In the wake of the 2008 recession, the aviation industry was hit particularly hard. Airlines retracted, resulting in the laying off of thousands of employees, and general aviation activity plummeted. Flight schools in particular found themselves competing over a dwindling number of clients, forcing many out of business.
At the time, Gordon and Bradley were employed as pilots at Alaska Airlines, but they were not immune to the economic downturn. In 2009 they were furloughed for an indefinite period until the industry recovered. Jobs were scarce, so they turned to their one area of expertise - flight training.
Flight schools were struggling and not hiring, so they joined a small flying club at Boeing Field, teaching other members as independent instructors. Reputation quickly grew and soon they had a waiting list of students wanting to learn from experienced airline pilots. However, they found themselves limited by a client base of club members, available aircraft and club restrictions. For operational control they leased a training aircraft and Rainier Flight Service was born. One aircraft quickly became three, and other instructors started taking notice. Rainier Flight soon had several experienced, professional instructors while developing a reputation for quality, safety and value.