New Flight School For Women Wants To Tackle Pilot Shortage

On International Women’s Day, it seemed the perfect opportunity to highlight an initiative close to taking off in the US, which aims to bring together female pilots, cutting edge technology and environmental kudos for a brand new, groundbreaking pilot school. Here’s what you need to know about the forthcoming Lear Academy.

Lear Academy
The new venture will use all-electric aircraft to drive down the cost of training. Photo: Bye Aerospace

An all-electric pilot school for women

In a bid to encourage more women into aviation, entrepreneur Erin Lear is launching a pilots academy run by women, for women. Lear Academy features a co-ed training program but with a strong focus on recruiting more female pilots due to the current disproportion in the aviation industry. The pilot school is not only aiming to break down gender barriers, it’s also keen to be kind to the environment too.

The pilot school will use a range of all-electric training vehicles, including a fleet of eFlyer two seaters, eFlyer four seaters, and eventually VTOL aircraft and the Envoy nine seater aircraft. The school aims to find a solution to many contemporary problems, driving down CO2 emissions, solving the pilot shortage, bringing more female pilots into the industry and driving the cost down to achieving a pilot’s license.

Lear Academy
Founder Erin Lear has a vision to help solve the pilot shortage. Photo: Erin Lear

Founder Erin Lear said of the school,


“The cost to get your pilots license will be considerably less expensive than traditional flight schools using our fleet of modern high-tech electric aircraft.”

Erin Lear has an impressive background, being a grandchild of William P Lear, inventor of the Learjet. Needless to say, Erin comes from a family with a long history of aviation connections, and is determined to make it easier for more women to get into the industry.

Lear Academy
Erin’s grandfather, William (Bill) P Lear. Photo: Erin Lear
Lear Academy
Erin’s grandmother was a keen aviator too. Photo: Erin Lear

Simple Flying talked to Erin about the employment pathway for flight school graduates. She told us,

“Once graduated at Lear Academy, our pilots with have an opportunity to fly for affiliated air taxi companies such as Quantum Air, and PAX. This will be a platform for our pilots to log more hours flying, all while making extra income.”

These point to point aerial taxi companies will specialize in short distance flights, and will provide ample opportunity for the new graduates to stretch their wings. Quantum Air has agreed to offer two scholarships to a pair of lucky and ambitious ladies. Erin tells us there are more scholarships in the pipeline too.

Working with Bye Aerospace

Lear Academy is working in tandem with George Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace. Mr. Bye is the inventor of the all-electric eFlyers and the Envoy which will be in use at the school. Speaking about the academy, Mr. Bye said,

“Battery and motor technologies have reached the tipping-point, creating the possibility of 5-times lower ops-cost with no CO2, resulting in an affordability shock wave. We are poised to transform the flight training market in close partnership with Lear Academy and OSM.”

Boeing estimates that over 800,000 new pilots will be required over the next 20 years, five times the number that are flying right now. Bye Aerospace says that industry statistics suggest that as many as 80% of accepted student pilots don’t end up completing the course, with many dropping out due to the cost.

Bye believes it has figured out a solution. By bringing new, all-electric trainers to market, it is driving down the operational costs for flight training. It is also giving the fleet of conventional aircraft training vehicles, which average 50 years old, a much-needed update.

Lear Academy
The school will use the electric eFlyer aircraft for training. Photo: Bye Aerospace

Working with Lear Academy, Bye Aerospace is aiming to be at the forefront of a revolution in pilot training, both in terms of the individuals it is attracting and the aircraft being flown.

The flight school has a launch date of June 2020 and will be taking early deposits for intuition to secure a place in line at the academy. It is currently actively seeking investors and partnerships who share their visions, with a view to expanding Lear Academy around the world.

It’s a new type of flight school which sounds ideally fit for the future. Let us know what you think of Lear Academy in the comments.


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Jasmine Fleming

This is VERY exciting and interesting. I am half way through my private pilot license. I would love more information on how to contact the academy.

M Trotts

How do I apply?! Why aren’t there any links to find more information?!


I hear few female voices over the radio. A woman can take months or years off to have children, then return to flying part time or full time. Any airline or corporate job sharing or part time? It is not like a female doctor whose practice will fail when she is gone.

Mary Jungman

Where is the school?

Keith Davis

Hi – I’m curious as to how Erin is related to Adam West. That is certainly a cool connection, but can;t seem to find anything in their lineage – other than Adam West’s wife was once married to a Lear.

Lindiwe Phiri

I want to start flight school is this the right one

Noxolo Angel

I wish to know about requirement


Very Exciting!
I’m looking forward to receiving my pilots license@

Birgit Larsen

Good day. Where are you based? I have a 16yr daughter who desperately wants to start with some aviation courses. But funding is a problem.

Ben Lucas

Is this legal? A school where only one gender is allowed? In 2020??!!

Karen duncan



1, Can foreign students also apply.
2, what is the school web site.
3, is the training going to be online only.
4, Can foreigners apply for the available scholarship


I cant seem to find a website to find details about the school? I’m interested in location and cost of the program.

Blessing Igoche

Nice initiative. Would like to be a part. Pls, may I know how much it would cost to do PPL to CPL ?


is this only for women? If so, I call this a sexist move!


This is fantastic news! In your article you don’t mention the school’s name. Is it open for applicants? Where can I get the necessary details to apply? Please do let me know


Where is Lear Academy located?

Erin Lear

Great article Joanna!!! Well down! So excited for the future of Aviation!


I am currently at my training of pilot , would love to hear more about the academy.

Bryan L Allen

June 2020 seems ridiculously aspirational; that’s only three months from now! The two-place eFlyer is still in preliminary flight test and has apparently never departed its home airport. The four-place aircraft has not made its initial flight, and the Envoy nine-place aircraft is not even mentioned on the Bye Aerospace web page!

So the academy can be founded in three months, but they’ll likely have a wait of several years before they take delivery on their first electric trainer aircraft. Unless they’re planning on using Pipistel airplanes…

Nazir Mansor

I am keen to get involved in this industry. Put me in.

Daniel Dimagiba

1.Is the eflyer aircraft have a type certificate data sheet, approved by FAA?
2. Is there any country flying school that eflyers is now in their training?
3. What type of student license will be issued by the local authorities ?.

Brent Lam

No link or info on how to register for Lear academy?

Megha Raibagi

Where is a academy


This all sounds great! Where in the world will Lear Academy be? I read the article 3 times and Lear Academy’s location doesn’t seem to be mentioned anywhere.

Dawn Mather

This is so very exciting for women and environmentally! Wish it had been around long ago when I earned my PPL and IR. Maybe would have gone on and there wouldn’t be decades of rust on that license & rating. Would love to get more info as a potential investor.

Robert Weekley

As stated by other Commentors, it’s a Co-Ed School, seeking to bring in more women to aviation, as pilots, for those who want to fly, by reducing trading costs, as well as men.

There is a link further down, by Erin, I think it was, for the school.

Yet, they should also partner with Pipistrel, using The Alpha Electro, for “Ab Initio” training, while they await the certification of the eFlyers!

Also, for Reduction of Flight Training Costs, Learning to Fly Gliders, (& Sailplanes) First, is another way, plus gives greater understanding of working “With’ weather, instead of “Fighting It!” And, I think, makes better skilled Power Pilots, later!

Ann Goodwyn

Your new program is perfect! We would love to be considered as a location for your Flight School. I am the Airport manager for the Bermuda Dunes Airport – KUDD here in the center of the Coachella Valley. There are so many reasons to consider our airport . We would love to discuss it with you.

Also, I wanted to share with you, that I was honored to have know your grandparents back in the 1980’s. I began my aviation career at Combs Gates Palm Springs, CA. So being able to work with you on this would be equally rewarding personally as for the Airport.

Tail Winds,

Ann Goodwyn