training program," Calcagno said. "The addition of the Pilot 100i to the Paragon training curriculum will help enable them to provide a cost-effective training solution while working to cultivate a well-trained pilot pipeline for the airline industry.” A national thought leader in private aviation, Paragon Flight was founded in 2006 and offers commercial, military and recreational pilot training using both aircraft and advanced simulator technology in one of the industry’s leading learning environments. The company is active in the aviation industry, and Christopher Schoensee is a member of the board of directors of the Flight School Association of North America (FSANA).  Paragon Flight has been the recipient of numerous industry awards and most recently received recognition from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)’s Flight Training Experience Awards as a Distinguished Flight School, a title given to the highest rated flight schools from the 2021-22 Flight Training Experience Survey. A total of 749 flight schools and 1,740 flight instructors were evaluated in the 2021 survey, and Paragon Flight landed in the top five percent of flight schools. Committed to growing in Florida, Paragon Flight Training was inducted into the 2021 class of GrowFL 50 Companies to Watch.  Honorees in this prestigious group are second-stage growth companies that have between six and 150 employees, $750,000–$100 million in revenue in 2020, and demonstrate a strong commitment to grow beyond the second-stage. About Piper Aircraft Piper Aircraft Inc., headquartered in Vero Beach, Fla., offers aviators throughout the world efficient and reliable single and twin-engine aircraft and is the first general aviation aircraft manufacturer in the world to certify Garmin Autoland. The single-engine M-Class series – the M600SLS, M500, and M350 – offers businesses and individual’s exceptional performance, outstanding value and a superior ownership experience. The Personal Class Seneca V, Archer LX and Archer DLX balance proven performance, efficiency, and simplicity in a piston-powered aircraft. The Trainer Class Pilot 100i, Archer TX, Archer DX, Arrow, Seminole and Seneca V aircraft form the most complete technically advanced line of pilot training aircraft in the world. Piper is a member of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. To learn more about Piper Aircraft, visit the company’s website at www.piper.com. About Paragon Flight Training Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of 20 aircraft, and advanced simulator technology onsite, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company is in the process of a 28,000-combined-square-foot expansion slated for completion in June 2022. --- Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero EAFocus Communications Tel: 248.260.8466 Email: barbara@eafocus.com
01/05/2022 9:23 pmParagon Flight Training receives Cirrus certification to become a Limited Authorized Service Center (ASC)2022Fort Myers, Fla. --- January 5, 2022 --- Paragon Flight Training, the award-winning flight school based at Page Field, has become an authorized Cirrus Aircraft warranty center to maintain its fleet of Cirrus Aircraft at the highest industry standards. Its certification as a Limited Authorized Service Center (ASC) signifies that Paragon Flight’s technicians are trained in the latest Cirrus support and service procedures with access to only genuine Cirrus Aircraft parts. According to Paragon Flight president and owner Christopher Schoensee, this latest designation solidifies its ongoing association with Cirrus Aircraft’s global network in the highly-fragmented flight training industry. “We have been a certified Cirrus Training Center (CTC) for the past three years and expect to have three new Cirrus Aircraft on our line over the next few months,” Schoensee announced. “Adding the Limited Authorized Service Center certification has helped Paragon Flight grow into the premier Cirrus training center in southwest Florida.” About Paragon Flight Training Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of nearly 20 planes, and advanced simulator technology onsite, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots and as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company is in the process of a 22,000-combined-square-foot expansion slated for completion in fourth quarter 2021. Learn more at ParagonFlight.com. --- Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero EAFocus Communications Tel: 248.260.8466 Email: barbara@eafocus.com
10/25/2021 4:15 pmParagon Flight Training Wins Distinguished Flight School Award through AOPA Survey2021

Fort Myers, Fla. --- October 25, 2021 --- Paragon Flight Training is excited to announce its recognition by The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)’s 2021-22 Flight Training Experience Awards as a Distinguished Flight School, a title given to the highest rated flight schools from the 2021-22 Flight Training Experience Survey. A total of 749 flight schools and 1,740 flight instructors were evaluated in this year’s survey, and Paragon Flight came in the top five percent of flight schools. Chris Schoensee, CEO of Paragon Flight, is happy to be recognized with such accolades.

“It’s always an honor to be recognized by our peers in the AOPA Flight Training Experience survey, but the fact that the results are directly driven from our students’ feedback really hits home and validates we’re doing the right things,” Schoensee said. The Flight Training Experience Survey was created to highlight the best flight training the industry has to offer. More information can be found on the Flight Training Experience Awards here: www.aopa.org/FTawards.  This year’s award joins 26 others received by Paragon Flight Training, including AOPA’s Best Flight School in the USA, Student’s Choice, and AOPA’s President’s Choice, as well as nearly two-dozen individual flight instructor awards, including Honor Roll CFI, Distinguished CFI and Outstanding CFI. Paragon Flight Training won’t stop there, though. Over the next five years, Paragon will triple its aircraft fleet at Page Field, expanding its operations to accommodate the increased demand for the company’s services and address the nation’s ongoing commercial pilot shortage. The project includes three facilities with nearly 27,000 square feet, slated for completion in 2022. “As we grow, we remain committed to extending our top-tier service and education highlighted through the AOPA survey to deliver exceptional learning experiences to our students,” Schoensee said. About Paragon Flight Training Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of nearly 20 aircraft, and advanced simulator technology onsite, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots and as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company is in the process of a 27,000-combined-square-foot expansion slated for completion in 2022. --- Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero EAFocus Communications Tel: 248.260.8466 Email: barbara@eafocus.com
10/05/2021 4:00 pmParagon Flight Training named among this year’s GrowFL 50 Companies to Watch2021

"11th annual awards program recognizes second-stage business standouts headquartered in Florida"

Fort Myers, Fla. ---October 5, 2021 --- Paragon Flight Training, an award-winning flight training academy based at Page Field in Fort Myers, is pleased to announce its induction into this year’s class of GrowFL 50 Companies to Watch. Honorees in this prestigious group are second-stage growth companies that have between six and 150 employees, $750,000–$100 million in revenue in 2020, and demonstrate a strong commitment to grow beyond second-stage.

In August, GrowFL announced 82 Companies to Watch finalists from more than 600 nominations. The group was narrowed to 50 in a final round of judging by a panel comprised of past honorees, economic development leaders and corporate partners of GrowFL. Companies were judged on a number of criteria including growth in number of employees; impact of the business in the job market; increase in sales and/or unit volume; current and past financial reports; innovativeness of the product or service; response to adversity; and contributions to aid community-oriented projects. “We are honored to be inducted as one of GrowFL’s Companies to Watch,” Christopher Schoensee, owner and president of Paragon Flight Training, said. “Since our founding in 2006, Paragon Flight Training has had a growth mindset—capitalizing on opportunities that help us apply the same best practices of our larger counterparts in order to lead the way in commercial, military and recreational pilot training. As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, Florida provides the perfect setting for us to thrive - with a major expansion currently underway that will fill a critical need to train more pilots, and in turn, support our community.” This year’s Companies to Watch honorees projected continued growth in 2021, with a 62% revenue increase and 49% growth in employees compared to 2020. If their projections hold, these companies will have generated $1.7 billion in revenue and added more than 1,500 employees over the last five years — a 263% increase in revenue and a 206% increase in jobs since 2017. Paragon Flight Training is definitely in growth mode, with a groundbreaking slated for October for an expanded 14,000 square-foot hangar on Page Field in Lee County as well as plans to purchase an additional 45–50 planes, tripling its current fleet. Companies named to the list will be officially recognized at the 11th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Celebration on February 17, 2022, at the Hard Rock Live in Universal CityWalk, Orlando, Fla. Tickets are on sale now. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://growfl.com/flctw21/about-flctw/. About GrowFL Companies to Watch GrowFL Companies to Watch recognizes growing second-stage companies headquartered in Florida. Developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, Companies to Watch is a unique way to honor the companies who demonstrate high performance in the marketplace with innovative strategies and processes, making them “worth watching.” For more information, visit GrowFL. About Paragon Flight Training Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of nearly 20 planes, and advanced simulator technology onsite, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company is in the process of a 22,000-combined-square-foot expansion slated for completion in fourth quarter 2021. --- Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero EAFocus Communications Tel: 248.260.8466 Email: barbara@eafocus.com
09/22/2021 2:00 pmConsolidation in flight training industry heats up, with international players entering the U.S.2021

"Activity stems from urgency to address global pilot shortage"

Fort Myers, Fla. --- September 22, 2021 --- Amid a summer of delayed and cancelled flights due to staffing shortages and myriad pandemic woes impacting travel, the once sleepy flight training industry is gaining the attention of national and international aviation giants. Christopher Schoensee, president and owner of Fort Myers-based Paragon Flight Training and a keen observer of movement in the industry, says such activity stems from the urgency of addressing the global pilot shortage. 

“Major players like CAE, United Airlines and Skyborne in London are taking aggressive steps to buy up smaller flight training schools in the U.S. for the specific purpose of training more commercial pilots,” Schoensee said. “I believe we’re seeing the tip of the iceberg; for the first time in decades, big players are shifting some of their attention away from government and military pilot training toward privately-owned flight schools that make up a significant percentage of the commercial aviation/specialty training produced here in the USA.”

Paragon Flight Training was founded in 2006; 15 years later, Schoensee, who is a member of the board of directors of the Flight School Association of North America (FSANA), said he’s seen more buy and sell activity in recent years than in the company’s entire history. 

“The flight training industry is highly-fragmented, with many schools producing pilots at different rates and with varying degrees of proficiency.  That unpredictable pilot production, combined with a years-in-the-making pilot shortage and a pandemic, created interest from companies recognizing the opportunity to consolidate market share,” Schoensee said. “Some schools couldn’t handle the temporary slowdown forced by the pandemic and either closed or sold, while other flight schools grew along with the increased awareness of the crippling pilot shortage. It really comes down to grow and compete or get out of the way.” 

Paragon Flight Training is definitely in growth mode, with a groundbreaking slated for October for an expanded 14,000 square foot hangar on Page Field in Fort Myers and plans to purchase an additional 45-50 planes, tripling its current fleet.  

“We’ve had a growth mindset for several years, but it has definitely crystallized as we continue to see tremendous opportunity for premier flight training schools like ours to up our game and lead the way in commercial, military and recreational pilot training,” Schoensee said. “We apply the best practices of our larger counterparts but can be nimble in decision making due to our size.”   

Paragon Flight Training also intends to retain its leverage by continuing to cater to domestic students – currently 90% of its student population. With a modern fleet, advanced simulator technology,  and a reputation for high quality training, domestic students will pay premium rates to gain their pilot certification. Schools with older fleets and technology tend to attract international students via brokers, who also take a slice of the earnings. 

“We are not afraid of the changes sweeping through our industry – we’re investing in the future of flight training and we’re excited about it,” Schoensee said.   

About Paragon Flight Training

Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of nearly 20 planes, and advanced simulator technology onsite, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company is in the process of a 22,000-combined-square-foot expansion slated for completion in fourth quarter 2021.

--- Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero EAFocus Communications Tel: 248.260.8466 Email: barbara@eafocus.com
06/24/2021 10:00 amGrowing flight training academy is ready to fill industry demand for pilots as carrier strategies for hiring evolve2021

“We are more than ready to provide solutions to the challenge the industry is presenting with the pilot shortage.” 

Fort Myers, Fla. --- June 24, 2021 --- Earlier this week, American Airlines began delaying or canceling hundreds of flights due to a shortage of airline personnel, including pilots, a problem they anticipate continuing through July. Delta Airlines then promptly followed with the announcement that it would hire more than 1,000 pilots by summer 2022. Christopher Schoensee, owner and president of Paragon Flight Training, headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida, said his flight training academy, which is already looking at a record year for 2021, has been strategically gearing up for the increased pilot demand for some time and is ready to help fill the pipeline. 

“The airlines’ model of hiring and training pilots has been evolving. We are seeing interest by the major carriers to consider the benefits of working with technically advanced, professional, private flight training academies that can pivot with the industry to safely, quickly and expertly train the commercial airline pilots of the future,” Schoensee said. 

It was the anticipation of the pilot shortage and the need to accommodate increased demand for the company’s services that served as the impetus for Paragon Flight Training’s ambitious growth plan, which began in 2018 with the investment of additional advanced flight simulators, followed by a two-phased strategic growth plan in 2020 that is now seeing significant results.  

In March 2021, the company entered into a 10-year agreement with Lee County Port Authority, an effort that will triple Paragon Flight’s aircraft fleet operations at Page Field while expanding their training and technology services.  The project includes the construction of a 14,000-square-foot maintenance and MRO facility that broke ground in March, as well as an 8,000-square-foot pilot development learning center, slated for completion in 2022. The company also hired aviation industry insider and former commercial airline pilot, Captain Lee Collins, for additional strategy heft. 

“We have acted aggressively in recent years to build up our flight training might and capabilities and are more than ready to provide solutions to the challenge the industry is presenting with the pilot shortage,” Schoensee said. 

Schoensee noted that email leads coming into Paragon Flight for information on flight training services have steadily increased from strong pre-pandemic levels of 140 - 150 per month to nearly 200 in April and May. Moreover, of those recent queries, nearly 50% are inquiring about training as career pilots, a jump from 35% pre-pandemic, when the majority of queries were for recreational flight training as well as the specialized training Paragon offers for domestic and military personnel.  

“The aviation industry is having a moment, both for negative and positive reasons, but there is no doubt that we are in a pivotal era that will guide pilot training and talent acquisition for at least the next decade. For those who are prepared to be leaders, it’s a great time to be in the industry,” Schoensee said. 

About Paragon Flight Training

Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of nearly 20 planes, and advanced simulator technology onsite, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots and as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company is in the process of a 22,000-combined-square-foot expansion slated for completion in fourth quarter 2021.

--- Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero EAFocus Communications Tel: 248.260.8466 Email: barbara@eafocus.com  
06/03/2021 2:10 pmParts shortage is impacting the private aviation industry2021

“We are temporarily rethinking our just-in-time inventory approach…”

Fort Myers, Fla. --- June 3, 2021 --- The slowdown of the supply chain in industries around the globe is now impacting the private aviation industry. Christopher Schoensee, owner and president of Paragon Flight Training, said he’s stocking up on aircraft on ground (AOG) and mission critical parts such as spark plugs and oil filters now after seeing the beginning of a shortage and significant price increases in these and other key supplies over the past several months. “The shortage of raw materials and supply chain issues in automotive and consumer technologies, especially with the microchip shortage, are well known, but I hadn’t noticed an impact on private aviation until we ordered spark plugs in early May and were told there was an 8-week backlog,” Schoensee said. “Then, when we went to order filters, the price had increased about 7% in three months’ time, which is not typical at all.” Previously, Schoensee had a just-in-time approach to inventory, but that’s just not practical now, so he’s planning ahead. “We are temporarily rethinking our just-in-time inventory approach, not only because of obtaining the parts, but also due to dramatic increases in costs and delays in delivery,” Schoensee said. “Pre-pandemic, I could order parts today and they would be shipped tomorrow. Now, I have an eight-month supply of all AOG and flight critical parts. I simply can’t risk not having access to the parts I need to run a flight school.” While Schoensee says Paragon Flight can handle the current situation in the interim, it is especially tough for smaller flight schools that were severely hit by the pandemic shutdowns and can’t afford to spend more on parts or to stockpile them. He added that his company has had to purchase a higher price point spark plug – 25% to 30% more than the spark plugs they typically buy - because the standard plugs are on 60-day back order. Further, the parts shortage is requiring additional time by fight school owners to manage the business, given the extra effort needed to regularly check tracking numbers for parts arrivals and keep a closer eye on inventory in general. Waiting anxiously for aviation insurance renewals In the meantime, Schoensee says he and his colleagues in the flight school industry are anxiously awaiting their aviation insurance renewals in July. “2019 renewal rates were relatively modest at 5% to 10%, but 2020 premium increases were an alarming 20% to 25%,” Schoensee said. “It seems that increases would be more measured this year because in 2020 many flight schools across the country merged or went out of business and flight time was down, presumably meaning fewer claims. We’re in a wait and see position now.” About Paragon Flight Training Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of nearly 20 planes, and advanced simulator technology onsite, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots and as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company is in the process of a 22,000-combined-square-foot expansion slated for completion in fourth quarter 2021. --- Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero EAFocus Communications Tel: 248.260.8466 Email: barbara@eafocus.com