Martha and John King's business might be in San Diego, but they have close ties to Wichita.
Owners of King Schools, the Kings create online and computerized training videos for beginner pilots just learning to fly, flight instructors and beyond.
Martha King estimates that she and her husband have contributed to the training of nearly a million people through videos, CDs and live classes over the 35 years they've been in the pilot training business.
"Obviously that's not that many pilots, but in 35 years, you get a big inflow," Martha King said.
Their programs deal with passing airplane knowledge tests, practical exams, mechanical knowledge, avionics, takeoffs and landings, communication, navigation, weather, night flying, maneuvers, emergencies, airport signs and markings and a variety of other topics.
The Kings are in Wichita receiving training from FlightSafety International's Cessna Learning Center to get a type rating in Cessna's Citation Mustang.
"We're going to be producing a video on the Mustang," she said.
Martha King was born in Big Springs, Texas, and lived for eight years in Dayton, Ohio. Her father was in the Air Force, so the family moved around. Her sister was born in Liberal.
She and John met at Indiana University.
King Schools employs about 60 people.
So what's the goal of the video about the Mustang?
"I think people will enjoy it a lot, because a Mustang is a really fun airplane. (The plane is) something that a lot of people flying a piston twin are going to look at and wonder, 'Can I move up to that?' The video, in part, will be to reassure them that, yes, you can, and here's a feel for what it's like."
You mention you produce the training curriculums and course materials for Cessna's pilot centers and you work a lot with the company. How did you get involved?
"Cessna had a competition (in 1992) when they were restarting the single-engine line. They wanted (something different) than just a video or filmstrip program; they wanted to be computerized and interactive. We competed... and we won it. Ever since then, we've been producing the private pilot and instrument pilot curriculums and course materials for all the Cessna pilot centers.... I think it's been a good relationship for both companies."
This isn't your first business. You and John started a business right after college. What was it?
"We had portable lubrication vans that went around and serviced people like the post office and Bell telephone. We would do that on location for them so they didn't have to take their trucks out of service."
So how did you get into the training business?
"We looked around for something fun to do, and said, 'We've been in love with aviation for a very long time.' There was a company in Tulsa, Okla.,... (that) hired instructors to do traveling ground schools. We did that for six months, then we launched our own business doing it. We did the live weekend ground schools traveling all over. In 1984, we developed video courses basically on what we were doing in the classroom. In the early '90s, we went computerized."
You mentioned that the change to interactive programs has been the biggest change in technology with the classes. What's the biggest change in the learning?
"I would say that the transition from maneuvers-based training to scenario-based training.... It's a new name for something good flight instructors have been doing for a long time. It puts what you're trying to teach students in context."