A Federal Aviation Administration-certified flight instructor has launched Elon Aviation, a new flight school and aircraft rental company at the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport.
Chris Whittle was previously the chief flight instructor at Burlington Aviation, another flight school at the airport.
Whittle and the school have taken over a 3,500-square-foot hangar on North Aviation Drive previously occupied by Bully Aero, which relocated to a larger space.
While he was a little nervous about starting a flight school in the middle of winter, “business has been excellent,” Whittle said, adding that he’s been busier providing flight instruction at his new company than with his previous employer.
Whittle said he has already hired on two other instructors and could use another two thanks to business growth already.
He attributes Elon Aviation’s success so far to his approach to flight training, which is individualized and tailor-fit to meet a student’s needs. “I really take an interest in the student’s goals,” Whittle said. And the students who have finished flight instruction, along with accomplished pilots, are able to rent aircraft from Elon Aviation for practice. Whittle said right now the school has three aircraft, and expects to take on two more planes over the next several weeks.
And to foster a sense of community, he also started a local Burlington chapter of the IMC Club, which educates pilots and provides them with networking opportunities at Elon Aviation.
Dan Danieley, executive director of the Burlington-Alamance Airport Authority, said he was happy to see that Whittle opened the flight school in what he refers to as the “incubator hangar.”
He hopes that the airport can eventually accommodate Elon Aviation with a larger facility, he said.
“He’s just a great asset to this airport,”he said.