The history of business / corporate aviation and how it pertains to the role of the Corporate Flight Attendant / Third Crew member is an interesting story. It enables one to see the importance of corporate specific training for the third crew member in an industry where our aircraft continuously become larger, travel at higher altitudes, and have longer range.
The world of corporate aviation came into being and prominence shortly after World War II. The end of the war made available to the civilian market a large supply of military transport aircraft and veteran pilots. As corporate air travel increased, so did the demand for a more business-oriented environment. This environment required that aircraft interiors support the business person by providing anonymity, total comfort and office like amenities.
In the early days of business aviation, the trend seemed to be that aviation managers and chief pilots usually used a male flight mechanic / technician in the back of the aircraft. This provided the dual role of a person that could fix the aircraft on the road if there was an aircraft malfunction as well as handling the needs of the passengers during the mission.
At this point in time, there was no real emphasis on elaborate "specialized" food services and culinary expertise. Because the interiors became increasingly detail oriented in order to continually support the customer / clients needs, so did the need to have a trained third crew member that could accommodate these specialized requests. The galleys and the cabins became more elaborate and extensive in design, technology, in-flight entertainment systems, and electronic / satellite communication systems.
By the 1980's, it was apparent that the corporate flight attendant / third crew member needed to be "corporate specific" trained for emergency and first aid incidents as well as having culinary and food service experience. Now the corporate business traveler had privacy, anonymity, a safe and pristine environment to work within, and the ultimate in amenities.
Corporate aviation provides the passenger with the ability to operate within a non structured time frame that can be changed at any given moment. It is a world of total flexibility, function, and organizational methods implemented to accommodate any business traveler.
I have been involved in aviation for the last 39 years. I began my aviation career flying for American Airlines in 1970, and left to fly for a supplemental charter company called Capitol Air. While sitting on my jump seat for take off and landing I would notice small jets that resembled a Jaguar or a Lamborghini and they intrigued me. In 1984 Capitol Air filed for bankruptcy in the courts and went out of business. I was heartbroken and not at all ready to stop flying, and could not get those gorgeous jets out of my mind! I soon learned that this was an area of aviation called corporate business aviation.
I began my corporate aviation career in 1984 as a contract flight attendant in southern California. There were no informational and educational training programs for the corporate flight attendant at that time. It seemed like a very elite environment with very little room for error, and I soon learned that this was true. It was 100% different from commercial aviation with the common denominator being "safety first." There was one "corporate specific" emergency and first aid training program at the time. I knew that this training program would assist in making me more marketable as well as professional for this industry. I believed that I already possessed the people and culinary skills that added to the many attributes needed to be successful in this venue of aviation. I wanted to be trained for the specific equipment type that I wished to work on now which appeared to be very different from the commercial heavy equipment that I had previously worked on.
It also appeared that it was up to the individual to innately know all of the skills and job responsibilities needed to work on a corporate jet. It seemed crucial to know the standard operational procedures that were generic to most of the corporate aviation flight departments to do this work perfectly and expeditiously.
I attended emergency and first aid training for corporate aircraft and started marketing myself for my new career as a Corporate Flight Attendant. In today's world, there is no time or room for errors, not knowing what to do and how to do it. Chief Flight Attendants and aviation managers do not have the time to train people. It is out of my experience of "breaking" into an industry that had no training classes for the novice corporate flight attendant that wanted to be in business aviation, that I created Corporate Flight Attendant Training in 1999.
This is a training that will provide you with all of the answers to all of the questions that my many colleagues and myself all over the US that are Chief Flight Attendants for Fortune 500 Companies had no answers to many years ago. We all learned the hard way with virtually no information available about managing the back of a $40 - $60 million aircraft.
In 1995 I became a member of the National Business Aviation Association Flight Attendant Subcommittee. I had now been successfully flying as a contract and then full time flight attendant. Because of the business skills that I possessed, and the way that I had approached contract flying, I realized that there was great deal of information that I could impart to new people that wanted to break into our industry. I taught contract flight attendant skills at the NBAA Flight Attendant Conferences in breakout sessions for three years in a row. It was at this time that someone brought to my attention the fact that there was no one in the United States teaching this type of valuable information.
I decided to take this information and create a training syllabus in a formatted way that would provide a new person with all of the information needed to do this type of flying. I applied the business aspects as well as the actual A-Z procedures needed from the time you are called for an interview through a trip's completion into a teaching format. In 1999 the first Corporate Flight Attendant Training Program was taught in Philadelphia, PA. By the middle of 2000, I had added Los Angeles, CA as a second training city.
Today, nearly 11 years later, the Corporate Flight Attendant Training Program is taught in Long Beach, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Teterboro, New Jersey; Denver, Colorado; New Orleans, Louisiana; Pompano Beach, Florida. In conjunction with Flight Safety throughout the year.
This program is an extensive four day training class that covers the skills and tools needed by today's corporate aviation flight attendant. It details the basic standard operational procedures that are utilized by most corporate aviation flight departments in the U.S.
It is a strong comprehensive and informative training that has proven to be very successful in educating people and aiding them in finding work within business aviation. After eight and a half years of teaching this program, 90 percent or 3 out of 4 of our students are gainfully employed, flying either full-time or contract. This training targets the specific marketing strategies that will create success for you within the business aviation industry. This training will teach you how to manage yourself as a business while flying on a contract basis. This training will teach you "how to get a job" and you will leave this training as a business person who offers corporate flight attendant services. This training provides you the student, with a thorough understanding of what corporate aviation is, and is not. It is an invaluable training for those who wish to break into corporate aviation.
The Corporate Flight Attendant Training teaches the importance of catering as it relates to business aviation. The Corporate Flight Attendant Training also includes a vast amount of catering information where it applies to International trip planning. This training syllabus will empower the new corporate flight attendant to accept trips to remote International destinations. They will gain vast knowledge that will assist them in knowing what is expected of them and add to their comfort level in taking the assigned mission from start to completion.
The Corporate Flight Attendant Training Program is now offered in Long Beach, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Teterboro, New Jersey; Denver, Colorado; New Orleans, Louisiana; Pompano Beach, Florida. We conduct training's in conjunction with Flight Safety International in Teterboro, New Jersey and Atlanta, Georgia.
This training program has produced excellent results. If you have the ability, skills, flexibility, attitude, aptitude, a strong sense of food and you are extremely detail oriented, then this is a venue of aviation that you should explore!
My commitment to business aviation is to put into the workplace a corporate specific trained, detail oriented, creative, savvy professional flight attendant. I want people that wish to have the information and training to be able to have it. The transition from commercial to corporate is very difficult. You only get one chance to make a good and lasting impression, and that takes place in the first five seconds of meeting someone. You don't get a second chance to recreate the first "lasting" impression you have already made!
Education is power and continuously keeps you on the leading edge of an industry that is challenging, monetarily rewarding, and personally rewarding. Business aviation is the best that flying can offer a flight attendant! People can have their dream of flying as a corporate aviation flight attendant become a reality with proper training.