3/20/20 - Temporarily Suspending Flight Operations

Some of the most important skills we learn as pilots are our Risk Management and Aeronautical Decision Making. Our ability to identify hazards, weigh the risks, and make a smart go/no-go decision is what allows us to take an inherently dangerous activity and conduct it on a daily basis with high levels of safety. As professional pilots, we're used to making those decisions. This is different. We've found ourselves in the position of making our daily go/no-go decisions with hazards and risks we've never had to consider before and dangers that can reach far beyond ourselves and that one flight.

Like many businesses, we have been wrestling with the decision to continue operating or to send everyone home. Using the current CDC and VDH guidance, we fall into the low risk category and business as usual with the typical precautions is recommended. However, we're not the typical kind of business, and for those of us in the cockpit, the risk of transmission is extremely high and impossible to mitigate. Combined with the very real possibility of not knowing if the person you're flying with is infected, where our community is on the "curve", the number of people potentially impacted beyond ourselves, and so many still unknown factors, the risk is simply too high for us to feel good about business as usual.

With the health of our staff, customers, and community in mind, as well as our desire to help with the effort to "flatten the curve", effective immediately, we are suspending flight operations. We're planning for this stoppage to last approximately two weeks, but will continue to adjust our operations to comply with any upcoming changes in guidance from the CDC, VDH, and the Governor's office.

Access to our facility will be limited during this time to reduce risks to our staff. We are setting up ways to connect with us remotely so that study groups and ground training can continue online.

For students who may be in a critical phase of flight training (have a checkride scheduled, for example), contact your instructor and we will work with you on options to get it completed, if possible (some DPEs are already cancelling checkrides).

We will be removing reservations from the schedule (so you won't have to) and do our best to keep you updated via our website. If you have any questions, email will be the most effective way to reach us for the time being.

Thank you for your understanding and your patience. Not just toward us, but toward everyone facing their own tough decisions and hardships right now. We're in this as a crew.

Jon Beard
Star Flight Training