CFI, CFII, ATP, 20,000+ hours
BPT: Mick, tell us about yourself.
MK: My name is Mick Kauffman and I live in the southwestern part of Wisconsin, in little town called Richland Center. I fly a beautiful P35 Bonanza, which I’ve owned since 1988.
BPT: Sounds as though you’re not too far from Oshkosh.
MK: No, I’m one of the lucky ones. I was born and raised in Oshkosh. Now, I’m about an hour’s flight from Oshkosh in my Bonanza. I have attended AirVenture for more years than can even remember!
BPT: How did you get involved in aviation?
MK: I started when I was a sophomore in high school. I had my pilot’s license before I learned to drive.
BPT: What a great story! So, Mick, where did your pilot’s license take you?
MK: I have done a lot of corporate flying. I flew for a pathology laboratory for about eight years and I did some bush flying in Alaska.
BPT: Tel us about your corporate flying.
MK: I flew for several different companies: Richland Industries and Pig Improvement Company or PIC.
BPT: How did you become involved with BPT?
MK: I joined the group as a customer. I took the course in 1992 and Bill Hale was my flight instructor. After we flew and he signed my logbook he said, “Oh, I see you’re a flight instructor. How would you like to work for us?”
He introduced me to Sam James, who was the program manager of at the time. At the very next clinic they had, I was an instructor.
Since then, I have done a hundred-plus clinics as an instructor and probably a hundred-plus clinics as a manager.
BPT: That’s incredible! Tell us, Mick, why is BPT important to you?
MK: BPT Clinics offer an outstanding way to help make safer pilots. The dedication that we have as BPT managers and instructors is mainly, “Let’s try to prevent accidents. Let’s teach people how to fly their airplanes better.”
I truly believe that the format we use — one-on-one, total immersion training — is the only way to teach.
BPT: What sets BPT apart? What makes it different than the other flight training options that are available?
MK: I probably have 6,000 or 7,000 hours in Bonanzas and Barons –and as I said, I own a P35 Bonanza.
Many of our customers have said, “Wow, I never had anybody who knew the airplane as well as the instructors in the BPT program. They’re all Beechcraft owners, high-time Beechcraft pilots.”
To me, that makes a big difference.