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THE CORPORATE/BUSINESS AVIATION FLIGHT ATTENDANT
&
CORPORATE FLIGHT ATTENDANT TRAINING PROGRAM

BY SUSAN C. FRIEDENBERG
COPYWRITED 2008

The history of business/corporate aviation and how it pertains to the role of the Corporate Flight Attendant/Third Crew Member is an interesting story. It enables one to see the importance of corporate specific training for the third crew member in an industry where our aircraft continuously become larger, travel at higher altitudes, and have longer range.

The world of corporate aviation came into being and prominence shortly after World War II.  The end of the war made available to the civilian market a large supply of military transport aircraft and veteran pilots.  As corporate air travel increased, so did the demand for a more business-oriented environment.  This environment required that aircraft interiors support the business person by providing anonymity, total comfort and office like amenities.

In the early days of business aviation, the trend seemed to be that aviation managers and chief pilots usually used a male flight mechanic/technician in the back of the aircraft. This provided the dual role of a person that could fix the aircraft on the road if there was an aircraft malfunction as well as handling the needs of the passengers during the mission.

At this point in time, there was no real emphasis on elaborate "specialized" food services/trends and culinary expertise.  Because the interiors became increasingly detail oriented in order to continually support the customer/clientís needs, so did the need to have a trained third crew member that could accommodate these specialized requests.  The galleys and the cabins became more elaborate and extensive in design, technology, in-flight entertainment systems, and electronic/satellite communication systems.

By the 1980ís, it was apparent that the corporate flight attendant/third crew member needed to be "corporate specific" trained for emergency and first aid incidents as well as having culinary and  impeccable food service experience. Now the corporate business traveler had privacy, anonymity, a safe, secure and pristine environment to work within, and the ultimate available in-flight amenities.

Corporate aviation provides the passenger with the ability to operate within a non structured time frame that can be changed at any given moment. It is a world of total flexibility, function, and organizational methods implemented to accommodate any business traveler and the mission.  

I have been involved in aviation for the last 38 years.  I began my aviation career flying for American Airlines in 1970, and left to fly for a supplemental charter company called Capitol Air. While sitting on my jump seat for take off and landing I would notice small jets that resembled a Jaguar or a Lamborghini and they intrigued me.  In 1984 Capitol Air filed bankruptcy in the courts and went out of business.  I was heartbroken and not at all ready to stop flying, and could not get those gorgeous jets out of my mind! I soon learned that this was an area of aviation called corporate business aviation.

I began my corporate aviation career in 1984 as a contract flight attendant in southern
California. There were no training programs for the corporate flight attendant at that time. It seemed like a very elite environment with very little room for error, and I soon learned that this was true.  It was 100% different from commercial aviation with the common denominator being "safety first." 

There was one "corporate specific" emergency and first aid training program at the time.  I knew that this training program would assist in making me more marketable as well as professional for this industry. I believed that I already possessed the people and culinary skills that added to the many attributes needed to be successful in this venue of aviation. I wanted to be trained for the specific equipment type that I wished to work on now which appeared to be very different from the commercial heavy equipment that I had previously worked on.

It also appeared that it was up to the individual to innately know all of the skills and job responsibilities needed to work on a corporate jet.  It seemed crucial to know the standard operational procedures that were generic to most of the corporate aviation flight departments to do this work perfectly and expeditiously. You only get one chance to make a good and lasting impression, and that takes place in the first five seconds of meeting someone. I attended training, started marketing myself and began my new career as a Corporate Flight Attendant.

In 1995 I became a member of the National Business Aviation Association Flight Attendant Subcommittee. I had now been successfully flying as a contract and full time flight attendant.  Because of the business skills that I possessed, and the way that I had approached contract flying, I realized that there was great deal of information that I could impart to new people that wanted to break into our industry. I taught contract flight attendant skills at the NBAA Flight Attendant Conferences in breakout sessions for three years in a row. It was at this time that someone brought to my attention that no one in the
United States was teaching this type of valuable information. I decided to take the information and create a training syllabus. I applied all of this into a teaching format and in 1999 the first Corporate Flight Attendant Training Program was taught in Philadelphia, PA. By the middle of 2000, I had added Los Angeles, CA as a second training city.

This program is an extensive four day training class that covers the skills and tools needed by today's corporate aviation flight attendant. It details the basic standard operating procedures that are utilized by most corporate aviation flight departments in the
US.

It is a strong comprehensive and informative training that has proven to be very successful in educating people and aiding them in finding work within business aviation. It addresses the specific marketing strategies that will create success for you within the business aviation industry. This training will teach you how to manage yourself as a business while flying on a contract basis. It provides the students with a thorough understanding of what corporate aviation is, and is not.  It is an invaluable training for those who wish to break into corporate aviation.

The Corporate Flight Attendant Training teaches the importance of catering as it relates to business aviation. The Corporate Flight Attendant Training also includes a vast amount of catering information where it applies to International trip planning. This training syllabus will empower the new corporate flight attendant to accept trips to remote International destinations.  They will gain vast knowledge that will assist them in knowing what is expected of them and add to their comfort level in taking the assigned mission from start to completion. 

Today, nearly nine years after our first training was presented, the Corporate Flight Attendant Training Program is taught in Teterboro, NJ.  Long Beach, CA.  Atlanta, GA.  Denver, CO. and Tucson, AZ


While conducting a training class, I repeatedly state to my students, "You donít know what you donít know." This statement really is most applicable to the commercial flight attendant that is transitioning over to business aviation. If this is the case, one must "unlearn" everything they have been doing during their commercial aviation careers. It can be a challenging and daunting task for someone that has flown the general public.  Some of the many topics taught in this four day training class are:

*  DEFINING WHO THE CORPORATE FLIGHT ATTENDANT IS
*  DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN CONTRACT/FREELANCE & FULL TIME FLYING
*  DIFFERENCES IN THE FARíS FOR PART 91 & 135
*  MARKETING YOURSELF AS A BUSINESS PERSON WHILE FLYING CONTRACT
*  CORPORATE SPECIFIC RESUME BUILDING
*  MANAGING YOURSELF AS A BUSINESS IN A COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE
*  DEVELOPING  A PROFESSIONAL IMAGE
*  CORPORATE CULTURE
*  EXTENSIVE CATERING, PRESENTATION & PACKAGING INFORMATION
*  TRIP PREPARATION 
*  RON RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE AIRCRAFT
*  AVIATION DEPARTMENT COMMUNICATION SKILLS

*  INTERNATIONAL, REMOTE, LONG RANGE TRIP PLANNING
*  AUGMENTED CREW CHANGES AND APPLICATIONS
  

This program has produced excellent results.  I am proud to say that approximately 89% of the people that we train that have also attended "corporate specific" emergency and first aid training that have the ability, skills, attitude, and the aptitude to do this type of flying are all flying either full time or contract today.

My pledge to business aviation is to put into the workplace a safety trained, detail oriented, and creative, savvy, and professional flight attendant.  I want people that wish to have the information and training to be able to have it.  None of this information was available when I started flying as a Corporate Flight Attendant 24 years ago. I learned by trial and error and in today's marketplace, there is no time for errors.  People can have their dream of flying become a reality with the proper training and education. As a new corporate flight attendant you are the author of your success in business aviation. Passion, commitment, education, organization, and excellence creates opportunity and success!

Susan C. Friedenberg - President
Corporate Flight Attendant Training & Services
241 South 6th Street
Suite 1806
Philadelphia, PA 19106 USA
Telephone # 215.625.4811
FAX # 215.413.9013
www.CorporateFlightAttendantTraining.com