American Flyers is thrilled to be celebrating 80 years of being the leading school for flight training. “A lot has changed since our founding in 1939, as we have shifted and transitioned with aviation needs, but one thing has remained constant: we continue to provide the American Flyers Difference,” said Jill Cole, President of American Flyers.
Reed Pigman established American Flyers in 1939 in Ft. Worth Texas as both an airline and flight training facility. During the World War II era, American Flyers was contracted by both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy to be one of the few non-combatant flight schools to train military pilots in primary training in support of the United States war effort. This helped the company become a VA approved vocational flight school, and to this day, is one of the few current VA approved schools. Additionally, the American Flyers Airline became one of the first carriers to fly university athletic teams to their conference games and in 1964, the airline was contracted by the Beatles to fly them on their first U.S. tour. In the early 70s, Pigman sold the airline portion of American Flyers once he realized that the number of quality pilots and flight instructors was lacking. In 1980, the flight school merged with Aviation Training Enterprises (ATE). ATE kept the American Flyers name, along with all of its traditions, and enabled them to expand all over the United States. This merger allowed American Flyers to shift their focus entirely to flight training and education— the legacy that is being celebrated today.
American Flyers may no longer be flying rock bands or sports teams around, but they believe they have accomplished something better. Since their founding, they have trained more instrument pilots and CFI’s than any other company in the world. “We are specialists focused on teaching, we do not do anything that diverts our attention away from that,” said Cole. Every element of their training program is unlike any other company’s. They have mastered the art of standardization, meaning that all of their teaching methods, curriculum and tools are standardized in a cohesive way. This allows American Flyers’ students to know how each lesson is related to the previous one, and what is to be expected each and every day. This standardization fosters a practical learning environment that is easy to replicate when teaching others. Furthermore, American Flyers writes all of its own flight training manuals and is one of the few flight schools to actually teach ground education.
One of the main cornerstones of American Flyers is that training can be customized to fit each individual students’ needs, which is unique in the industry. To guarantee that they can meet specific scheduling needs, they offer everything from one-on-one training, career training, to 15-day or 30-day flight instructor programs. American Flyers creates tailored programs for every customers’ needs. They have proven that their students are their top priority, and it is their mission to provide them with the highest quality training and education, which just simply does not come from cookie-cutter programs or lessons. At American Flyers, students are not viewed or valued as a number, they are each valued individually. Additionally, American Flyers has a dedicated customer service team to help students throughout their flight training program.
Adding on to their distinct training program is the use of simulators for flight training. American Flyers has been a leader in aviation advancement in the entirety of its 80 years, and was the first flight school to use simulators in training. In fact, they worked with Frasca International to help build the first simulator, making them a key player in flight simulation. Their use of simulators is a central component in the success of general flying skills and for practicing maneuvers. This is an element that many flight schools do not offer, further differentiating American Flyers from the competition.
Today, American Flyers runs six training facilities across Florida, New Jersey, Texas and Arizona and has a new, state of the art location being built in Pompano Beach, FL. They are headquartered in Addison, TX. American Flyers may seem like a large organization, however, their aviation education is based entirely on personalized service. When working with American Flyers, one knows he or she can expect personal, quality instruction that is tailored to his or her particular needs.
American Flyers has a fleet of over 40 aircrafts and 25 simulators, accompanied by over 185 highly-trained and devoted employees. For the past 30 years, the company has also proudly done all of their own maintenance to their planes, thanks to their experienced in-house maintenance staff that is committed to keeping their aircrafts in the air and not on the ground. Cole states, “our in-house aircraft maintenance allows us to have less downtime than typical flight schools that outsource their maintenance, enabling us to spend more time doing what we love: teaching and flying.”
The flight school has over 2,500 students from all around the world each year that join the American Flyers family via their locations and online. There are most likely no airlines in the United States, or around the world, that do not have pilots that have been trained by American Flyers. “The past 80 years have flown by, no pun intended, and we have loved being able to serve the aviation world the American Flyers way. We look forward to seeing and experiencing what the future holds and only hope to see American Flyers’ family continue to grow,” Cole remarked.