CWUAviation NewsAviation News Are CWU’s First Priority in Aviation Contract Situation, 12 Sep 2014 10:27:11<p>In late August, IASCO Flight Training (IFT) verbally informed Central Washington University that it would not honor its contract to provide aviation instruction for CWU’s aviation program. The contract, which was finalized last April, is scheduled to start on September 15.</p><p>At this time, IFT has not been forthcoming with a reason, nor has it presented any type of written document cancelling the contract, essentially creating a legal vacuum that prevents CWU from exploring meaningful agreements with other entities. Despite the legal complications, CWU administration and aviation faculty have dedicated the past few weeks to ensuring that new and continuing students will be able to pursue their aviation degrees.</p><p>“Students will have options for continuing their aviation studies at CWU,” said Ethan Bergman, associate dean of the College of Education and Professional Students (CEPS). “The first thing we did was assess how this would affect our students and determine how to offset any ill effects of the situation.”</p><p>Faculty from the aviation department, along with representatives from financial aid, student housing and registrar’s offices, immediately convened to develop strategies for all students affected. In addition to coming up with short-term strategies to deal with the onset of fall quarter in a few short weeks, the team is also planning a long-term solution that will ensure continuity of the program.</p><p>“Some students in our program will not be affected at all,” Bergman continued. “Our focus is on our first-year students, and on our upper-class continuing students, especially our students who are veterans.”</p><p>Students who receive veteran’s benefits are particularly vulnerable to sudden program changes, since programs must be approved before benefits are dispersed.</p><p>“CWU is aware of these issues and has taken the initiative to ensure that all veterans, currently enrolled, will receive tuition, student expenses, flight lab fees, book fees and housing assistance,” said Bergman. “CWU will develop individual plans to accommodate each VA student.”</p><p>Continuing students who are not veterans will also receive individualized counseling to determine how to complete their degrees on time, and without financial hardship.</p><p>In addition, CWU met with Big Bend Community College (BBCC) to see if first-year CWU students could transfer to their aviation program. Since Central has a center at BBCC, there are systems in place that will enable students to pursue a degree at BBCC.</p><p>According to Bergman, the BBCC program starts September 15, and has a limited number of available slots. BBCC and CWU have a direct articulation for all flight classes and BBCC is now certificated for the FAA Restricted-ATP. A student who begins training at BBCC can be assured a seamless transfer into the CWU program. CWU has offered the BS Professional Pilot degree at both Ellensburg campus and Moses Lake Center for more than six years.</p><p>Of course, first-year students can remain enrolled at the CWU Ellensburg campus for ground school courses fall term, with the understanding that flight labs will be delayed for at least one quarter.</p><p>“The main thing is to take care of our students as we develop alternatives,” said Bergman. “As one of the longest-running—and only—bachelor degree programs in aviation in the Pacific Northwest, we will fulfill our decades-long mission of preparing pilots for the aviation industry.”</p><p>Letters and e-mails were sent to all students to inform them of the situation. Students should contact their advisors to determine the best course of action for continuing their studies</p><p>Amy Hoover – 509-963-2300,<br>Pat Devney –<br>Teresa Sloan – 509-963-3691,<br>Jason Underhill – 509-963-2378,<br>Dale Wilson – 509-963-2278,<br>&nbsp;</p>CWU Aviation First in Pacific Northwest to Offer New Pilot Certification, 08 Apr 2014 13:58:08<p>Central Washington University’s Aviation program has become the first in the Pacific Northwest approved to authorize graduates for a Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) certificate. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave its final approval this week to CWU.</p><p>“We went through an application process with the FAA, where they reviewed our entire aviation curriculum,” says CWU aviation professor Jason Underhill. “They determined that the program qualifies for the Restricted-ATP. There are only a select few schools across the country that have received this authorization.”</p><p>The R-ATP allows CWU graduates to become airline pilots with 1,000 hours total flight experience rather than 1,500 hours required under the ATP certificate required of other candidates. The 33 percent reduction in total flight time will be a significant cost saving to CWU students. In addition, the R-ATP reduces the required age for certification from 23 to 21.&nbsp;</p><p>“The entire faculty here fully recognized the importance of having the Restricted-ATP authorization for our graduates,” Underhill adds. “It really does give them a leg up.”</p><p>Pilots graduating from higher education aviation programs, along with those coming from the military, are the most likely candidates to be eligible to receive R-ATP certification, Underhill points out.</p><p>The FAA authorization allows CWU aviation students who have graduated within the past five years to receive the R-ATP certification. They can apply for it <a href="">here</a>.</p><p>“That’s a really big plus for all of our alums who have been trying to build up enough flight time to get a job with the airlines,” Underhill adds. “The FAA recognized that the structured programs at universities—like CWU—and colleges provide better learning environments and the best aviation education, which result in more qualified pilots when they’re finished.”</p><p>After completing their CWU professional pilot degree, students will still typically need about 700-more flight hours before receiving R-ATP certification. They will then become in demand by regional air carriers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>“The baby boomer-generation of pilots are hitting age 65, the mandatory retirement age at the airline level,” Underhill says. “A lot of those retirements are at the major airlines. Those replacement pilots will, likely, come from the regional airline level. When those pilots move on to the major airlines there will be a huge shortage of pilots for those regional slots.”</p><p>The R-ATP was developed in accordance with revised FAA regulations that have been put into place over the last five years.</p><p><br><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,</p><p>April 8, 2014</p> Professor Dale Wilson Publishes Book on Pilot Safety, 07 Apr 2014 11:51:22<p><img alt="" src="/aviation/sites/" style="width: 422px; height: 478px;"></p><p>Flying involves risks. Fortunately, most of these risks have been identified and managed down to remarkably low levels. However, accidents still occur, and the key to successful flight is an in-depth knowledge of the risks and how to effectively manage them.</p><p><br>Managing Risk: Best Practices for Pilots, written by Dale Wilson and Gerald Binnema, uses actual aircraft accident examples, statistics, aviation safety studies, and the authors' more than 60 years of combined experience as pilots and flight safety educators to document and describe 10 of the most significant accident threat categories, and shed light on the applicable human-factor issues that make pilots vulnerable to them.</p><p><br>This book provides practical strategies as well as "best practice" countermeasures pilots can use to avoid or effectively manage risks during crucial phases of flight. Readers will have a more complete knowledge of the external threats to flight safety, coupled with a deeper understanding of how human errors often play out in the cockpit.</p><p><br>Students and pilots at all certificate levels will improve their risk management skills by learning the practices described in this book, and ATP applicants will find it fulfills a portion of the new knowledge requirements that become effective August 1, 2014.<br>Softcover, 248 pages. Also available as an eBook and eBundle at</p>CWU Aviation Program Names Flight Instruction Partner, 05 Feb 2014 16:00:46<p>Central Washington University today announced the intent to award a contract for flight training to IASCO Flight Training (IFT), based in Redding, California. Negotiations will proceed immediately to finalize a five-year contract that would begin fall 2014.</p><p>“The IFT proposal fully addressed aviation program accreditation, oversight, and cost concerns,” said CWU President James L. Gaudino. “IFT has a wonderful reputation in the industry as a respected leader in aviation services. We are looking forward to getting to know them and welcoming them as a new member of the Ellensburg community.”</p><p>Gaudino said the IFT plan proposes to decrease costs to students, who currently pay as much as $70,000 in additional flight fees for a bachelor’s degree in aviation. The proposal also includes a safety management system plan that meets industry needs and would bring the aviation program a step closer to specialized accreditation by the Aviation Accreditation Board International.</p><p>The program is currently accredited, along with all university programs, by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. CWU’s aviation program is the only fully accredited public university aviation program in the Pacific Northwest.</p><p>Earlier this week, CWU completed a Request for Proposal process to identify a new provider of flight instruction for the Department of Aviation. CWU faculty provide classroom instruction, but contract for flight instruction for the program’s 95 students. They collectively fly nearly 6,800 hours per year and account for about 80 percent of takeoffs and landings at Bowers Field in Ellensburg. Ensuring the stability of the program, and a smooth transition to a new flight-training provider, were the top priorities in the process.</p><p>“IFT is eager to be part of our education and business community. Their solid record of service in the industry is proof that they are prepared to be excellent partners,” said Gaudino, adding that the company has indicated a commitment to establish infrastructure at Bowers Field. “IFT would bring the program state-of-the-art aircraft and avionics, including enhanced safety and tracking procedures.”</p><p>IFT offers global crew leasing and management, customized flight training, airline management services, and full flight services at its base in Napa, California. In 2008 the company expanded to Redding, California, and established IFT. The pilot training program provides standardized and comprehensive, airline-oriented training, which prepares students for aviation careers.</p><p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Linda Schactler, executive director, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1384,</p><p>February 5, 2104</p>CWU Aviation Restructures to Earn Accreditation, Satisfy New FAA Rules, 07 Nov 2013 12:15:56<p><img alt="" src="/aviation/sites/" style="width: 530px; height: 314px;"></p><p>Central Washington University's aviation program is enriching the quality of instruction and training to meet stringent new requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and to earn program accreditation, which is increasingly a priority for the aviation-industry partners who hire CWU graduates.</p><p>In July, the FAA passed a rule requiring pilots to have 1,500 hours of flight experience and an Airline Transport rating to fly passenger and cargo airlines. The rule exempts graduates of accredited and approved four-year aviation programs, who can be hired with 1,000 hours flight time.&nbsp;</p><p>“We've got to move quickly to make sure we're providing the kind of education that puts our graduates first in line for jobs,” said Connie Lambert, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. “Accreditation has become a high priority for employers, so it's a high priority for us, too.”&nbsp;</p><p>Last week, CWU issued a “Request For Information” (RFI) to flight school contractors, inviting them to provide information about their ability to provide flight instruction for the program. CWU faculty provide classroom instruction that is highly integrated with flight instruction in aircraft and simulators. Contractors must be an FAA-approved flight school and provide certified flight instructors who hold bachelor’s degrees. Contractors also must ensure curriculum is approved by CWU. Both elements are necessary to meet the requirements of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the agency that accredits CWU.</p><p>CWU also will seek new program-specific accreditation from the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). Through the two-year, peer-reviewed accreditation process, AABI approves curriculum and program outcomes—what program graduates should know and be able to do.</p><p>CWU President James L. Gaudino said the RFI cites a preference for the flight training to occur at Bowers Field Airport, in Ellensburg, both because the location is most convenient for students and because the role of the program is critical to sustaining the FAA classification of Bower's Field Airport, two miles north of Ellensburg. The CWU program's 95 students fly nearly 6,800 hours per year and account for about 80 percent of take-offs and landings at the airport.</p><p>“Bowers Field is an important asset to the economic profile of Kittitas County in general, and Ellensburg in particular,” noted Gaudino, who said that the university already had been contacted for more information by regional flight-training providers. “We will continue to provide excellent flight training for our students, and I do hope it can be at Bowers Field. But there are many facilities and contractors in the state that can provide this service.”</p><p>CWU faculty teach aviation classroom content, but for many years flight training has been provided at Bowers Field Airport by Mid State Aviation. In June, Mid State Aviation notified the university that it would not renew CWU’s contract, which ends in August 2014.</p><p>While CWU searches for a new contractor, the aviation program is taking several other steps to enhance education and training, including the development of a comprehensive, industry-standard safety plan. The plan will include a safety policy that establishes the university's commitment to continually improve safety, and a risk management strategy. The plan also will incorporate safety-assurance measures to evaluate the effectiveness of on-going risk-control strategies, and a plan to promote safety and create a workplace culture that values safety.</p><p>“The industry-standard safety plan is required for accreditation and an important component of professional education,” said Amy Hoover, the chair of the Department of Aviation. “Employers are placing a tremendous premium on graduates who value and understand the importance of a comprehensive and consistent approach to safety and who graduate knowing how an industry-standard safety plan works.”</p><p>Demand for pilots is expected to require nearly half a million more commercial airline pilots over the next 20 years. The 2013 Boeing Pilot &amp; Technician Outlook says a key driver of the demand is “surging aviation demand in emerging markets.”</p><p>Hoover said the increased demand has combined with increased training requirements and a surge of pilot retirements to create a “perfect storm” in the aviation industry.</p><p>“The new 1,500-hour requirement is a two-fold increase in flight-experience time—which increases the cost as well as the time needed to become a pilot,” said Hoover, who said another new rule that adds rest time to pilots' schedules will require many airlines to increase their pilot workforce by five percent. “We're doing what it takes to stay ahead of changes in the aviation industry and to increase the number of aviation graduates we produce.”</p><p>Hoover said that a program innovation in 2012 now allows pilots to earn a CWU bachelor's degree in three years instead of four. CWU has established direct-hire agreements with Horizon Air, American Eagle, and Pinnacle Airlines. CWU is the only public university in the Northwest that offers a bachelor of science degree in aviation and the only place on the West Coast where aviation students can experience the CRJ-200 turbo-jet trainer, airline style curriculum, and the technically advanced turboprop flight trainer.</p><p><br>Media Contact:&nbsp; Linda Schactler, executive director, CWU Public Affairs, 509-607-4103,</p>3-year Professional Pilot Degree, 19 Feb 2013 12:11:26<p>CWU Dept. of Aviation is offering an accelerated 3 year B.S. Professional Pilot degree. CWU has initiated this program in response to industry's identification of projected pilot shortages. Many students are expressing a desire to accelerate their school time to target industry vacancies. Consider getting a jump start on your career! Please contact CWU Aviation for more information.</p>Calendar Events, 19 Feb 2013 12:10:22<p>Please refer to calendar below for list of upcoming events through the Aviation department!</p>