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Orange County-based Rogue Aviation has opened a helicopter flight school at John Wayne Airport that looks to elevate the standard of aviation.
Born from a desire to see safety, integrity and community placed at the forefront of helicopter flight operations, Rogue Aviation, operating out of ACI Jet’s west side hangars, is owned and operated by commercial pilot Matt Barnes (who also owns sister company Rogue Creative Development), private pilot Brian Byfield, and chief pilot and certified flight instructor (CFI) James Baker.
With a training philosophy that elevates safety and the quality of education as their first priority, Rogue Aviation is challenging the status quo. Each CFI’s skills and abilities are thoroughly evaluated prior to becoming a Rogue CFI, and Rogue invests in its CFIs by providing ongoing training both within the company and by bringing in some of the top helicopter safety experts in the world.
Baker, who has over 11 years of flight experience and nearly 3,000 flight hours, leads the Rogue CFIs — a team of aviation experts. “Too often, flight schools prioritize making money over safety,” said Baker. “By increasing our safety training and accountability for flight instructors and having more structured and rigorous requirements for pilots-in-training, we’re raising the bar for safety even if that means we don’t make quite as much money.”
Leading the charge in creating tools and resources to forge an engaging and impactful educational experience is co-owner and director of education Barnes, who holds a master of education. “The focus in most aviation training is on conveying information,” he said. “Information is important, of course, but how information is presented is equally as vital. By developing a unified curriculum based in current educational philosophy, we can train pilots much more effectively.”
With an emphasis on safety, Rogue Aviation is aiming to set a new standard and cultivate a community that is based on integrity to support the aviation goals of its students and make them a reality.