Performance Flight was opened in 2007 by Lewis Liebert. The company started with one Cirrus plane, an SR20-GTS to be used for flight training. At the time Liebert wasn’t yet a pilot so he modeled the company around what he’d want as a customer, both as a student and as a renter.
The timing was excellent and the response stronger than expected. Quickly, the fleet grew adding more SR20’s and SR22’s. Performance Flight was the first training center in the world to offer the SR22 Turbo. We were also among a small handful of training centers to offer a Level 1 Cirrus-specific flight simulator.
In 2008 the fleet continued to grow and reached 20 planes. Aside from university and commercial programs, Performance Flight developed into the largest Cirrus Training Center in the world with 11 planes for training and rental. But this was just the beginning of our growth. We maintained a pattern of being the first in the world by offering Cirrus Perspective planes for rental as well as Avidyne R9.
Soon to follow was our Executive Pilot Program, presenting non-pilot owners with a complete solution. The program was welcomed by the industry and quickly grew as we structured the operation to support the use of small piston planes as well as larger turboprop and jet aircraft.
Serving a very high-end group of clientele Performance Flight opened its Charter Division. Operating as a broker we were able to offer a remarkable level of customer service and individualized attention, as well as give our clients powerful economic charter solutions. We are now capable of providing services around the world for short local trips and those spanning the globe.
The company continues to expand as we add new aircraft, hire more staff, and multiply our service offerings.
One of the first experiences that led to the launch of Performance Flight was a Discovery Flight taken by our company founder, Lewis Liebert. Not yet a pilot Liebert quickly realized the industry is mostly run by operators who all have significant pilot backgrounds, but little business experience.
So when Mr. Liebert decided to form Performance Flight he did so based on how he wanted to learn to fly himself. The first decision, an easy one, was to use the Cirrus planes. The safety features were clearly the best of class, and it was also among the fastest, and definitely the most luxurious. And perhaps more important than the selection of the Cirrus plane was the hiring process for Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs).
Performance Flight set employment minimums far beyond what was considered standard. Just to be invited for an interview, a pilot was required to have no less than 2,000 hours total time with no less than 1,000 of instruction given. At the time, in 2007, airlines were hiring people with less than 300 hours so finding a CFI was hard enough, but especially challenging with such high minimums. Years later Performance Flight still maintains the same minimums and the instructors have an average of approximately 4,500 hours of experience, almost all having either an ATP rating (the highest rating offered by the FAA) and/or a bachelors degree in aviation.
Quickly the focus of the training programs became forming strong habit patterns and working on Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM). In 2008 Performance Flight began the task of creating a new training syllabus that challenges the way flight is taught. After two years of tedious work the most comprehensive, scenario-based, Private Pilot Syllabus was completed and put to use.
Performance Flight maintains among the highest standards of flight training available. We don’t look at FAA minimums as benchmarks, but instead help students achieve their overall goals at a pace that’s conducive to their lifestyle.