We had a visit from aviation industry royalty as John & Martha King joined our Book Club Discussion this month.
We discussed their new book LIFT, about our favorite subjects – aviation, business, marketing and entrepreneurship!
00:00 – Introduction
08:56 – Adapting to the Market, Reinventing the Company – The RVSM Course
12:30 – What I like about entrepreneurship
12:49 – Capitalism/Entrepreneurship + aviation innovation in America
15:50 – The process of writing a book – where to begin?
17:50 – Article writing – finding the lede
18:20 – That first chapter – passion for the industry and the process
21:30 – Learning to fly – a critical chapter in anyone’s life – the privilege to be part of it
22:50 – Ground school experience – goal was to pass the test, not to learn to fly
26:00 – FAA tests used to focus on trivia, not useful skills
29:00 – Advocacy in the industry
33:20 – Take reasonable stands and communicate respectfully to people on both sides
34:00 – Jeremy’s favorite bits – the 13 “turned corners”
41:00 – Operating a flight school – not many books centered on this!
44:00 – Finding the need – lots of flight instructors great a flight training, but ground school was a challenge
46:00 – How to elevate training from just presenting dry material to useful education
49:00 – The pilot shortage, career vs. recreational pilots
53:00 – The flight school “assembly line”
55:00 – The market, demand and regulatory outlook for autonomous flying
59:00 – Any change presents new opportunities
Paula Williams: Let’s go ahead and get started if you don’t mind. We may have people dinging in and things, but we’ll just kind of go ahead. In order of appearance, tell us who you are, where you’re from, and what your business is. And then we’ll turn the time over to John and Martha. And I know we all have lots of questions, we all love the book. But I’m Paula Williams, Aviation Business Consultants International. We help aviation companies sell more of their products and services.
John Williams: John Williams. Same thing, except I work for her. I do the cyber tech and the CPA kind of stuff.
John King: Well, I’m John King. I have been struggling for 57 years being an equal partner with Martha.
John Williams: I completely understand that.
John King: And I’ve been trying ever since.
Martha: And I’m Martha. And I am having a great time with John. King Schools is a business built out of passion. And we both have a passion for aviation and a passion for teaching, and we’d like to share that with people. So, that’s what today’s all about.
John King: We’re also passionate about it being entrepreneurs.
Paula and John Williams: Yeah.
John Williams: It certainly comes through.
Jeremy Cox: So, I’m Jeremy Cox. I’m Jet Values Jeremy. I appraise airplanes, but I especially have a passion for rare and unusual one-off and war birds, that type of equipment. And I appraise everything, from crop dusters to spacecraft.
John King: That’s a wide range.
Jeremy: In fact, I just got a telephone call before we started with this. And I got referred to actually appraise the crankshaft from Buddy Holly’s Bonanza that he passed away in the crash in Iowa, Nebraska, or whatever.
John King: Yeah.
John Williams: Wow,
Jeremy: [inaudible] telephone call for that. Normally, I do old airplanes. I don’t usually do artifacts. But I think a crankshaft from Buddy Holly’s Bonanza is something I’m going to do.
Paula: Yeah. Certainly has historical significance.
John King: It does.
Jeremy: [inaudible] have real problems.
Michael Duke: Hi, my name is Michael Duke. I had an FBO in Southern California. So we use the King Schools for a lot of our flight students. It was great to be down in California. I’m now in Salt Lake City. And I am the founder of a company called DBT Aero. DBT stands for Double Box Tail. It’s our patented wing configuration. We believe that our ultra-efficient air-tech transport technology will be the future of aviation, transforming regional air mobility. So saving people time, money, and being sustainable as well. We think regional air mobility is just around the corner. Different than urban air mobility, which is the domain of lots of EV tools. Ours is a fixed-wing that has unbelievable passenger-per-seat mile metrics. So we think that it’ll open up regional air mobility for the first time.
John Williams: Good.
John King: Good to see you, Michael.
Michael: Good to see you.
Gene Clow: Good afternoon, I’m Gene Clow. I’m from Great Circle Aircraft up here in Washington state and an aircraft broker and consultant. I focus on airplanes that are 26,000 pounds and up, and those that have been in production sometime in the last 20 years or so. I don’t do the old, old, old stuff, so I don’t have to call Jeremy.
Paula: Do you do spacecraft, though?
Gene: No. No, no, no. I don’t do things that splash down the water.
John King: Gene, give us an example of a 26,000-pound aircraft.
Gene: So basically, you’re looking at the Lear 60 and up.
John King: Okay, thank you.
Michael: I’m going to defend myself now because one of the airplanes I’ve done so far in this year, in January of 2023 was a 737-800 special freighter, so there you go.
Paula: There you go. Okay. We have Paul Esteban and Fred, it looks like?
Fred: Yes. [inaudible]
Paul Esteban: Yes, hello. Avier Flight School in Beverly, Mass. Hello, John and Martha. How are you?
John King: Hello.
Paul: Oh my God, we spent a wonderful day with them back in November.
Paul: And they were such gracious hosts. And they gave us a day of their lives, and with a wonderful gifting of the book lift. And I’ve devoured that and enjoyed every minute. And we’re integrate-, it was just such a fun meeting, talking about entrepreneurial things, and running a flight school, and more ideas for the future. And we’re really excited about that meeting we had. And more opportunities to come. Thank you so much.
Martha: We enjoyed it very much.
John King: Fellow entrepreneurs, through and through. Good to see you again.
Paul: I really enjoyed that. Thank you.
Fred: Thank you very much.
Paula: Fantastic. And Stella, you’re joining us from the beach?
Stella: The Mexican Zihuatanejo beach.
Paula: Zihuatanejo, that was from the movie…
John King and Stella: Shawshank Redemption.
Paula: Shawshank Redemption, exactly.
John King: They were going to go off to Zihuatanejo.
Stella: One of my favorite beaches in Mexico.
Paula: That’s fantastic. Stella’s a writer with us. And she has her own business as well. So she’s an entrepreneur. And it looks like Adeela is joining. Will give her- will- may need to do- we’ll do- Oh, there we go. Adeela, you want?
Paula: Yeah, just in time for introductions. Good to see you.
Paula: Adeela is joining us from Lahore. Is that correct?
Adeela: Yes, Lahore, Pakistan.
Paula: Good to see you. I’m glad you made it. And it’s the middle of the night there. So, yeah.
Adeela: Yes, I was literally waiting for this event. So I’m here.
Paula: Adeela is an aviation management graduate in Pakistan. And she does some digital marketing work for us. She’s very passionate about aviation. And so you got fans all over the world, John and Martha. So it’s a- yeah, great to see you.
John King: Hello Adeela.
Adeela: Thank you so much. It’s great to meet you guys too. I hope I will learn a lot about entrepreneurship, and aviation, and marketing in this event today.
Paula: Oh, you’re in the right place. Great. So first of all, I just wanted to say thank you so much for everything that you’ve done for our book club. John and Martha signed our books, which was kind of a logistical craziness. So I really appreciate you finding a way to get that done. I know typically, people just buy books from Amazon. But you guys had a box shipped to your location so you could sign them and send them to me and then I sent them to our folks. That was really cool.
Martha: The good job was yours, Paula. Yours and John, because you had to then distribute them- the books, to all of your book club participants.
Paula: Right. And unfortunately, Adeela and Stella have e-books. We weren’t able to get them signed ones, because of the international situation. Anyway, yeah…
Stella: The books are much lighter to carry around with you.
Martha: They’re a little harder to take notes in, though.
Stella: Oh, not necessarily. I’ve got a little tool that I can notate all I want to.
Martha: Oh, great. That’s good.
John King: That’s cool.
Paula: So one of my favorite stories from the book is the… I love the fact that you guys create a product, you don’t wait for the market to adapt to you. You actually have adapted your company and reinvented your company so many times over. You were at the leading edge of video marketing before it was cool. And like the RVSM product that you just decided to put together because of your experience. And decided there’s a need in the market. Let’s create a product for it. And you’ve continually invented new products or reinvented the company over time. And I love that RVSM story for that reason.
John Williams: Yes, me too.
Martha: Well, the advantage of having a passion about what you’re doing, which is obviously very much our case. And we’re teaching and doing online programs. And so on about aviation is that everything you do gives you the opportunity to think about it. And think, are there other people that had the difficulty that we had in accomplishing A, or B, or C? And therefore might there be a market for it. We’re not having to pay someone to go out and do market research. Because we’re swimming in the market if you will. And as you mentioned, Paula, we wanted to fly our old Falcon 10 around the world. And in the process, we needed to get RVSM, reduced vertical separation minima certification. And the only options at that time in the US were a full-day or a three-day course, depending on the flavor at some place might flight safety. And so, we studied, we read some other materials created. A course, took it ourselves, certified ourselves, senate to the FAA. And the FAA said, looks good to us. And there we were. And when we got back from our around-the-world trip, we took that information and other things that we learned during the trip and created our online RVSM course. And that was actually, interestingly enough, the very first course that we had online.
Paula: Oh, wow. That’s amazing. So prior to that, it was all pre-recorded where you would send the recording out?
Martha: Right. We would send out either VHS tapes, originally, or later on, CD ROMs. And then, eventually, DVDs. So, we had the internet in our sights, but we had not yet put any of our programs on the internet. And the RVSM course was short enough and with a somewhat different format, that we could quickly and easily get it up into an online course. And that’s what we did. And that’s what launched the rest of our online working.
John King: Within a few months, the online courses paid for our trip around the world.
Paula: That is the best part of that story.
John Williams: That was awesome [inaudible]
John King: That’s what I like about entrepreneurship.
John Williams: You bet.
Paula: Right. And I love the fact- Before we started the recording, if anyone is joining, we were talking about your love of capitalism. And how it really ties together with innovation and with aviation in such a way that America or the United States has always been kind of a hub of aviation because of that market force. Or adapting to that market force. And that’s really what entrepreneurship is all about.
John King: Yeah. In my view, entrepreneurship was seeking out and taking care of other people’s needs. And to me, that’s what it’s all about.
Martha: Well, the thing about seeking out and taking care of other people’s needs is it’s good for the person doing it, the entrepreneur, and it’s good for the community. It, keeps the entrepreneur focused on other people, their needs, not the entrepreneur’s needs, primarily. And it does good things for people and good things for the community. So, it’s a win-win for everybody in our view.
John King: In aviation, we’ve been fortunate to know a lot of people who’ve done very well, including the billionaires. And the thing we learn is if they are big, they’re problem-solvers. That’s what they do for a living.
Paula: Yeah, and they’re interested in other people’s problems. As opposed to just trying to solve their own. It’s so interesting when I talk to business owners that I can tell, usually within the first few consultations, is this someone who’s interested in other people? Or do they just want to focus on their own self? And if that’s the case, they’re probably not going to be successful, no matter how innovative or, how good their products are. They have to be interested in other people also.
Martha: And that doesn’t necessarily mean that the entrepreneur is only going by what other people say they want or need. Because a lot of times, who knew that they needed an iPhone, or an iPad before they were available? But people with vision can visualize, because they know that their audience, if you will, their market. They can visualize what other people would benefit from and be likely to adapt quickly to. Because they themselves have a passion about it, and they want to find out. And that lets them have imagination about what would make other people’s lives better.
Paula: Exactly. Exactly. Absolutely. Well, I don’t want to hug the whole session. Because I know, everybody has great questions for John and Martha. So who wants to go next? I know this is awkward on Zoom. Because everybody wants to speak at the same time or nobody speaks at all, so…
Annamarie Buonocore: This is Annamarie Buonocore with InFlight USA magazine. We get a lot of people because we deal with a lot of writers who say, how do you write a book? And a lot of people just don’t know where to begin when it comes to writing a book. And it seems like book-writing has become a very important part of entrepreneurship in the world of self-publishing. So could you tell us a little bit about your experience of writing a book. And what advice you would give to aspiring authors?
John King: Oh, the first experience I can observe from when writing a book is it’s a lot of hard work. And that’s self-serving. But it’s a lot of trouble.
Martha: No matter how you do it, or no matter how much help you have in doing it, if it’s truly a book in your own voice, it is an enormous amount of work.
John King: Yeah. But you know, Martha and I have written a lot of articles. And one of the… How do you write an article? To me, the answer is set yourself aside, you’re going to do 1,500 words. Sit down and start writing. And then, you make a first draft, you edit it, refine it, and get it better. But the answer to it is start writing.
Martha: When we wrote, we wrote a column for flying magazine for a number of years. And one of the things that we frequently found is that we would start writing. And as John says, would get the first draft down. At least you have words on paper to talk about and think about. And once we got that, we would go back and we would very frequently find that we had buried the lead, as it’s often called. That the really interesting, eye-catching part of the article would be somewhere in the middle or maybe at the very end. And we would take that and pull it up to the front and rework the rest of the article to support it. But in a sense, part of what happened as far as our book is concerned is that we got a lot of it done. And then we went back and pulled a bunch of stuff up into basically chapter 1 to talk about how we felt about entrepreneurship, and what our interests were, and our passions, and we wanted to write the book.
John King: I think we live at a time and place of opportunity where you can make a living and even start a business. And you have the freedom to do it. And marketplace, that there’s something to sell somebody to. I think we have a special opportunity right now.
Paula: I agree. And…
Annamarie: Especially with book writing, yeah.
Paula: Oh, that’s great. John mentioned when he started reading the book… My husband, John. That John, mentioned when he started reading the book that it really pulled him in. And I can tell that that first chapter was so passionate. It was not a first draft. That was something that you’ve gone over and over and put a lot of energy and emotion into. Because it really did- It really does grab you. I was not expecting this to be a page-turner. I was expecting this to be kind of a textbook. And I know you guys the great teachers, but…
Martha: [inaudible] A lot of it was…Yeah, that first chapter is about our personal philosophy of how you interact with people. And the respect that’s due from you to them, and of course, back also. And how entrepreneurship can improve your life, but also the lives of everyone you touch. And the value of that to the community.
Paula: Absolutely. And I think I’ve already told you, I felt that… I began as a student pilot in my late 30s. So I was way, way, way behind. And your course has really made me feel comfortable very quickly, and nothing else could do that. I was working with teenage CFIs. They’re great, but not as confidence-inspiring as your materials were. And I really felt like I could do it because of that. So I can see that you felt that need. And I could feel your reassurance through the material. So I think that attitude and that passion really comes through in all of your work, including your book.
John King: What a privilege to have played a role in your flying life.
John King: It’s a great privilege [inaudible]
Martha: That comfort, I think, came in large part because before we put the programs on video, we started out teaching live 2 day-weekend ground schools all around the country, mostly in the west of the Mississippi, but around the country. And we were doing a live class every weekend for 10 years. And we got very comfortable that we knew and understood the people, the psyche, and the needs of the people that came to the classes. And a lot of them, they take the private, they’d come back for the commercial. Again, more live classes. Come back for the instrument. And so we got to know them, and what their concerns and worries were, and how they felt about it. It matters a lot when you’re learning to fly. It’s about the most important thing going on in your life at the time. And we felt very privileged, as John said, to be able to have a share in their lives when they were doing something that mattered so much to them
Paula: Right. That really says. Who else has a question for John and Martha?
John Williams: Well, I have a kind of a statement. And that is, back in the 70s when I was going through the process of getting my civilian short-circuits, I came out of the army from flying helicopters. And when I go to ground school, it was purely to pass the test. And then, unnerving, I did the instrument test. And my goal- my challenge was to come out of that test environment with three of the questions. We had to memorize them, because you couldn’t have pencil and paper with you. And then you take the questions back to the people who just got the ground swimming. And tell them what they were, so they knew what to teach next weekend. Yeah. And that’s exactly how it worked. And, of course, the only reason I passed that stuff is because I’d already have the exposure when I was in the army flying helicopters. I had thought many times I should’ve done something that actually was educational, not just on how to pass the test. And growing up over the years, and seeing you in flying magazine and other place, or stuff. That’s probably where I should have gone. But that’s all hindsight now, of course.
John King: Part of it is that the FAA had developed an adversarial position. The testing service had developed an adversarial relationship with pilots. And they wanted to see a bell-shaped curve. They wanted to have some on the outer end so they wanted to be able to distinguish between someone smart, and someone’s really smart and the bell-shaped curve would allow them to do that. But what was wrong with that, is the questions became trivial. They would ask either trivial or obscure.
And during that era, we were teaching ground schools. And we realize that the things that they were asking about weren’t things that cause people to have accidents. That they were asking trivial things. And those trivial things weren’t causing accidents. So, there became a reform and part of the airmen testing, so that that they were asking more substantial, more important things rather than trivial things. They were trying to trip up people, and they’ve gotten over that some.
John Williams: That’s truly quite interesting. Because I don’t know when that occurred, but I remember in a biennial flight review, that… We have an instructor up here, a great guy, his name is Long. I’ve learned more in a biennial flight review than I did in my ground school classes. Because he was teaching education instead of just trying to teach me how to pass the test. And I always appreciated them.
Martha: Well, when GPS came in, the FAA for a while in the instrument test, was asking people how many satellites there were in the GPS system.
John King: We didn’t care. All it had to be is enough, you know?
Martha: Right. And I know, it wasn’t one of the answers say they think you. And the point of that, the thing that disturbed us so about that was first of all, there’s nothing that you as a pilot can do about it. Secondly, there’s no easy place to look up and see how many satellites are active and in good working order right now. It can be looked up, it is not easy. And you don’t need the whole constellation of satellites in order to have even back in the beginning of GPS flying in order to have the information that you needed to safely make your trip. So they were asking obscure, basically, irrelevant information that the pilot had no real, actually zero control over. And made no difference at all to the risk management of a flight in order to get that bell-shaped curve and force certain number of people to flunk the test in order to quote validate their questions.
John King: There has been a reform and testing called the airman certification standards. And for the first time, they have standards for knowledge that the FA can ask.
Martha: They can’t never had before.
John King: They can’t make up stuff. And then, the second thing that they’re asking pilots to do when they become pilots is to be able to identify and mitigate risk. Previously, they had all been physical skills. They were saying, can you land an airplane? How do you do this? Now they’re saying, can you identify and mitigate risk so that accidents don’t happen. So now, were asking pilots to be able to pick situations and say, well, what are the risks in that situation, and how would you improve those risks? And so I think we get pilots who get a better result, as a result of that.
Martha: And they’re supposed to only ask questions about the body of aviation knowledge that a pilot would have control over. And that would be relevant to risk management to a better, safer flying.
John King: They’re not going to ask you to memorize stupid stuff and being able to come up with trivia.
Martha: There are still hold-over questions that are not completely scrubbed, but they are working on it.
Paula: That’s a good thing. And probably partly because of you. I always got the feeling when working with you that it was about risk management. It was about safe flying. It was not about passing the test, whereas other test prep materials that I’ve used are about passing the test.
John King: I made dozens of trips to Washington, D.C. to attend a meeting of the airmen certification standards. So I may have played a hand.
Paula: I’ll never tell you what you did, but I’m so glad that you were there.
Martha: Well, before the airman certification standards working group was established which was about 12 years ago now, I think. John was very vocal at the administrator meetings at SUN ‘n FUN, and AirVenture, and so on. Standing up and asking questions repeatedly about this issue of stupid questions that give you this bell-shaped curve but don’t improve the risk management of pilots. And eventually, you hit receptive ears, and some stuff happened.
John King: Sadly, teaching people trivia rather than helping them identify and mitigate risks.
Martha: What hurt you personally, when you realize that you’re having to cover trivia as part of educating pilot. And people are going out and killing themselves or getting killed by things that the FA’s not even talking about.
Paula: Yeah, that’s crazy.
John King: And we’ve done better.
John Williams: I’m a little shocked that that was 10 years ago. I would be expecting it to be 20 or 30 years ago.
John King: Yeah, no. It’s very recent, yes.
John Williams: Wow.
Stella: Is that still the Mexican driver’s license test scenario today?
John King: I don’t know what’s the Mexican driver’s license test.
Stella: Oh, well, it’s got correct questions on it, but have absolutely nothing to with driving. It’s like, what does one whistle mean? What does two whistles mean? How many satellites monitor drivers in Mexico City? I mean, you’re like, I don’t know! No brainer. Do I know what these sign means? Do I know where…
Martha: They’re just trying to reduce the number of drivers.
Stella: Oh, no. You only have to score 60%. And like I said, I would say at least 75% of the questions have nothing to do with driving. And there is no physical driving test. You don’t even have to show, hey, I can parallel park this car, or I can drive in one lane. No. You don’t have to do any of that.
Stella: It’s one task, and that’s it. And the questions are crazy. That’s why the drivers are crazy.
Paula: Yeah, that kind of brings back around, and I know this is a point that’s near and dear to Jeremy’s heart, and probably to you, and certainly John’s and mine as well. And that is balancing advocacy with entrepreneurship. And I know you guys do a fantastic job of that because you’re involved with the FAA in a lot of causes and things like that. So you seem to do it really, really well. And you never really run afoul of anything in terms of taking a position on a cause. And it’s not hurting your business. It never loses you customers if you’re advocating for them.
John King: Well, there’s that opportunity. If you do something that advocates something that your customers don’t want, it has the opportunity for the…
Martha: I think the primary thing is that you have to take reasonable stand. And you have to be very respectful in how you do it and when you do it. So the manner of doing it is very important, particularly if you’re taking a stand that might be somewhat controversial. And again, it goes back to the issue of respect for everybody all the way around. And good communications, you need to make sure that you’re communicating clearly what you’re trying to say, and particularly why you think it’s important to say that.
Jeremy: Well, that’s 309 pages in your book. How to start, run, and grow your own successful business. You can see all the turned corners [inaudible] and I probably- Well, I’ve got 13 things that I took away from your book. I just want to run through them in five minutes. So that is, don’t ever depend on anyone else for your security. Page 17. Dogs, right? Absolutely. I love that. There’s the, anran thing coming in. Entrepreneurs need to be committed students who never stop learning page, 19. Darn, right. Absolutely.
John Williams: Didn’t take us long to get into that, did it?
Jeremy: I like the idea of including the copyright symbol on your materials. I don’t know if I can do that with my appraisal reports, but… Alright, get this, page 43. I love this. Consider the competition, page 50. You know, I always help a competitor if I can. It’s just like the law of reciprocity, page 67. I’m open-source. And it’s the best way to be, what would be for confrontational and try and war with people? Because the more times you spread it around and help people, they come back and they end up sending your business. It’s the way the world works. So, I wish, this is my comment- I wish the upsell would go away, page 68. I personally do the down sell. Because a lot of people will push their most expensive service or product. I don’t do that. I’d rather push the lowest price and maybe work my way to there if it looks like my services are going to cover their needs. But it’s better to downplay than not play. You know, SWOT. I like the SWOT. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, page 107. The 80/20 rule, it’s a good analysis to perform every month. Whoever you are, what kind of business you got. Do the 80/20 rule, and apply it, then analyze it.
Tell me to shut up. I’ve only got a few more.
Paula: Carry on, you’re doing great.
Jeremy: I love this book. John and Martha, I love this book. I told you that last time.
John King: Thank you very much, Jeremy.
Jeremy: Honestly. I love this. This is absolutely spot-on. Over the years- this is your words- over the years, we have developed a love of accumulating cash. Darn, right! Page 117. You know, I pay my vendors and my AmEx bill before it’s due. And sometimes, I pay my AmEx bill three times a month. I want to make sure that what I’ve got in a bank is what I got in the bank. I don’t owe anyone anything. And so, Amen to accumulating cash, absolutely.
John King: Some people love spending money.
Jeremy: Oh, yeah.
John King: I think a lot of entrepreneurs don’t like spending money. And we don’t like spending money.
Jeremy: That’s why we’re called conservatives, right?
John King: Cash on the bank, on a fancy club.
Paula: But Jeremy’s never been late paying his bill.
Jeremy: Never, no. I’ll pay it up front. Let’s see. Not extending credit is excellent, page 119. It stresses me out. When somebody doesn’t pay that bill and I have to get on them. It stresses me out. It’s like, why the heck can’t you just pay your bill as [inaudible] Come on. Customers have acquired- and I love this- customers have acquired something more valuable than their money. Page 135. And that’s the whole concept all throughout life. You under-promise and over-deliver. Simple, it’s not brain surgery any of this.
John King: These are great observations. Thank you very much.
Jeremy: Oh, well. But thank you for writing. I love this book. I love this book. So I got two more, and I’m done. [inaudible]
John King: That’s right, keep on talking. Keep on talking.
Jeremy: And this one is utterly brilliant. And I think we all have a problem with this because of email, and text, and everything else. But I love this- over-communicating is a way to avoid miscommunication by omission. Page, I don’t know, 160, 154, I don’t know.
Paula: That’s okay.
Jeremy: I might have missed one of the letters. But it’s brilliant. Because you make the assumption that somebody understood you, they know what it is you’re offering, and their expectations are. And you don’t communicate, and you don’t bounce back and forth multiple times. And then when you come to the end of it, it’s like, well, that’s not what I wanted. Don’t be dumb! I think over-communication is utterly brilliant.
John King: It helps.
Jeremy: Yeah. Everyone, and I like this. Everyone should be better off because of our relationship, page 26.
Martha: I say that already. And we’re talking about not just the customers, but your fellow workers, and your vendors. Everyone that you come in contact with should end up being better off because of the relationship. And if that happens automatically, you yourself will end up being better off.
Jeremy: Fantastic. I mean, I just-
Paula: I was going to say, if you need somebody to read your book for the audio version, I think Jeremy just-
John King: Just wonderful, wonderful comments.
Jeremy: So last one. Last one, and this is something I’ve never, ever, ever thought about. And it’s fresh material to me. Page 201, you said, add quotes. They are pictures painted with words. And that really makes me pause and think. Wow, interesting. Anyway, I’m done. Sorry.
John King: That’s where he stop. Thank you very much.
Martha: Thank you very much, Jeremy.
John King: I’m glad you read the book.
Paula: [inaudible] And I have to tell you that Jeremy asked me to stop sending him books, because he’s got too many. But he did want this one. This is the one that he’s read, so that they’re amazing.
Martha: Great. That’s great.
Paula: Yeah. Anybody else have any questions for John and Martha?
John Williams: Javier?
Javier: Hello. Hello there. I just want to say, we’re operating and growing and innovating with a flight school out here on the east coast. And it’s a lot, it was a lot of fun. And it remains a lot of fun. We piled through all of the leadership books, and the business books, and business development books, and all of that. And it was so much fun to stumble on- well, not stumbled on. It was offered to us by John and Martha. But to be able to read and digest this book about entrepreneurship, centered on and focused on an aviation business has been really, tremendously helpful.
Martha: Oh, thank you.
Javier: And it’s higher quality than the other- There’s a lot of junk out there. I’m sure you’ve read them too. And there’s a lot of good stuff out there too. But it’s been fun to read that. And a lot of fun, especially having had the opportunity to shake hands. It’s a great book and I love the TNT. I love all of it.
John King: So you got the TNT memorized, huh?
Javier: That’s right. Hell, yeah. What are they? Focus on the needs of others, and enjoy the triumph from [inaudible]
John King: You’ve got [inaudible]
Javier: It really is exceptional. I appreciate it.
John King: Thank you.
Paula: Absolutely. So let’s just wrap it up with a last word from everybody. And if you weren’t able to introduce yourself at the beginning, feel free at the end. And just last phrase from everybody. Paula Williams, ABCI. I am so grateful to John and Martha for doing what you’ve been doing for so many years. Everything that comes out of King schools is a top-notch product, and the book is going to be one of my favorites for a really long time. So…
John King: I love the way you talk, Paula.
John Williams: John Williams, and I work for her. I just wish that when I grow up, you guys were around doing it. I had a great flight instructor, but when it came to getting ready for the written test, it threw me a map. Because of all this stuff.
Paula: Memorize the manual.
Martha: I thought we ran into when we were learning to fly. This was in 1969, and they handed us a stack of books instead. Learn everything in here. And boy, that’s intimidating. And it was a little while before we got started in this business. But we remembered that feeling and the difficulty of getting it. And the knowledge that we needed for the knowledge test, they called it a [inaudible] to written back then because it really was a written.
Paula: These guys when they were young.
Martha: The flight instructors never did want to- They wanted to spend their time in an airplane, teaching in the airplane. They never wanted to have to worry about, well, what did the FAA change today on the regulations or procedures or whatever. And so, we could see that need very strongly. And when we first started, we felt like we were just going to own a very nice job that we had a passion about. And believe me, there was no five-year plan, ten-year plan, 20-year plan, whatever it might be. We just got then.
John King: What we were trying to do was to have fun. And we went broke in our first business. And we said that hurt, let’s not do that anymore. This time, let’s do something for the fun of it. So we started teaching ground schools for the fun of it. And the plan was to do it until a serious business came along. It’s been 47 years we still have not found a serious business.
Paula: Good for you guys.
Martha: I hope it is for everyone who gets into entrepreneurship that it’s enough of a passion, that the destination doesn’t really matter. It’s the journey and that the journey is fun and rewarding. And they get great friendships and relationships out of it. And feel a sense of both challenge and accomplishment.
John Williams: Absolutely.
Paula: Absolutely. Can we have Adeela?
Adeela: I have a question to make. I know you all guys have a background of flying, but I don’t have. I have a background of a degree in aviation management, which is basically management, and marketing, and finance, and stuff like that. I just want to ask the courses. I was thought work, like accounting, and marketing management, and air traffic control et cetera. But they were not like trainings. They were just- What can you say? They were just material. They were just literature. So after doing this for whole year degree, when I go to the industry, I was not industry-ready. I was black. If there were some operations, they require a certificate. You have to spend some more time, some more months in training. And you have to get the certificate. And the other, like the management portions of the aviation industry. We were not industry ready. I just want to ask what we can do to close this gap of students studying four-year degree in aviation management, and still they are not industry-ready. What can we do to make them industry-ready? I know they cannot be 100% ready, but like, somewhat ready.
John King: I think the answer is, we have someone from King schools who could answer that question. And he has worked for universities, and started universities. And he would- I’m thinking Brian Hough. His name is Brian, B, R, I, A, N, H, O, U, G, H. And he is trying to help people have fun in business and aviation. So he would be the best. If you want to call King schools, and ask for Brian Hough.
Martha: Or just [email protected] and ask specifically for Brian Hough. Because with the time change, and so on- You’re in Pakistan, right? That would be difficult.
John King: Yes. You have access to email in the United States?
Adeela: I just, I can…
Paula: She absolutely does.
John King: I would think the best way for you to get a good, thorough answer directly- We could give you a light answer, but not a good, thorough answer. And Brian can give her a really, really thoughtful answer.
Adeela: Yes, if that education program was as high quality, I think everyone would be much better off, so..
John King: Brian is working on that. That’s what he does right now, so he would be good to talk with.
Paula: Famous last words, anyone?
John Williams: Yeah, I have a quick question for you, actually. And obviously, you could take a long answer, which we could do. But in today’s world of this pilot shortage that we are facing, are you seeing more young people come into the business? More young people wanting to learn how to fly. I know we’ve got on here online and Annamarie as well. But what do you see as the people coming up, is it occurring?
John King: Yes. Well, you see more people wanting to take aviation training than we ever have before. And yes…
Martha: Career-oriented pilots are hugely, these days outnumbering I say recreational pilots, not because they’re going for the recreational certificate. But because they want to use it just for fun flying. Career-oriented pilots, basically headed for the airlines, or some business aviation flying position are hugely outnumbering the pilots who want to use it just for their own fun and enjoyment.
John King: As you probably know, the airline unions would like to say, there’s no shortage of pilots. But there’s a very- well, I’ll say there’s a big demand for pilots, and big opportunity for pilots. Did that answer your question?
John Williams: Well, it does actually. And we’re seeing different things out there. Cheryl, and forgive me, I cannot remember the last name off the top of my head. It does the pilot hiring for corporate flight departments. She’s hopeful that we’re going to break even in 6-8 years. And when you read stuff that comes from the other side of the industry, the airline industry, they’re saying 2032 to 2041. Yeah, that’s what I said. It is delightful to hear that two things are happening. Number one, is the enrollments coming up. And number two, the destination, is not just a private pilot’s license.
John King: No, it’s not.
Martha: No. No.
John King: There a lot of people being hired. There’s a lot of demand, both demand and supply.
Martha: There are a number of flight schools that are partnered with airlines that are basically airline academy. They may or may not be directly owned. Some of them are owned by airlines and many others are contracted, that are coming up. And a lot of flight schools heavily focused on this.
John King: How do you guys at [inaudible] feel about that?
Paula: Good question.
Michael: As far as the- Well, to the question- Well, most directly to the question of the proportion of professional pilot candidates. I’d say, agree with John and Martha. Right now, far more than even five years ago, it’s the preponderance of our customers are going full professional pilot.
John Williams: Yeah, what’s interesting though is that I wanted an upgrade. I wanted to get a multi-engine had on.
Paula: A multi-engine. Yeah.
John Williams: That guy. That commercial estimate helicopter and fixed-wing rated, I want a multi-engine add-on fixed-wing. They won’t do it unless I want to go to the airlines.
John Williams: Only [inaudible] They told me I’m into two flight schools, they told me no.
John King: They wanted to hire people who are going to take more stuff?
John Williams: Yeah. They want people that’s going to go up and have an airline career served. They don’t want to pitch the one-off like me.
John King: They wanted to be part of a program.
Martha: They have a career path program. And as you say, John, they don’t walk one-offs that disrupt the schedule. Who takes away an instructor, it hurts away and aircraft, it messes up the flow of the students through they’re headed for the airlines.
John Williams: Yeah, I told myself, you know what? It wouldn’t even matter, if you could tell me when to come in, I’d come in at midnight. I don’t care. I just need- I just wanted to upgrade.
John King: He’s got an assembly line going and they don’t want…
John Williams: But they wouldn’t do it.
John King: And that’s an interesting point. I spent nine years in flight safety. And one of the biggest problems the flight safety ever had was to get a cockpit to build a simulator. Because it have to disrupt the entire building process to put one extra cockpit. Over to Jeremy’s side of the business, if they could find a crashed airplane and take the cockpit, then we’re really happy to buy it. Not that you’re in the crash cockpit business. But…
John Williams: Yeah, it’s so true.
Paula: Anyone else, famous last words?
Michael: I’ll jump in. Not a last word, but a question. Certainly, the part of the industry that I’m in, which is the future of aviation, all of the eto-folks are talking about autonomous aircraft. We are not looking at autonomous aircraft. Our focus is piloted, but eventually, autonomy may happen. As I’ve spoken to Michael Huerta, and other folks like that. You know, former FAA administrator. He’s given me his opinion and said, if I were still administrator, you wouldn’t see autonomy, or pilotless cockpit for many many years to come. A lot of different thoughts on that. I’m just curious what your thoughts are on the future of taking pilots out of the cockpit.
John King: But when people are talking about urban air mobility and a lot of these things that are supposed to happen in the future, I’m skeptical. I just think they have a lot of precedent to make.
Martha: There’s a lot of complex issues that they have to overcome if they’re going to go completely pilotless. Eventually, they’ll probably overcome it, but we don’t see that it’s soon. And there’s going to be a lot of resistance from both pilots and passengers as far as passenger aircraft are concerned.
John King: No one wants to participate in a pilotless aircraft.
Martha: That’s correct. Who wants to be the test articles on that? It’s going to be a very interesting sales job to create the demand for that.
John Williams: If sales, John’s going to have to start at the bottom, though. I’ve talked to a gent that had very good friends with a test pilot for Airbus. And the Airbus, it all computerized. Ans actually, you can program it where you get in it. No pilots, push the button, it will back out of the gate, taxi over, take-off en-route, land and taxi to the gate and discharge people with no pilot. It’s designed to do that. The tester said it scared him. I wasn’t going to try it.
Martha: Well, the question of course, that everybody asks in that kind of situation is that’s fine. But is the AI, the artificial intelligence, good enough to handle things when things go wrong?
Martha: Eventually, probably so. Right now, hmmm.
Adeela: I would like to…
John Williams: Got the AI and [inaudible] are one of those. And also one of the piper airplanes.
Martha: They come home. And they’re home safe.
John King: Home safe, they call. We’re in the land and stuff.
John Williams: Talks ATC and everything. It knows all the time where the nearest airport is, they put it down.
Paula: Adeela had another question, I think. That right?
Adeela: No, I just wanted to add on this discussion. I studied research on this topic about acceptance of passengers about autonomous aircraft. It was like people, the new generation, was somewhat okayish with being the aircraft being autonomous. But there was little trust issues. As you know, like, I have trust issues with the pilot when I’m flying. So without a pilot, I cannot.
Paula: Adeela, you were in college in the 2000s, is that right? Or, what’s the time frame?
Adeela: I graduated in 2020?
Paula: Okay. So very recent.
Adeela: Yes. and there was also this point that this transition will be like one pilot and then autonomous. The research was that first people will go to one pilot. They were be no first officer, only one pilot, and then maybe autonomous. But right now, I think people are not…
Paula: No… Yeah.
Adeela: Thank you for this.
Paula: Okay. All right.
Adeela: Some adventurous souls maybe, are ready. But not everyone. I am not ready.
Roberto: You know, on autonomous airplanes, I am a member of the de Havilland Museum over in the UK. And the first drone was a DHA2 de Havilland Tiger Moth. That they used a telephone console to actually dial in the commands. They launched them off aircraft carriers. And use some photography practice.
Paula: Oh my goodness.
Roberto: So I understand that the 787, the triple 7x, and the A350 have the ability to be remote piloted. I don’t know about the economy. But I’m all for autonomous flight, but I don’t want the telephone companies or something involved right where they occured. Artificial intelligence in the telephone industry? Shocks! Every time you dial under a big company, you trying to talk or chief somebody, it fails every time. So long as they don’t have autonomous equipment from the telephone industry, I’m good with it.
John Williams: I think I’m with John and Martha on this one. At the end of the day, there’s a railroad system. North of them up, in the Bay Area that started out their trains without a conductor on board or somebody writing up front. And Bart was on the direction of failure because nobody is driving the train. And people wouldn’t ride it. So then, they put a person in a chair up front that virtually has nothing to do with [inaudible] That’s the dog in the cockpit, right? What’s the dog for, to bite the pilot if he touches the controls. So what’s the pilot there for? Well, the pilot’s there to feed the dog.
Jeremy: Well, trains have been that forever. Somebody’s got to hit the switch so they got out there alive.
Michael: I don’t like Roberto’s comment that the FAA’s fine with automation, but not with autonomy.
Paula: I like that.
Michael: It’s okay to automate various processes, but not to remove the pilot. They still want that decision maker.
John King: Although they’re trying to remove one of the pilots now and [inaudible]
Paula: Yeah. It’s going to the same.
Michael: It’s a cost issue. [inaudible] So it’s are looking at cost, and there will be a much larger cost when you have a lawsuit from the first pilotless aircraft that goes down.
Paula: One thing we know for sure is that it is going to change. One thing that I really admire about the book is, basically, that it covers so much change. You guys have gone through so much in the industry. And you seen so many things happen. And you’ve rolled with the punches. So I think that’s really a great example for the rest of us about some of the punches we’re going to have to roll with.
John King: Yeah, well, change presents opportunity.
Paula: Oh, yeah.
John Williams: Yes, it does.
Paula: It absolutely does. And thank you for joining us today. I really, really appreciate you taking the time out. I know you’re super busy with the book tour and the whole nine yard. And everything that you’re doing with the schools and things. But I’m so flattered you were able to come. That was nice.
John King: Paula and John, thank you very, very much.
Martha: Thank you very much for having us on. And we’re glad to meet everyone else and we enjoyed your presenting the books to your book club, and we’re delighted to have participated.
John King: Thank you.
Paula: Wonderful afternoon. Bye.
John Williams: Bye.
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