Ready to Fly Large Transport Jets
Juan Villa Navarro and Sidney Callaghan are the first to complete Florida Tech’s new advanced airline pilot flight courses. The courses, Jet Transition and Commercial Type Rating, are presented in conjunction with Aerostar Training Services of Orlando. In preparation, they had completed Florida Tech‘s third course, Flight Observation, in which Navarro and Callaghan observed 16 hours of simulator training to learn first-hand the teamwork required of flying as a crew.
All three new courses are aimed at junior, senior and graduate students who plan careers with commercial airlines. Six other students have begun the new courses, which were announced in late 2011. Others begin in August 2012.
The courses are unique: they enable students to use regular electives in their bachelor’s degree program to prepare fully for a career flying a large transport jet. Although jet transition and type rating courses are available on the open market, no other college or university offers transport type ratings as part of its academic degree.
According to Peter Dunn, program manager, assistant professor and faculty adviser, there has been much talk in the industry about the looming, global pilot shortage. “At Florida Tech, we decided to do something about it. When you graduate from FIT, you can have all of your flight training completed, not just the fundamentals,” he said.
PHOTO: From left, Juan Pablo Villa-Navarro; Sidney Callaghan; Ken Stackpoole, vice president for aviation programs and dean of the College of Aeronautics (COA); Peter Dunn, program manager and assistant professor, COA.