We fly too.

Who is behind Tach and Hobbs?

Tach and Hobbs was founded by Errol Alpay, a commercial pilot, and Brian McCallion, an instrument-rated private pilot. Both have had successful careers in the technology industry building complex web sites and systems for companies large and small. Errol and Brian fly out of Santa Paula in Southern California.

Why Tach and Hobbs?

One summer day in 2012, we were on a hundred-dollar hamburger run in a rented 172 to Monterey when we realized that we would not make it back to the FBO by the end of our reservation.

Brian pulled out his smartphone and attempted to extend the reservation for another 30 minutes using the FBO's scheduling software, only to receive a very cryptic error message. Something about not being permitted to "change a reservation that occurred in the past" and an error code ending in "XJ900".

What followed was:

  • A lengthy phone call back to the FBO during which the front-desk worker struggled with the scheduling system to extend the reservation by a mere 30 minutes
  • A quick discussion while on hold between us regarding the stupidity of the entire situation
  • After the call finally ended, a much lengthier discussion about the primitive state of flight scheduling software, and what it would take to leverage our backgrounds in software design to build a far better system

This was the day that Tach and Hobbs was born, with the goals of bringing very thoughtful design, ease of use, and modern technology to aircraft scheduling systems.

What makes Tach and Hobbs different?

Remember '96? Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be cloned, and Microsoft was on top of the world with Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 3. The number of internet users was doubling annually, and people began building "home pages" to show off their businesses and interests.

Exciting times for sure, but these home pages were full of:

  • Obnoxious music that started playing automatically, alerting all of your office mates that you were goofing off on the internet
  • Dancing images of bananas and blinking text, all completely unnecesary
  • Slow post-backs to the server each time you updated data, allowing enough time for a coffee break between every click
  • Unstyled HTML tables with thick borders that made content really hard to read

Although these gems disappeared from the mainstream web sometime between 2004 and 2006 when technologies like HTML4, Ajax, and scrolling divs became commonplace, they are still alive and well in some of the most popular flight scheduling systems on the market today. These scheduling systems were built a decade or more ago, and have not been significantly enhanced since. Usability is clearly an afterthought.

When building Tach and Hobbs, we brought many combined years of experience building web applications for some of the largest, most popular destinations on the web. We have not only used the latest technology, but we have also thought through every detail to ensure the software gets out of your way and enables you to browse the schedule, create and update reservations, run your flight school, flying club, or partnership, and keep track of your personal aircraft.

Tach and Hobbs is a complete reboot of the way you schedule your aircraft, instructors, and pilots.

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