Episode 5: John King

| November 26, 2010 | 16 Comments

John and Martha King operate King Schools from their 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) complex in San Diego, USA (near near Montgomery Field). Course development, production, customer service and shipping all occur at this location. Course videos are filmed either in the in-house digital studio or at nearby Montgomery Field. They have a hand in training over 50% of all the pilots in the USA at some point during their flight training.

Their 75-strong workforce manufacture over 90 sophisticated and interactive courses on DVD (CBT – Computer Based Training) with most of them available online as e-learning courses. John and Martha also produced flight training videos for Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2000. They also support Cessna’s Flight Training.

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King Schools was founded in 1975. As Certificated Flight Instructors, the Kings first began as a traveling ground school, offering two-day courses in various cities. A little more than a decade later, they began producing training videos that other flight instructors could incorporate their own curriculum. Eventually, demand for their videos by individuals learning to fly lead to the development of courses that could be used for self-paced study.

John and Martha King are two of the most recognised experts in flight instruction and King Schools is best known for its effective use of a folksy, humor-rich approach in their training videos characteristic of the King’s presentation style.

John King is an advocate for all areas of safety in general aviation. He talks to us about a number of issues with our discussion focused on risk management.

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Audio Index

00:00:00 – Introduction
00:00:39 – John King Introduction

John talks to us about:

00:01:07 – History of King Schools, who they are, course they offer and what they do
00:01:42 – Aviation Safety in the United States
00:15:10 – John introduces us to his ‘solution’ & risk management
00:16:30 – What is risk management?
00:18:50 – The ‘PAVE’ checklist
00:19:23 – Andy Thorley recap & what we do as GA instructors?
00:21:07 – External pressures (and goal orientated behaviour)
00:24:38 – John & Martha’s experience. Every category & class (managing those risks)
00:28:24 – Airliner environment versus general aviation
00:31:01 – Non technical checklists – including PAVE. How should they be used? Prelfight the flight.
00:35:55 – Decision making skills and models. Logical & emotional errors/decisions.
00:39:25 – CARE attentions scan
00:42:34 – Airline versus GA risk management model
00:43:00 – Does having passengers increase the fatality rate? Solo risks.

00:47:26 – Flight City advert
00:47:58 – Podcasters’ Emporium Emporium

00:48:25 – Cessna 210 Mayday call & his post flight phone call

00:49:18 – General aviation resources to manage risk
00:50:32 – Karlene & Goal orientated behavior and pilot personality (egos)
00:52:23 – King Schools risk management DVD’s
00:53:08 – Reluctant passengers
00:55:43 – Spouses or friends (John & Martha). The challenges & solution!
00:59:54 – August 28 incident. John’s held at gunpoint!!
01:27:28 – King School contat details & blog
01:07:55 – Farewell

01:08:23 – Post chat. Marty & Ken.
01:15:36 – What’s coming up on Flight Podcast?
01:15:55 – Dick Rutan. 7-minute promo.
01:23:23 – FP contact details. Competition details. Farewell.
01:25:42 – Disclaimer
01:25:56 – Bloopers
01:28:22 – End

Adverts &/or Promos played for:

Podcasters’ Emporium
Flight City


We’re giving away one hour in a Boeing 777 flight simulator at Flight City every episode we record prior to Christmas. To enter, simply email us any idea for the show to 777 [at] flightpodcast [dot] com.

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King School contact details

Company website | John & Martha’s blog | King Schools on Twitter | Cessna Flight Training

Next week: Dick Rutan?

We played a promo with Dick Rutan in this episode. We’ll most likely release this episode next although we may first release another episode that is somewhat more relevant and timely. Either way, you’ll hear Dick Rutan’s excellent talk soon.

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Category: Podcast Episodes

Comments (16)

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Marty & Ken and Flight Podcast, Flight Podcast. Flight Podcast said: Our chat with John King from King Schools (@FunFlying) is live. A must for any pilot: http://fat.ly/f5 […]

  2. […] FLIGHT PODCASTEpisode 5: John KingJohn and Martha King operate King Schools from their 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) complex in San […]

  3. Rick says:

    It’s amazing the number of people I come across that talk to me about John’s chat with you. The only thing better than listening to him is working for him. Good job. He certainly holds you all in VERY high regard and enjoyed talking to you.

  4. Kaitlan says:

    I heard about this interview about a week ago and only just managed to download it onto my iPad. Congratulations on a fine program. Great content from great people.

    I am interested in your take on a few other aspects of general aviation training and I’ve forwarded them on by your contact form. I look forward to your response.

    • Marty says:

      Thanks Kaitlan. I’ve just replied to your email. I’ve also managed to get in contact with the genteman you suggested we talk to.

  5. RM Solutions (Australia) says:

    I heard your comments regarding Matt Hall and as a friend of his I was aware that you had spoken to him already, but he did confirm that he made poor decisions on the day of his accident and shouldn’t have flown due illness. It was a good example to use for multiple reasons. As you correctly stated, he is ex-military and air race competitor that failed to adopt an appropriate strategy to minimise risk. Even as a friend I’ll admit that his attitude has no place in civilian aviation. As a result, as you’re aware, it was another nail in the Red Bull Air Race coffin.

    I really enjoyed John King and I’m looking forward to Dick Rutan. Good work guys.

  6. Daniel Craddock says:

    I really enjoyed your talk here and like a few others I’ll be making sure my students listen to it. I’ll be honest – until I heard your program I didn’t know what threat and error management really was, and your podcast has brough me one step closer to a full understanding. Correct me if I’m wrong, but your chat was really focused on the “threat” part of the equation? You really are doing great things so keep it up. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all of you and your listeners.

  7. JamesMayne says:

    Agreed. Great program by great people. Now following you all on twitter and can’t wait until number six. It was great to hear John King’s story of getting held up at gunpoint after reading about it so many times.

  8. Jerry King says:

    As a private pilot I’ve found your program incredibly informative. You’ve had a really positive impact on the way I’ll be approaching my flying in the future. Thank you all!

  9. John Ferguson says:

    Just wanted to say that I LOVE John King. What a LEGEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cheers guys.

  10. Brandon White says:

    Hello guys. I found your site via a tweet and listened to this podcast before sitting down to the QF30 episode. I just wanted to thank you for making such great podcasts.

    It really was fascinating hearing the group’s take on general aviation safety. As silly as it may sound, I’ve never actually even met an airline pilot before so just hearing how you address the issues of safety was a welcome change from the nonsense we hear around the aeroclub.

    Now for the Qf30 marathon. I hope you don’t mind me doing the dishes while I listen.

  11. Falcon50 says:

    I got your link off King’s Facebook page and I’m listening to the program now rather than working :) Really well done. BEST INTERVIEW WITH JOHN KING EVER. As some others here have done, I would like to thank you for making the best podcast I’ve ever listened to.

    “Participation with respect”. I liked your reaction to John’s comments :)



  12. […] can view the original shownotes and make a comment or give us feedback (appreciated) at FlightPodcast.com. As of April, 2001, this is our most popular podcast to date with over 130,000 downloads and/or […]

  13. Andrew Willis says:

    As I listen to your podcast I sit here wondering how it would work in a real world situation. Then… you play some chilling audio of a pilot in a spin. It really cements the discussion in a real world context. I’ll be honest – I had to pause and walk away for 5 minutes until my heart rate resumed to normal.

    You’re leaps and bounds ahead of other Australian contributors to the new media space. I hope you’re all recognised by the aviation industry for the work you’re doing.

  14. […] You can read the John King show notes at FlightPodcast.com. […]

  15. […] I came across an excellent podcast by John King where, among other matters, he discussed how he and his wife, Martha, handle PF/PNF duties in their Falcon 10. Its worth a listen. Episode 5: John King : Flight Podcast […]

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