Skip to body

Aviation

Flight Training

All flight training is conducted by Central Washington University at Bowers Field (KELN) in Ellensburg, Washington.

Our structured program is designed so that students can finish these certificates and ratings during the regular academic year (Fall/Winter/Spring quarters), freeing up summers for employment or other activities. However, should poor flying weather, funding delays, or other factors impede a student's progress, we encourage students to remain in Ellensburg to complete their training (appropriate certificate or rating as outlined above) before leaving for the summer.

Academics and flight training are integrated for each specialization and completion of a given flying segment is a prerequisite to continue on to the next sequence of courses.

B.S. Professional Pilot - Flight Officer (FO) Specialization

Flight Officer Graduates complete the following FAA ratings and certificates:

  • Private Pilot Certificate (PVT)
  • Instrument Rating (IFR)
  • Commercial Pilot Certificate (COM)
  • Multi-Engine Rating (ME)
  • Certified Flight Instructor Certificate (CFI)

B.S. Professional Pilot - Commercial Pilot (CP) Specialization

Commercial Pilot Graduates complete the following FAA ratings and certificates:

  • Private Pilot Certificate (PVT)
  • Instrument Rating (IFR)
  • Commercial Pilot Certificate (COM)
     

A complete list of courses in the professional pilot degree program is available here (.pdf).

Return to Top

 

2017-2018 Estimated Flight Training Costs

Aviation students qualify for additional financial aid to help with the cost of flight training. If you have any questions regarding financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office finaid@cwu.edu.

 



 

Previous Flight Experience                                                                  

Students may transfer in with previous flight experience only through Private Pilot.  Once a student enrolls all flight training must be done through the CWU program at Bowers Field in Ellensburg, Washington. Pilots entering with previous flight experience will be evaluated to determine the amount of flight time to be credited toward an FAR part 141 pilot certificate and/or rating.

Students who have obtained ground training under FAR part 61 will have to take the appropriate ground schools under FAR part 141. Students who have completed an FAR part 141 ground school but did not receive credit from an approved college or university may take a course challenge test in order to be awarded CWU college credit for the applicable ground school courses, provided they can provide us with a copy of the 141 ground school graduation certificate.

Return to Top

 

College Transfer Students

Students transferring in from a college with an articulation agreement will be awarded transfer credit according to the articulation agreement.

Students transferring in from a college without an articulation agreement with prior flight training and college credits will need to have their situations evaluated independently as it is impossible to list all transfer situations. Please contact the Department of Aviation at (509) 963-2364 or aviation@cwu.edu regarding degree options and program placement.

Return to Top

 

NON- US Citizens

Transportation Security Administration requirements for CWU Aviation students (June 2017)

US citizens: Prior to first flight (or instruction in one of our Frasca simulators) you must present either a certified copy of a US birth certificate and a current government issued photo id (typically a driver’s license), OR a current, signed passport. These cannot be photocopies. Bring these documents to orientation, as an Aviation representative must verify that the identification matches the student’s face. We are required to make and keep a photocopy – the original will be given to you right after verification.

If you are NOT a US citizen, you MUST receive clearance from the Transportation Security Administration before we can begin your flight training. Go to the “Alien Flight Student Program” website at https://www.flightschoolcandidates.gov/a/?acct_type=c  and select “candidate portal” from the pull down menu. On the top right you will create a new candidate account. The page gives detailed instructions. You will choose “Central Washington University” as your flight training provider, and Piper PA-28-161 as the type of training aircraft. You are applying as a “Category 3” applicant. Fingerprints will be required towards the end of the process, but there are VERY SPECIFIC requirements on how these must be done, so be sure to follow directions. Our local Sheriff’s office can do the fingerprints – you will be required to bring a pre-paid and pre-addressed envelope to the Sheriff’s office at the time of fingerprinting – you are NOT allowed to handle the fingerprint document yourself. It typically takes one to two months to get approval, so we recommend you start early.

If you have not yet done so, you need to contact our admissions office at 509-963-1211 or admissions@cwu.edu for information regarding your high school transcripts.

If you are applying for a flying major or minor keep in mind that our ground schools begin in fall quarter for private and instrument students.

Return to Top

New Students

Prior to the start of the school year, there are some items to plan for prior to your arrival. As you noticed in your acceptance letter, we need TSA Documentation for all students. These documents must be presented before we can enter you in the flight training software and get you scheduled for flights.

  • US citizens – must present either a government certified copy of your birth certificate and a current driver’s license (or other current government issued photo identification) OR a current copy of your passport. Please bring this with you at the start of classes for faculty to verify.
  • NON-US citizens – No non-US students are allowed to begin flight training, nor are the flight lab fees collected and paid to the flight school, until the TSA vetting process is completed and approved.  Normally this process takes about 6 weeks, it requires certified fingerprints, and there is a cost. For information on how to apply
    • Please contact Teresa Sloan, CWU Chief Ground Instructor, at 509-963-3691 or teresa.sloan@cwu.edu for information.

Headsets: It is recommended that you purchase and bring your own aviation headset. If you choose not to, CWU has provided 6 headsets for students to rent (for free) during the duration of their flight. Aviation headsets can be purchased online through websites such as sportys.com/pilotshop or mypilotstore.com. It is also highly recommended to purchase a headset that has Active Noise Reduction (ANR). This helps reduce the noise of the engine and protects your hearing. More information to aid you in choosing a headset can be found here.

Charts: Other items students will need to order are a Seattle Sectional Chart and Airport/Facility Directory (Chart Supplement) NW. A sectional chart is essentially a pilot’s map and a chart supplement contains information about all the airports in a specific region. These items must be ordered online and are not provided by CWU.

Equipment: Students will also need a flight plotter, flight computer, kneeboard, logbook, and flight bag to hold necessary items when on a flight. A backpack works just fine as a “flight bag”. These items can be purchased either online or at the Wildcat Shop, although stock may be limited.

iPads: Many students have also asked if they are able to use an iPad for their training. iPads are useful, though not necessary for training. Private students will be focusing on flight planning and making calculations by hand with paper charts. Instrument students can use either paper or digital charts. If you choose to use a digital chart on your iPad, you should have a paper chart in your flight bag as a backup in case your iPad malfunctions.

Hood: View limiting devices will be used by private students for only a few flights, while Instrument students will spend a vast majority of their flight time using one. View limiting devices will be provided in the airplanes, though it is optional to purchase your own.

Dress: Students are expected to wear closed toed shoes and long pants for all flights, regardless of weather. This ultimately ensures student safety. For stage checks and checkrides, students are expected to wear business/ business casual. Professionalism is highly valued in the aviation industry. As the weather changes, students must dress appropriately for weather conditions. In Ellensburg, we can experience anything from 90+ degree weather in September, 40mph winds at times and snow starting around late November. Please pack clothes accordingly.

We hope this information helps to prepare you for your transition to CWU. Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.

Return to Top

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.

Admissions@cwu.edu