Beyond general maintenance and flight coordination, Jefferson City Flying Service (JCFS) prides itself on its flight instruction resources, making the FBO a hub for the community’s aviation fanatics.
“Flight instruction has been one of those things you dabble in, but over the past 3-4 years, with airlines screaming for employees, a lot of the younger generation is getting into aviation,” said Grant Shorthose, Jefferson City Flying Service partner. “Our FBO possesses varied resources and instruction options, aimed to inspire the next generation of aviators.”
The FBO teaches private pilot licensing, instrument ratings and commercial multiengine flight instruction. Additionally, it boasts six flight instructors and eight different aircraft used for lessons.
“We take a lot of pride in our flight school,” Shorthose said. “We can take any person from having absolutely nothing to being commercially rated with multiengine rating and flight instruction.”
Located in Missouri’s capital, JCFS opened in 1971. It was in 1985 that Shorthose came onto the team as a line service technician. After working his way through the office and into management, he became a partner in 2000.
“Since then, we have expanded our maintenance facility and have gone from one maintenance employee to nine,” Shorthose said. “We’ve added an avionics department and recently opened our ninth hangar.”
Currently, JCFS is the FBO of choice for several small to mid-size corporate jets. In addition, the FBO provides fuel services to the local military unit. Shorthose also notes that being in Missouri’s state capital has its perks when it comes to clientele.
“We have consistent economics here, which drives steady business for the FBO,” Shorthose said. “We are also a 45-minute drive from Lake of the Ozarks and only 30 miles south from the University of Missouri.”
Cultivating strong ties to the local community is a priority at the FBO, as JCFS continually strengthens its relationship with remote businesses like the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce through hosting tour groups and chamber meetings.
“We strive to be a part of the region’s social and economic scenes,” Shorthose said. “We want our community to know what the FBO brings to the table.”
Inviting tour groups and hosting meetings are not the only ways the FBO maintains a relationship with the Jefferson City community, as JCFS shares its flight school space with local restaurant, The Landing Zone.
“For any size airplane, it’s key to have a restaurant in the airport,” Shorthose said. “You might be a jet going across country or the weekender looking for a great stop for breakfast – either way you have a location where you can fuel up, rest and get a bite to eat.”
In addition to dining at The Landing Zone, travelers can enjoy a sweet treat from Central Dairy, as the FBO offers four flavors of ice cream from the local dairy company year-round.
“I consider that to be one of those unique aspects that makes our FBO special,” Shorthose said.
As corporate and general aviation continue to grow in Central Missouri, Shorthose emphasizes the FBO’s desire to increase storage space.
“Over the next two years, we hope to add one or two more hangars,” Shorthose said. “We want to keep up with the pace in our region and look forward to the time we feel maxed out in our hangars for storage.”
More hangars mean more fuel service and support, which Phillips 66® Aviation has provided to the FBO since the seventies.
“One of the great things about Phillips 66 is that several days a week, they reach out to us to make sure service is going well and to offer any assistance,” Shorthose said. “They let us know what resources we can take advantage of, whether it’s an upcoming program or a safety seminar.”
It’s not just Phillips 66 that makes the FBO run smoothly and efficiently, but also its 35 employees – each of which Shorthose says JCFS is beyond blessed to have.
“Each is very interested in aviation all the way from those washing and detailing the aircraft to mechanics and avionic technicians,” Shorthose said. “We strive to be the best at customer service and the employees make that possible – if you don’t have a strong team, you don’t have much.”
It’s his team that keeps Shorthose motivated, as well as the clientele he has the pleasure of connecting with daily.
“In aviation, you really get to know your customers and I enjoy the fast pace,” Shorthose said. “Every day is different.”