On March 18, Averett had more than 10 aeronautics alumni return for the unveiling of its new full motion flight simulator, the Redbird FMX Advanced Aviation Training Device. The program's graduates also spoke to current students about what they need to do to be successful in the industry.
Along with hearing from alumni, University representatives announced that day that Betty Falk, the wife of the late Dr. George J. Falk, made a significant gift to fund the George J. Falk Flight Operations Center. Falk, who passed away in late December, was the University's former director of financial aid and was instrumental in the creation of the aviation program.
The Redbird FMX took up residence at the Flight Center in January and has already logged hundreds of hours.
"Having the Redbird simulator puts Averett more in step with how things work in the aviation industry," said Bernie Morrell, '88, who flies for Philip Morris International and attended the event. "Flying in the simulator is a chance to practice situations that are impractical or even dangerous to do in the air, so that when it happens in the air you can respond calmly and professionally."
Morrell was joined by Keith Ashworth, '85, who flies for UPS; Jeff Gilliam, '89, a pilot with PSA, a regional airline of American; Tim Carter, '94, a pilot with Continental; Paul Bowles, '85, a pilot with Delta Airlines; Brian Creed, '97, with the Fairfax County Sheriff's Department; Jim Galbraith, '86, a pilot; David Trickery, '87, a pilot with Altria; David Hillmyer, '95, a pilot with Continental; Anthony Martinez, '07, with the US Coast Guard; Andy Lambert, '03, who flies for Shuttle America; and Mike O'Toole, '85, who flies for FEDEX.
In addition to giving Averett students opportunities to fly in all types of weather while staying on the ground, the new simulator is also available to members of the community who need to maintain their certifications.
Local pilots interested in booking time in the simulator should contact Travis Williams, chief flight instructor, at 434-791-5705 or via e-mail email@example.com.
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