Fligh High. Fly Rotax. The new initiative for Flight Schools
Gunskirchen, Austria, May 20th, 2022 – BRP-Rotax is glad to announce a new initiative specially tailored to the needs of flight school operators all over the world. Becoming a Rotax powered Flight School adds value to the business, staff, and of course the students.
Flight schools are doorways to an exhilarating hobby or an exciting career. The responsibility for budding pilots and trainers, the focus on excellence in training, and an uncompromising safety-first policy leave no margin for error. These are core values we share. With “We Fly High”, BRP-Rotax has created a program exclusively for flight schools that train on aircraft with Rotax engines.
“Joining the ‘We Fly High’ program, the Rotax powered flight schools can benefit not only from value-added incentives which helps them to keep their overall costs low but also from our commitment to building power plants that take the engine technology to new heights”, said Peter Oelsinger, General Manager BRP-Rotax / Member of the Management Board, Vice President Sales, Marketing RPS-Business & Communications.
Rotax powered Flight Schools benefit from special offers tailored to their needs:
Our Authorized Rotax Distributors can complement the maintenance, asset performance, documentation and spare part needs to help keep downtime low and the fleet in top condition. When registering the engine, the flight school additionally receives a dedicated contact.
A Rotax-powered flight school can purchase an added 36 (certified) or 42 (ASTM) months of extended warranty coverage or up to a Time Before Overhaul (TBO), whichever occurs first.
*Exemption: In the Americas, you can only add Rotax Care upon purchasing a new engine. Due to legal requirements, a warranty upgrade after purchase and delivery is not possible.
220 + independent service and repair centers worldwide make sure you have quick and easy access to reliable service, genuine parts, and responsive warranty support
Knowledge is safety. We offer iRMT courses for the technical staff to learn about Rotax engines which if offered for the Rotax powered Flight Schools for a discount.
ROTAX PRIORITY SERVICE
A Rotax powered Flight Schools receives a Priority Pass which ensures that your Authorized Rotax Distributor and service centers prioritize the service needs.
ROTAX GENUINE PARTS
Special discounts are given to the Rotax Genuine Parts.
Interested Flight Schools who want to join the “We fly Rotax”-program should please contact their Rotax Authorized Distributor for more information and registration to the program.
Let’s welcome the first member of the “We fly Rotax” program, the Sling Pilot Academy located in California, USA. We had an interview with the one of the CEOs, Matt Liknaitzky, who talked with us about his experiences with Rotax engines and his expectations for the future.
Can you tell us more about your flight school?
The Sling Pilot Academy was found in 2011 in Torrance CA, as a regular recreational flight school primarily using Sling NGTs for SEL certification training. In 2019 we expanded to offer a full-time compressed program and achieved the FAA 141 Certification in 2022.
Per year we achieve approximately 450 ratings and have at any given time about 65 fulltime students in our compressed program which is constantly growing and over 100 part time students.
Now we are the largest flight school in Los Angeles with more than 1500 flight hours per month and the graduation of 30 to 40 students every month on following ratings: Sport, Private, Instrument, Commercial, CFI, CFII, Commercial Multi-Engine and Multi-Engine Instructor.
You have 12 aircraft in your flight school. Can you tell us more about the different aircraft models and the Rotax engines used? What is your main motivation to utilize the combination of aircraft and engine?
We have 12 Sling NGTs, mostly equipped with the Rotax 912 iS, 1 Sling TSi equipped with the powerful Rotax 915 iS and 2 Tecnam P2006T with Rotax 912 S engines. We are very satisfied with the reliability and cost-effective operation of the Rotax aircraft engines which are burning about 3.5 GPH of MoGas and this enables us to offer our total course to a more than 20 % lower price than our legacy aircraft-flying competition. The reliability of the Rotax engine furthermore keeps us longer in the air and makes our operation overall more cost effective and we are more environmentally friendly.
You are flying around 1500 hours per months with your flight school fleet. What is your experience with the Rotax engines?
My business partner, Jean d’Assonville (Co-CEO of Sling Pilot Academy) did a flight around the world with a 4-seater Sling with a 914 UL which started in Johannesburg, South Africa and routed Reunion, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, Guam, Marshall Islands, Hawaii, USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil and back to South Africa and he for sure can give you a good insight on the reliability of the Rotax engines:
“We took off from Johannesburg South Africa and flew east into the night. The majority of the circumnavigation was to be over water and through nights. The whole journey was epic in every way possible and put extreme demands on all elements involved: the pilots, the airplane but by far the highest demand was on the engine. If it stopped, I may not have been here writing these words for you. The biggest challenge was the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in the final stage. With the aircraft loaded full of fuel at 600 pounds over gross weight the Rotax engine hauled us into the air and all the way across the Atlantic Ocean back to Africa. With our lives on the line, we put our faith in this engine because we know what has gone into making it what it is today, a highly refined and proven power plant. What other piston engine would you want to be sitting behind the middle of an ocean crossing two thousand miles from any land in the middle of a torrential downpour? This mighty little Rotax engine never missed a single beat from start to finish, flying 34.463,9 kilometers for 222 hours, not one single beat missed, not one!”
What is your experience with the support of the service partners in the US and the distributor?
We totally feel in good hands within the Rotax network and always had a good support from Brett Lawton of the Leading Edge Airfoils (the independent Rotax Service Center in Lyons, Wyoming) and are looking forward that the new independent Rotax Service Center Motive Aero at the Hurricane Municipal Airport, Saint George, Utah succeeds.
Regarding the complete fleet of your flight school, are there any special statements about the maintenance efforts with the Rotax engines /downtime of the aircraft. How does the BUDS system of the injection engine affect your maintenance plans?
The BUDS system is a great tool to check the engine and supports the time schedule for the maintenance of our fleet. Furthermore, it has been a real advantage to have the FADEC fault information available on the Garmin G3X Touch, so we can see any faults already in time during the flight.
Can you give us a more detailed insight how much fuel you need for an average flight training and other consumables like oil, etc. What in your opinion make the Rotax engine so economical in the usage?
Our fuel burn is average less than 3.5 GPH of MoGas. Compared with other similar aircraft who have a usage of 9 GPH of AvGas this is a huge advantage to the efficiency and profitability of our operation. Our direct operating cost is less than half of a legacy training airplane and we are able to charge similar prices in some cases. This makes our margin much higher what allows us to grow our business.
What is your main motivation to join the Rotax Flight School program and what do you expect of the program in the future?
Becoming a Rotax powered Flight School adds a lot of value to our business. We receive discount on services like the iRMT-training which ensures that our staff is well trained on the Rotax engines and a special discount on Rotax genuine parts. The Priority Pass additionally ensures a fast and easy execution of service needs. Furthermore, the fleet management and our ability to have the spare parts required to maintain close to 100 % uptime, in stock at all times is a further benefit for our business.
BRP-Rotax recently announced “Rotax Care”, which is the new extended warranty program for the Rotax injection engines which extends the warranty to five years or full TBO. What do you think of this extended warranty?
The new Rotax Care is the perfect solution for us. We get to TBO on our engines in about 1,5 years and we are then replacing them with new engines. Rotax Care additionally covers all engine parts – mechanical and electronic and it guarantees that only genuine Rotax parts are used. We also think it is a great idea from Rotax to cooperate with Bose Aviation and that there is now included a Bose A20 Headset in every Rotax Care package.