- June 23, 2020
FORT MYERS — Paragon Flight Training, one of the fastest growing flight schools in the region, has taken possession of 10 Piper aircraft — part of a $15 million plan to enhance and modernize its fleet.
Fort Myers-based Paragon, based at Page Field in Fort Myers, has purchased 50 Piper aircrafts, for delivery over the next five years, according to a statement. The purchase, which will triple Paragon’s fleet by 2027, comes as the company officials increase efforts to train more pilots in response to the global pilot shortage while simultaneously aiming to become “the dominant player in the U.S. domestic flight training market,” the release states.
“It’s exciting to see our growth plans further unfold with the addition of this beautiful Piper aircraft — which we are confident is the training aircraft of the next generation,” Paragon Flight President and Owner Christopher Schoensee says in the release. “Our partnership with Piper, beginning with this first aircraft purchase, represents a milestone in the history of Paragon Flight.”
The purchase and delivery of the first 10 planes follows the company’s groundbreaking in January of an expanded 9,000 square foot learning center on Page Field.
The new training platform is the Piper P100i, a modernized version of Piper’s time-tested Archer training aircraft, a staple of the industry for more than 30 years, the company says. Chief Flight Instructor Jeff Wolf and Administrative Director Sarah Schoensee took delivery of the aircraft from Vero Beach-based Piper on Jan, 31. John Calcagno, Piper Aircraft's president and CEO, says it was a momentous occasion for both organizations.
“Piper Aircraft is proud to work with Paragon Flight as they expand their pilot training program," Calcagno says in the release. "The addition of the Pilot 100i to the Paragon training curriculum will help enable them to provide a cost-effective training solution while working to cultivate a well-trained pilot pipeline for the airline industry.”
Paragon Flight was founded in 2006 and offers commercial, military and recreational pilot training using both aircraft and advanced simulator technology. Paragon Flight Training was inducted into the 2021 class of GrowFL 50 Companies to Watch.