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Celebrate a Bold, New Era of CWU Aviation January 25

There is a lot to celebrate: a shiny new fleet of Piper Archers, an independent flight school, and enduring industry support. At 10:00 a.m. on January 25, Central Washington University’s Department of Aviation will host a celebration to commemorate a new era of independence, and a sustained program of growth and innovation. The event will take place at 1101 Bowers Road, and is free and open to the public.

Key to the aviation department’s new vigor is the Federal Aviation Administration Part 141 certification for training pilots. For the first time in its history, CWU Aviation can run its own flight school, under its own license.

"This is what we needed in order to have full control of our flight program," said Paul Ballard, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. "We now have a stable foundation for preparing private and commercial pilots, and can offer our students even more confidence in our program."

Prior to the certification, CWU had to contract flight training to commercial schools. A private aviation firm, IASCO, which holds the contract through June 2018, has committed to training the 48 students who entered the program under its auspices. However, no new students have been allowed to seek flight training with IASCO personnel or equipment.

"All of our current first-year students have started with our new in-house flight school," Ballard commented.

In addition to the Part 141 certification, CWU began building an aircraft fleet, as IASCO planes can only be used by students registered under the IASCO training program. On September 1, CWU Aviation took possession of six leased aircraft from Midstate Aviation: five Piper Warriors and one Piper Arrow. CWU Aviation is also acquiring brand new aircraft to help build its own fleet: new Piper Archers arrived in mid-December, and additional aircraft orders are underway.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

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