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Wed, Jul 25, 2007

Oshkosh Memories... King Schools Co-Founder John King

“Everyone Who Wants To Do Something New Is Here"

by ANN Correspondent Aleta Vinas

If you’ve gone through flight training, John and Martha King have probably been beside you -- in their DVD/video courses helping you through those rough spots and explaining things step by step.  The Kings are uniquely qualified to teach aviation. The two hold every FAA category and class rating on their pilot and instructor certificates.

The King courses started over 30 years ago from a spare bedroom. Today San Diego (CA) houses the complex which boasts a television and software production facility.

Beside the starring role in their own videos, the Kings have appeared on the Microsoft Flight Simulator program. They appear in the Getting Started Wizard, providing instructions.

The National Air Transportation Association honored John King in 2004 with the Excellence in Pilot Training Award. The Kings have been married 42 years and they have been attending Oshkosh for 32 of those years.

“Oshkosh is the place people come to to announce a new product, to show something brand new,” John mentions the recent Cessna entry into the LSA market and the couple of year old VLJ market. “All of these things that have hope of completely changing the industry are announced here.”

“Everyone who wants to do something new is here,” John recalls. “Many years ago Tony Fox was introducing the Fox Jet. It never materialized but it was a precursor of today’s VLJ’s.” Oshkosh is the place to go to garner support.

“Oshkosh and AirVenture are known all over the world as the place to be. This is the place to have things happen," states John.

“I had just finished a novel that involved a German reconnaissance plane called a Storch.” As John walked around the AirVenture grounds he noticed a Storch, “Wait, no, there’s five of them” He realized. “The excitement of seeing so many different kinds of airplanes that you’ve read about or dreamed about, they’re here.”

"[S]eeing the B-1 Bomber up against the Concorde nose to nose, about 10
years ago," was another special sight for John.

John recalled around 2001 “We were the pilots with the Fuji Film blimp, we carried passengers and flew it for the whole time. That was an exciting period for us.”

John mentions “Harrison Ford who has made a tremendous contribution by being willing to use his personality to promote general aviation and that’s exciting. Another contributor is Cliff Robertson who’s worked hard to promote general aviation.”

Both Kings agree that flying Young Eagles in their airplanes “is special for them and for us.” John says, “It’s hard to figure out who gets the better end of the deal.” John adds “When you fly a Young Eagle at Oshkosh, you know that that person will remember it for the rest of their lives. What a thrill to do something for somebody that you know they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives.”

(Tomorrow, Martha King shares her memories of Oshkosh)
FMI: www.kingschools.com

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