September 12, 2013
By Ian J. Twombly
As the economy has faltered over the past few years and airline jobs became hard to come by, many colleges and universities across the country cut costly aviation programs. Others saw opportunity and an impending pilot shortage and went the opposite direction, starting or expanding programs. George Mason University in Virginia, in partnership with the flight school Aviation Adventures, is the latest.
Although the program is now only a minor leading to a private pilot certificate, Aviation Adventures Owner Bob Hepp hopes to see it expand in the future. “We would like it to grow to a major with an independent program,” he said.
The minor is available in the school’s engineering program. The university conducts the ground school, and students can flight train at any of Aviation Adventures’ three locations. “They can train in a Cessna 152, Skycatcher, legacy 172, or a Diamond DA20,” he said. The lab fee pays for the airplane up to a certain hour limit that Hepp said he thinks will allow students to finish the certificate.
The partnership started because of the work of one of the school’s instructors. Conor Dancy was instructing while finishing his degree at George Mason. He was involved in an aviation club at the school, which gave the group an avenue to approach the administration about a more robust program.
George Mason’s interest is simple, Hepp says. “The provost is strongly behind it. They looked at the employment potential of student graduates.”
George Mason’s aviation minor starts this fall.
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
Pilot Training and Certification
The DeSoto Heliport is officially open for business. But don’t look for it in your GPS. The Texas facility is so new that it doesn’t yet have an identifier.
Television personality Robin Roberts swung the champagne and took a ceremonial maiden voyage Aug. 23, christening the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. airship Wingfoot One.
Members of the House General Aviation Caucus are asking the Department of Transportation to expedite rulemaking for third-class medical reform.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>