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Online Extra

CAM Study Groups an Excellent Way to Prepare

“When I first got the CAM Study Guide in the mail, I was overwhelmed,“ said Lane Jenkins, chief pilot for Arkansas-based Sunrise Enterprises. “I didn’t have anybody to study with or show me where to start.“

Covering five subject areas of aviation leadership, NBAA’s Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) exam can seem challenging. For anyone like Jenkins looking for guidance on reviewing the wealth of industry resources listed in the official CAM Study Guide, the community of current CAMs has a new solution.

Jenkins had applied in early 2010 to take the CAM exam. After studying on his own for several months, he was invited by his friend Scott Rose, manager of Pepsico’s flight operation in Dallas, to join a small online CAM study group.

At PepsiCo, aviation director Pat Cunningham and Rose, who is currently the chair of the CAM Governing Board, use the CAM as a professional development tool. Because they value how the credential prepares team members for leadership roles, Cunningham and Rose started an online group to help any candidates – not just those at PepsiCo – to prepare for the CAM exam.

When Jenkins joined the group, it comprised about 10 professionals from across the country, including line pilots, aviation directors, airport managers and others. They never needed to meet in person – with members based in Dallas, New York, Louisville and Van Nuys, CA among other places, that wasn’t practical – they just joined an email list.

The way the study group works is simple: the members focus on one CAM subject area per month. The leader emails out two study questions per week, and everyone on the list “replies all“ with their answers.

“Then it’s a roundtable discussion,“ said Jenkins. “Everybody has a different perspective and considers different sides of the issue. Our goal is to provide an environment that’s non-threatening.“

The questions on the CAM exam – and the practice exam that comes with the CAM Study Guide – are multiple choice, but the questions the study group works on are open-ended, to encourage discussion. They consider issues such as aircraft depreciation or total quality management, which affect many different aspects of the operation.

“You have a week or so to study up on each question, then you see how your answers shape up against the rest of the group’s,“ said another member, Bob Schneider, who is chief pilot and Louisville campus director for Yum! Aviation.

In November 2010, Jenkins passed the CAM exam and took over leadership of the group and the task of coming up with two new questions each week. Several members have recently taken the exam or are set to take it soon, and Jenkins welcomes anyone preparing for the CAM exam to join the study group – or form their own.

“Without the group, you’d have to build your own syllabus; you’d almost have to become a professional student,“ said Schneider. “The group helps you get organized.“

For More Information

For more information about the CAM program, including joining a CAM study group, contact NBAA’s Jay Evans at, or visit

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