We share highlights from Airshow London SkyDrive 2020, fly along with the Waterloo Warbirds in a formation clinic, and get the lowdown on Vans RV aircraft, Chorus Aviation, and Spidertracks.
Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC) provider Aviation Solutions, based in Guelph, Ont., has successfully completed its 2020 program of FIRCs, having renewed nearly 200 flight instructor ratings. A traditional year would have seen approximately 75 renewals. Demand due to COVID-19 shutdowns resulted in tripling the number of courses originally scheduled for the year.
In order to accommodate flight instructors from across Canada, Aviation Solutions developed and delivered the only fully online FIRC accepted by Transport Canada for rating renewal.
“We are proud to have served our flight instructor colleagues during this challenging time by having added six additional courses in 2020” said chief instructor and owner, Michael Schuster. “Early in the pandemic we were also able to offer our clients deferred tuition during uncertain times and froze our tuition fees at 2019 levels. We are very proud to have been the only course provider in Canada to make the investment in moving our courses on-line to serve our industry when they needed us most.”
In order to maintain effective instruction and an interactive environment, class sizes were limited to ensure clients remained engaged and had a very similar experience to what they would have received during a traditional in-person course; including lectures, break-out groups, assignments, and class discussions.
“This was the best FIRC that I have ever participated in 40 years of instructing” said client Lenora Crane, a pilot examiner and former Transport Canada inspector. “Aviation Solutions’ experience and expertise really showed – this would have been extremely difficult if they hadn’t done so many in-person classes before. Timely and interesting topics, excellent presenters, and great participation opportunities that involved everyone – a fantastic job.”
The online program also assisted pilots who, due to travel restrictions, may have otherwise lost their ratings entirely. “For me, this was the only way I could have renewed my rating. I’m in Laos right now and was not able to travel to Canada this year – due to COVID I cannot leave this country” remarked client Martin Tubbesing.
Clients also logged in from Germany, France, Iran, and Hong Kong.
Aviation Solutions will continue to offer fully on-line courses for the duration of the pandemic. They are also targeting spring 2021 to resume an in-person option for those that prefer a traditional classroom setting, in accordance with public health guidance.