In the Pattern fosters an aviation community
By Ian J. Twombly
It’s a matter of community. Other schools may have newer planes, a longer history or even lower prices, but owner Sherman Gardner told In the Pattern customers will join a group of people who truly care about them.
In the Pattern began somewhat by accident in the summer of 2019. Gardner and his brother started by renting their personal plane from a friend. Seeing that it was useful for the friend and provided additional income, they decided to expand and bought another plane. “People kept coming to us to learn,” Gardner said. “I fought because I didn’t want to go to flight school, but I have no regrets now.”
Just three years into the business and two years into the school, they have 12 aircraft, seven instructors, and rave reviews.
Gardner wants to treat ITP customers not as sources of income, but as people. It’s a philosophy that began with his ministry work, and it continues to serve him well in business. “Working in ministry all these years, all I did was serve people,” he said. “I work very hard to ensure that there is a good relationship experience with our clients and our team.”
This focus is evident in frequent community events, impromptu staff meetings over a free lunch, annual planning sessions with instructors, and the way Gardner and staff treat customers every day. “We are developing the community of acceptance. When people walk through the door, we know their names, we know what they do for a living, we know their families. It’s more a matter of experience for us. The school’s motto is “Discover Aviation”. It’s a nod to the fact that you can get a pilot’s certificate anywhere, but at ITP it will become a richer experience.