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Aviation program unveils new aircraft Impact
Fairmont State News

Aviation program unveils new aircraft

Mar 15, 2018

For many of us, getting into an airplane to travel around the country and even the world is becoming more common but pilots to fly those planes are becoming harder to find. Fairmont State University is working to fill that need by training students on their brand new 2017 Cessna 172 Skyhawk.

“Fairmont State recognized the nation-wide shortage of pilots and created an academic program that trains pilots, aviation administrators, and aviation maintenance managers at a fraction of the cost of other flight schools,” said President Mirta Martin. “We are the only four-year institution in the state that offers a Bachelor of Science degree in aviation technology with three options and the only FAA 141 flight program in the state.”

And now these aviation technology students have the opportunity to learn using the same dashboard they will encounter on any industry aircraft.

“As a graduate of this program I can tell you the impact that this plane will have on our students,” said flight instructor Tyler Lucas. “When you learn on outdated technology, the learning curve is huge. When you learn on modern equipment that curve significantly decreases.”

Under the leadership of Joel Kirk, Fairmont State’s aviation program is becoming one of the top flight school options in the country.

“Phenomenal attracts phenomenal and that is the type of student we want and the type of pilot we are creating,” said Kirk. “In most places a mile of asphalt will take you a mile down the road but here, a mile of asphalt will take you to the world.”

For more information on the aviation technology program please visit,

Aviation TechnologyJoel KirkCollege of Science and Technology