Proper Pilots Incorporated is an aviation academy that offers flight training and pilot certification to those pursuing careers in aviation. Tim Tweet, certified flight instructor (CFI) and CEO of Proper Pilots, decided to expand his business by incorporating a mobile app to make flight training more accessible and cost-effective for students while ensuring a fair wage was being paid to CFIs.
The idea came to him after he witnessed the income disparity CFIs were experiencing working in the private sector training student pilots. With an awareness of the ongoing, multi-year, domestic pilot shortage, Mr. Tweet believed that CFIs should be able to seize the current opportunity to increase their income instead of struggling with declining wages.
Mr. Tweet recognized that a change needed to take place in the industry. He envisioned this necessary shift as having an impact similar to the disruption that occurred when Uber entered the taxicab industry. It was then that Mr. Tweet set out to find the right software developers to engineer a mobile app that could put control back into the hands of the CFIs and implement the transformation he wanted to see take place. Mr. Tweet explained,
“Flight schools were charging students $80 an hour for instruction, but they were paying instructors as independent contractors about $15 an hour. They were taking all the value out of "the instructor jobs, mostly because they had the planes and they were also finding the students." “This app works essentially like the Uber app. The way Uber connects riders with drivers – this app connects students with flight instructors, and it also connects instructors with people that own planes that are not being used often and are sitting idle in airport hangars, losing value while costing money to store and maintain. This app allows plane owners to rent out their planes to instructors and generate a revenue stream on an asset that would otherwise continue to depreciate and remain inoperative. It also allows instructors to determine their own rates and add value back into their profession.”
Reaching New Heights with an Expert-Level Development Team
Mr. Tweet enlisted Chetu to develop the mobile application for Proper Pilots after he shared his project requirements with the company’s development team and was given a thorough explanation of the development process and timeline.
The Proper Pilots hybrid mobile app project was underway. A hybrid mobile application combines elements of both native and web applications. This type of mobile application is preferred because it can operate on different platforms, is faster to build, and can work on and offline. The development environment for this project included the following:
Apache web server
MySQL is an open-source relational database management system that is secure and offers support for processing transactions. MySQL provides data protection features and encryption. It’s easy to install and work with and offers great performance.
PHP (Laravel): This is a robust, open-source web framework used to develop web applications that follow the MVC (model-view-controller) design pattern. This design pattern is commonly used to design and create user interfaces as well as the structure of the application.
SVN revision control system, also referred to as a source code management system (SCM), or source code control system (SCCS). The subversion server maintains a repository where files are stored in a hierarchy of folders.
Chetu’s team of experts formulated an approach that initially focused on working with the design team and PHP developer for the backend development. Additionally, initial targets included completing all XD (experience design) in the workflow of phase one that would define the app’s touch points and how users would access and interact with the app. The goal was to make the app very user-friendly for the three types of users that would have access to it: instructors, students, and airplane owners.
The app’s design also needed to include login accessibility for each type of user. In addition, a dashboard would be incorporated to serve as the starting point for features such as scheduling access for all users, plane and instructor selection for students, and invoicing and payment capabilities for instructors and students.
A Soaring Success
The mobile app was successfully developed and is fully functional. Mr. Tweet decided to implement it on a small scale before making it widely accessible. He deployed it in partnership with a non-profit flight club charity and academy that trains students who want to become flight instructors. Through this partnership, the app already connects over 100 students and 20 flight instructors. All flight instruction is now coordinated through the app, and it is being reported as a total triumph!
Mr. Tweet’s next move is to expand and promote the app to a broader market, making it more widely accessible. He is certain of its continued success, noting the extraordinary results it has already delivered for Proper Pilots:
“Chetu helped us tremendously; the most quantifiable measure would be the significant wage increase the instructors have realized. Instead of making $15 an hour, they are now making between $60 and $85 an hour. CFIs making $30,000 annually are now making over $100,000 – and it’s all because of the app Chetu helped us develop.
“I have no idea how this could have turned out without Chetu. They were quick and reliable. They were good on the calls, and kept me very well-informed. The team wanted to ensure everything worked the way I wanted it to. I felt like I was a part of the whole process and had a hand in how everything was developed. It was a really good experience.”
Do you wish to expand your service offerings with a customized mobile app? Chetu has mobile app developers ready to take on your project and help your company realize its goals. With over 2,800 software experts, Chetu specializes in every area of software development. Our developers have extensive industry experience and utilize the latest tools and technologies to provide our clients with the most cutting-edge business solutions.