Averett Aeronautics Program Soars With New Planes, New Simulation Technology and New FAA Certification

Posted on August 25th, 2014 by Averett

Talk about a program  that is flying high.

In the last 18 months, Averett’s Aeronautics Department has landed three new airplanes, which brings the total number of university-owned aircraft to seven.

aeronautics_spotlight_300Not long ago, the program announced the arrival of Parrot, a sophisticated artificial intelligence system that simulates live air traffic control communications.

And most recently, the department was notified by the Federal Aviation Administration that it has been granted the ability to certify its graduates for the restricted flight hour Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) rating. This means Averett Aeronautics majors will be qualified to fly for major airlines after logging 1,000 flight hours in the university’s program, versus the 1,500 flight hours required of students in other programs. That places Averett in an elite group of schools with an aeronautics program offering the restricted ATP rating – and it will enable Averett’s Aeronautics majors to get jobs in the airline industry quicker.

“This qualification is the most significant thing to happen to this program since I have been a part of it,” said Chief Flight Instructor Travis Williams ’00. “It is important that graduates of the program have the best opportunity possible to pursue their career goals and this certification gives them that opportunity. They will now be able to pursue a career in the industry that much quicker.”

Flight Instructor Kyle Krebs ‘11 was the first to receive the new rating certificate. “The certification has allowed me to apply at the airlines at a reduced number of hours,” Krebs said. “This helps me a great deal because now I can begin working for the airlines and start building some seniority whereas I might have had to build time for another six months.

“I think the certification makes the school more appealing and competitive,” Krebs continued. “This will also allow current and future students to apply to the airlines at a reduced flight time, and it will give some students a chance to go with even fewer hours than I had to log.” His plan is to work for a regional airline. He currently has a job with PSA Airlines, and hopes to begin pursuing his dream of working for a major airline such as United, American or Southwest soon.