DBJ: Wright State to offer flight training courses to relieve pilot shortage

Excerpt

Wright State leaders say that a university named in honor of the Wright brothers should begin to develop an innovative aviation program.

A prominent local university has secured a partnership to expand its courses for students set on a career in the clouds with hopes it will relieve an industry shortage.

Wright State University forged a new partnership with Dayton-based First Flight Aviation, a flight school located at the Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport.

The new arrangement enables Wright State students to register for flight training classes, under special topic electives, offered by First Flight Aviation. Credit hours earned will count toward graduation requirements.

Additionally, participating students will have access to all ground and flight training necessary to complete the required pilot ratings.

“I think this new partnership will be a huge value to students and the region. First Flight Aviation offers a professional pilot training program and provides students with a comprehensive educational experience,” said Glenn Crawford, president of First Flight Aviation. “Ratings we offer include private pilot, commercial pilot, instrument, multi-engine and certified flight instructor.”

The partnership is one way Wright State is working to give students the education and skills needed to pursue in-demand careers.

“This partnership is about providing our students an opportunity to expand their skill set portfolio while at Wright State,” said Wright State President Sue Edwards.

The university hopes the program will help relieve some of the pilot shortage, currently projected by the Federal Aviation Administration to be a persistent issue over the next several years.

“I am extremely excited about the new partnership between Wright State University and First Flight Aviation. Flight training is an ideal use for our Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport. The program may help with the nationwide pilot shortage issue,” said Gil Turner, aviation director for the City of Dayton.

Edwards and Tom Gunlock, chair of the Wright State University Board of Trustees, said the university should live up to the honor of its name and begin development of an innovative aviation program.

“It is time for Wright State to take its first steps to become a leader in aviation-related education,” Gunlock said. “The university can accomplish this by initially offering students an opportunity to receive pilot training through First Flight Aviation with the goal of becoming a leader in the aeronautical realm by the end of this decade.”

The university said it hopes the agreement with First Flight Aviation will be the first step in a blossoming and vibrant relationship.

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