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.