UVU flight school celebrates its 25th anniversary
Submitted by Utah Valley University
On Saturday, Sept. 28, Utah Valley University’s School of Aviation Sciences will host a fly-in and open house from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Hangar B at the Provo Municipal Airport in celebration of its 25th year of aviation training. The event is free and open to the public. Both fly-in and drive-in attendees are welcome.
Guest speakers will include former SR-71 Blackbird pilot Gil Bertelson and renowned aviation author and enthusiast Rod Machado. The event will also feature static aircraft displays, food and tours of UVU’s aviation facilities.
"This event is a celebration of the aviation sciences program, from its beginnings in a small, leased hangar to what it is today — Utah’s largest collegiate flight training program," said Wayne Dornan, dean of the UVU College of Aviation & Public Services and himself a professional pilot. "In two-and-a-half decades we have become leaders in this field. We want UVU to have the best aviation program in the nation, and with our dedicated faculty, staff and students, not to mention the many recent enhancements to our facilities and program, we are on track to claim it."
UVU’s Aviation Sciences Program began humbly in 1988, with several government-donated aircraft. Interest and student numbers grew throughout the ’90s, and UVU purchased its first aircraft in 1994. The fleet quickly expanded as more students enrolled in the aviation program.
In 1999, UVU Aviation pioneered an effort to make the professional pilot degree program available online, allowing virtually anyone to flight train or earn a degree in their local area while maintaining a professional career. Online student enrollment skyrocketed from 300 in 2001 to nearly 2,000 by 2008. The online program put UVU Aviation on the map on a national scale and has provided a more cost-competitive alternative to nationally recognized aviation training institutions.
Last year, UVU’s aviation program was officially recognized as the School of Aviation Sciences and repositioned under the newly formed College of Aviation & Public Services.
Today, the school maintains a fleet of some 23 Diamond aircraft, five flight simulation devices and an impressive modern facility, ideal for both flight training and classroom instruction. New renovations have created a more inviting atmosphere for students and staff, and a recent FAA certification now allows UVU to train and certify students in fewer hours.
"We don’t cut corners," Dornan said. "Our curriculum is designed to produce industry-ready pilots, and our faculty have a wealth of industry experience they are dedicated to sharing with students to help them prepare for aviation careers."
A recent survey showed that 85 percent of UVU School of Aviation graduates are working in an aviation-related field.
"With a program that boasts equipment and flight training that are on par with or better than any of the top programs in the country, but offers costs far below that of competitors, UVU Aviation continues to provide a tremendous value to its students," Dornan concluded. "Our dedication to remaining on the cutting-edge of the industry has opened a host of opportunities to us, and we are determined to take the program to new heights."
For more information on the fly-in and open house, please visit uvu.edu/aviation.
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