Women in the Business of AviAtion
Want to start Your own sPAto? tips from Jane Rosevelt
1) You need money to start Investments made during her 25 years as a nurse practitioner provided rosevelt with a dependable reve- nue stream during the start-up years of rose air. rose air would have floundered if it had to depend solely on revenue generated by its air taxi operations during the first two years in business. 2) Make sure your airplane impresses your customers rosevelt keeps a close watch on airframe, interior and powerplant upkeep. you may think your 1965 Cessna 180 is the coolest airplane Cessna ever built but unless you’re flying customers to back country strips, most of your clientele will expect to fly in a clean, visually- reassuring airplane that has a nose wheel. 3) Hire experts to help rosevelt hired a consultant who guided her through the air taxi operator application processes which
involves manual submissions and corrections, drug testing programs, and other details. In almost every case the experts can do
things better and quicker than you can. your time is better spent earning the money to pay the experts.
4) Be Patient
Patience was essential during the start-up phase of rose air. early on, manual submissions seemed to be constantly kicked back for
nit-picky revisions. rosevelt had to learn and comply with Faa regulations. She had to establish and maintain good relations with Faa
personnel at the local Faa Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).
5) Be Flexible
rosevelt experimented with a series of different marketing plans, before learning that the dollars spent to optimize
her web site during searches is money well spent.
6) Be realistic
rosevelt’s business plan works because rose air draws from a large customer base near a large metropolitan
area, because small airplane travel to small rural airports saves time for both business and recreational travelers,
because rose air delivers what its customers need at a very competitive price, and because the business overhead is low.
7) Be Strong
rosevelt was more than 40 years old when she realized that flying was in her blood. She found a way to make her dream a reality.
It’s never too late to start striving to fulfill dreams.
up. Rosevelt says that she never expected to fully support herself with her air taxi business. She has other investments for
that—all she wanted was a flying business that could support
her flying obsession.
“Rose Air is not tremendously financially rewarding, but it’s
very personally rewarding,” said Rosevelt in a 2009 interview
by Elliot Borin that appeared in Air TaxiFlights. Rose Air generates enough revenue to pay for the costs of maintaining Rose
Air—the yearly insurance, hangar, maintenance and proficiency flights— and still pay for Rosevelt’s personal flying, which
accounts for about one-third of the hours logged during an average year.
She has logged more than 5,000 PIC hours. Rosevelt traded
her TR-182 in on a 2001 Cessna T182T Turbo Skylane to cut
down on the costs of maintenance. The T182T has proven to
be well-received by passengers, is dependable and has sufficient useful load to legally carry three passengers and baggage
on a typical Rose Air trip. In addition, “Window Seats Are Always Guaranteed” according to the Rose Air web site.
Since Hillsboro is only a few miles west of the Portland In-
ternational airport and downtown Portland and is centrally
located between popular business and recreation destinations
such as Bend in eastern Oregon, Vancouver, B.C., the San Juan
Islands and Seattle to the north, and Bandon, Eugene, and
Ashland in southern Oregon, most Rose Air flights are aloft
less than two hours.
Rosevelt’s Keep-it-simple vfR Plan
In spite of the popular misconception that the Northwest
weather is always soggy, raining and damp, in reality the flying weather is manageable for Rose Air, which flies passengers
under a VFR certificate.
“I can fly freight IFR but I decided not to install all the backup systems on the airplane required to fly passengers in IFR
conditions,” said Rosevelt.
She also decided not to upgrade any of the original Bendix-King avionics that came in the airplane and is quite comfortable with the KLN 94 GPS, a KMD 540 MFD, dual KX 155 nav-coms, and the KAP 140 two-axis autopilot.
“I’m happy with it and don’t have any aspirations for a glass
cockpit,” said Rosevelt.
Growing the Business
Rosevelt had an air taxi certificate and an airplane but it took
time to grow the business. Newspaper advertisements weren’t
very effective, nor were mailers. Phone solicitations didn’t generate business. When she started Rosevelt wasn’t comfortable
pitching her business in front of civic and business groups.