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Flight Training

All flight training is conducted under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FAR Part 141 regulations with CWU's designated contract operator, IASCO Flight Training, 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).



2016-2017 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



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.



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 regarding degree options and program placement.



International Students

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  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 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.

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