Young couple brings sexy back to private aviation.
Jade and Matt Hofeldt are modernizing personal aviation at Capital Flight. The business handles everything from flight training in Cirrus aircraft, such as the SR22 pictured here, to sales.
Photograph by Shawn Harper
(page 1 of 2)
From the pages of In Business magazine.
Capital Flight isn’t really your dad’s flight training facility, even though inside the Airport Road hangar, a 1946 bright yellow, two-seat Piper J3 Cub hangs above a trio of planes. “It still flies,” admires 37-year-old President Matt Hofeldt. “I had it out last week.”
Matt is an instrument-rated pilot from Waunakee who started flying as a youngster. He handles the day-to-day operations at Capital Flight, a company he and his wife, Jade, launched in 2013 to make private aviation sexy again.
Jade, 35, the company’s CEO, hails from Sun Prairie and has been flying for 17 years. She is ATP (airport transport pilot)-rated and is also a certified flight instructor, but her day job is working for a Kansas City-based private jet broker.
Capital Flight offers flight lessons, buys and sells pre-owned aircraft and hangars, and focuses on customer service, camaraderie, and celebrations. “Whether [someone buys] a $20,000 used Cessna, a $1 million Cirrus, or a $5 million business jet, it deserves a really special day,” smiles Matt.
Cirrus Aircraft, a high-tech plane manufacturer, learned of their success and asked if they’d be interested in a partner status. “[That] was a very big deal,” Matt admits.
Capital Flight is now one of just two Cirrus Training Centers in Wisconsin where student pilots can train in state-of-the art Cirrus aircraft, which Matt compares to flying Porsches — with leather seats, easy-to-read controls, airbags, air conditioning, and even Sirius/XM radio. “Aviation doesn’t seem so foreign to people now because many of the controls look familiar, or what a modern Tesla might look like. Plus, these planes are sexy as hell.”
Cirrus aircraft also have ballistic (i.e., rocket fired) airframe parachutes that can be launched in the event of a catastrophic event to a pilot or plane, allowing it to float to the ground.
“It’s a one-and-done deal that’s not for all circumstances,” Matt cautions, but many appreciate the peace of mind.
“There have been zero fatalities when these parachutes have been used,” Jade adds, “but you never want to use one.”