Where will we find tomorrow’s pilots? The military, long a provider of trained aviators, hasn’t produced sufficient numbers to satisfy the civil aviation demand for quite some time. It is the collegiate and private-academy flight-training programs that have taken up the slack and will continue to be the primary provider of pilots indefinitely.
Altitude chamber training is now being offered by MedAire at Arizona State University. The Tempe, Ariz.-based medical emergency response firm said the stand-alone, five- to six-hour course–available on demand–costs $995 per person and covers physiology, hypoxia, oxygen systems, altitude sickness and the physical effects of flight and decompression.
Phoenix-based Westwind School of Aeronautics has teamed with SkyWest Airlines and Utah Valley State College (UVSC) in a program under which ab initio flight students can gain two- or four-year degrees online via the Internet while earning a commercial pilot and CFII certificates and instrument and multi-engine ratings, and a guaranteed SkyWest job interview.
An airport-wide aviation career fair that drew some 45 exhibitors and close to 1,500 middle- and high- school students over a two-day period started with an idea from a corporate flight department employee simply to hold an open house in its hangar to familiarize young people with business aviation.
The aviation industry has often been heavily focused on the requirement for new-hire pilots to have a college degree, that is up until the past few years when the supply of university-educated applicants began to evaporate. Since supply and demand dictated hiring more people without a college-level education, the industry looked toward high-school graduates who have worked their way up.
The FAA has given $20 million to the FAA Center of Excellence for General Aviation, a research and training facility at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s (ERAU) Daytona Beach, Fla. campus. The money will be used in the advancement and study of such areas as ATC, Free Flight, composite materials, avionics, crashworthiness and survivability.
Eclipse Aviation introduced an in-house mandatory training program for customers of its Eclipse 500 very light twinjet that includes pilot qualification and supplemental training by the University of North Dakota aerospace department. Jet-transition and type-rating courses will be provided free of charge with each Eclipse 500 purchased. A mandatory type-training admission evaluation will cost between $500 and $750.
Eurocopter last month signed cooperation agreements with two Chilean universities. Within the framework of a project called Edu-Copter, the OEM signed two complementary agreements with the Adolfo Ibañez Business University and the Aeronautics Sciences Academy from the Federico Santa Maria Technical University.
Cutting Edge Helicopter Training School opened its doors to student pilots in Derry, Northern Ireland, in late March. Jason Porter, owner of Cutting Edge Helicopters, is employing two Robinson R22s and one R44. There are two instructors and one examiner. According to Porter, the training environment features a steady flow of commercial traffic and a range of instrument procedures.
A former instructor at bankrupt and defunct helicopter school Silver State Helicopters has opened his own flight school in New Braunfels, Texas. Derrick Smith opened Veracity Aviation two weeks after Silver State’s collapse in February. The school operates one Robinson R22 and has eight students.