Kevin O’Connor

by Kevin O’Connor on October 11, 2017

Kevin O’Connor

Kevin O’Connor

SAFE #: S0003034


Hometown: Carrollton TX, United States

Home Airport: KADS

Occupation: CPA, AGI

Education: BS in Accounting

Pilot Certificates: Private

Airplanes Flying/Flown: Piper Cherokee 140 currently, many others previously

Educational Specialty: Using simulation to enhance proficiency & improve economics of learning to fly

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: When I was about 8 years old, I flew in the back seat while my dad was taking lessons. I was fascinated with it and had been excited to have the opportunity to fly places in a small plane after that. I then had the opportunity to get my certificate for a huge discount while in college because there was a University Flying Club there (Colorado State University), so I took on a few part-time jobs and finished it about the same time that I graduated from college.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: Since I started on July 9, 2014.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Use my unique simulator to get people excited about flying and help them gain confidence that they too can learn how to fly and how they don't have to rich to be able to do so.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Explain to people why flying and everything related to it is so expensive, and dealing with how many months it takes every year to get my plane inspected. I had to wait nearly 2 months this year to even get into the shop, and then it took another 2 months to finish the annual. I don't understand why there is such a shortage of mechanics for small planes. It is also very difficult to find CFI's who are willing to teach. Most of the ones I've run across are either flying for the airlines or too busy to take on new students.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: Nothing too exciting…I was thrilled to be able to fly my Cherokee 140 with my wife last year from Dallas to LA to see my new first grandchild. When I was younger I loved flying from Fort Collins, CO to visit my dad in Sedona, AZ which I was lucky enough to do many times. It was an amazingly beautiful flight as I would fly through the mountains east of the continental divide to southeast Colorado and then over the incredibly beautiful Lake Powell, and over the Grand Canyon and on into the gorgeous valley of Sedona.

Why did you join SAFE?: I wanted to be involved with enhancing the quality and availability of aviation education.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: I would like to see the cost of general aviation go down to a level that is more available to people who are not in the top 2%. It seems that most of the companies in aviation don't really care about the little guy, and that is understandable because they make more money from the pilots who have plenty to spend. I find it unfortunate that even many airports are trying to attract the jet traffic and shunning the smaller planes.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: I don't know enough about the industry to make an educated suggestion, but I am doing my part with my approach to helping make it more affordable to get one's pilot's certificate, and after that to make it also more affordable to obtain an Instrument Rating as well. I also hope to attract more Rusty Pilots in the future. I was one of those, and coming back into the fold was what gave me the idea and impetus to start my company.

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you'd like to mention?: None that I haven't already discussed.

Who are your role models in aviation?: Rod Machado

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