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SIU Aviation Program Earns Key FAA Certificate

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s aviation flight and aviation management programs recently received Federal Aviation Administration certification that reduces the required flight time for graduates interested in becoming airline pilots.

Based on SIU’s curriculum and training requirements, the FAA on March 5 lowered the number of flight hours that SIU aviation students need to qualify for a restricted air transport pilot certificate, or R-ATP. The reduction is from 1,500 to 1,250 flight hours for aviation flight students and to 1,000 flight hours for students in the combined aviation flight and aviation management programs. The result is a significant savings in both time and money for graduates headed to a flight career with an airline.

SIU is among a group of about 40 universities in the nation to receive the FAA certification, David A. NewMyer, department chair, said. Until last year, an airline could hire a co-pilot or first officer with as few as 250 flight hours. The FAA’s revision to 1,500 flight hours was significant for future pilots wanting to fly for the airlines, NewMyer said. The certificate is required for individuals wanting to fly as co-pilots for major air carriers like United, Southwest, American and Delta, along with regional airlines such as American Eagle, SkyWest, ExpressJet, Republic and TranStates.
“This certification gives our students added flexibility as they pursue their careers after graduation and is a strong endorsement of the training provided by the faculty and staff in our aviation program,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said.


A New Day for Female Aviators at EAA AirVenture 2014

The annual WomenVenture gathering, designed to encourage and inspire women in aviation and those who want to fly, will welcome hundreds of female aviators on Wednesday, July 30, during the annual EAA® AirVenture® OshkoshTM fly-in convention. EAA AirVenture 2014 will be held July 28-August 3 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.

Co-sponsored by Women in Aviation International and The Ninety-Nines, two groups that encourage women’s aviation participation, WomenVenture moves to a midweek celebration in order to welcome more females currently involved in aviation or who want to be involved in the flying community.

All women involved in the aviation community are invited to be part of the traditional group photo on AirVenture’s main showcase ramp at 11 a.m., followed by the “WomenVenture Power Lunch” at Theater in the Woods at 11:30. Pre-registration for the lunch is required.



The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) AV8RS youth membership program has awarded four scholarships totaling $20,000 to teens who are pursuing flight training in high school and college.

This year’s scholarship program was funded through the AOPA Foundation, a non-profit organization, and made possible through generous donations from AOPA Insurance Services and Sporty’s Pilot Shop.

The winners are Alexander Brown, 15, of Boyds, Md., Abigail Jarve, 17, of Seatac, Wash., Carl Eefsting, 17, of Allendale, Mich., and Matthew Groh, 18, of Lafayette, Ind.

“We are proud to name these four exceptional young AV8RS as the recipients of our 2014 AV8RS program scholarships,” said Mark Baker, AOPA president and CEO. “When you look at what these young people have done already – in aviation, in school and in their communities – it’s clear that they are well on their way to successful lives in and out of the cockpit. It gives us great pleasure to help them on their way.”

Several applicants noted that the scholarship will help offset the expense of flight training, which can come in addition to college tuition.

Recipient Carl Eefsting hopes to pursue a missionary flying career. Two awardees, Matthew Groh –  a freshman at Purdue University – and Abigail Jarve, who will attend the University of North Dakota, want to put their scholarships toward flight training for airline careers.

Alexander Brown will turn 16 in June and has been preparing to solo. He applied for the scholarship to help pay for a private pilot’s certificate as a first step toward a flying career.

“I am a young man who believes in balancing your life through the four ‘As’ – Academics, Athletics, Arts and AVIATION,” Brown wrote in his scholarship application.

Jarve stated, “My dream is to become a pilot, and I am not giving up until I am one.”

“I don’t want to be just any pilot,” Groh wrote. “I want to be a safe, prepared, focused and efficient pilot who knows his abilities and limitations.”

Eefsting described his hope to become a missionary pilot who will “fly to isolated villages in third-world countries, transporting pastors, Bible teachers and missionaries, and flying medical emergencies.”

AV8RS is AOPA’s program to introduce teens aged 13 to 18 to the world of aviation and flight. Membership in AV8RS is free and includes a digital subscription to Flight Training magazine; access to member-only content on and for research and interesting stories; opportunities to connect with other AOPA AV8RS across the country through dedicated online social communities including Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, and YouTube; informative content at; a special e-newsletter with stories about young pilots; scholarship opportunities and more.



The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) today announced the availability of two prestigious scholarships awarded annually to students who have excelled in or are pursuing aviation studies.

The Edward W. Stimpson “Aviation Excellence Award” is given to a graduating high school senior who has been accepted to and will be enrolled in an aviation degree core program at his or her chosen university or college. The award includes a $2,000 cash prize and is named after Stimpson, who was a founder of GAMA and served as its President from 1970 to 1990 and from 1992 to 1996. Applicants are judged on the basis of academic skills, extracurricular activities, and an essay on what aviation means to the student and how he or she plans to pursue a career in aviation.

The Dr. Harold S. Wood Award for Excellence is given annually to a college student who is a flight team member at a National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) member school. The award comes with a $2,000 cash prize and an engraved propeller trophy, and is named after Wood, founder and past executive director of NIFA. Students are judged on the basis of academic skills, both aviation-related and non-aviation-related extracurricular activities, and an essay about their future aviation plans.

Both applications are due April 18, 2014, and can be found on GAMA’s Web site  at


U.S. News & World Report Ranks Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide Among Top Online Educators

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide has been named one of the nation’s top online educators, according to a U.S. News & World Report listing released recently.

Embry-Riddle Worldwide undergraduate degree programs placed No. 5 out of nearly 300 institutions ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Embry-Riddle shares the fifth spot with the University of Florida. Additionally, the university’s online graduate business programs were named 70th among more than 200 institutions ranked.

“We are so pleased to be recognized as a leader in online education by U.S. News & World Report,” said Embry-Riddle Worldwide Chancellor John R. Watret, Ph.D. “What we are most proud of is that while we’ve experienced tremendous growth, we continue to remain true to our mission of delivering high-quality education.”

To publish its list, U.S. News & World Report ranked online bachelor’s degree programs and graduate business programs in the following categories: student engagement, admissions selectivity (graduate business programs), faculty credentials and training, peer reputation and student services and technology. For the complete listing of the 2014 U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs, visit


SAFE to FAA: Policy Change Will Harm Aviation Safety

The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) told the FAA today that an unexpected change in agency policy on Letters of Authorization (LOAs) for GA flight simulators will harm aviation safety, create a burden on the industry and run counter to the intent of current LOAs.

“The FAA should be encouraging better pilot training, not discouraging it,” said Doug Stewart, SAFE Executive Director.  “The extra simulator training hours allowed by these LOAs is invaluable.”

GA simulators affected by the FAA change in policy will include virtually all FAA approved Personal Computer Aviation Training Devices (PCATD), Flight Training Devices (FTD) level 1-3, Basic Aviation Training Devices (BATD) and Advanced Aviation Training Devices (AATD).

The FAA’s Notice of Policy Change for the Use of FAA Approved Training Devices, published with docket number FAA-2013-0809 in the January 2 edition of the Federal Register, will sunset all FAA Letters of Authorization (LOAs) for GA flight simulators on January 1, 2015.  That will limit pilots to the FAR Part 61.65(i) maximum of 10 hours of simulator time loggable toward an instrument rating.  Some LOAs for advanced simulators currently allow as many as 20 hours of simulator training to count toward an instrument rating.

“FAA officials, understanding the value of simulators in flight training, have been issuing these LOAs since 1980,” said Stewart.  “This proposed policy change will take away much of the incentive for pilots to improve their skills in a better classroom than a noisy cockpit.”

SAFE’s official comments ask the FAA to rescind its proposed policy change in the interests of safety.  The comments also point out that the proposed change is actually contrary to the intent of current letters of authorization and will create an undue burden on industry by forcing manufacturers and users to revert to prior FAA rule interpretations.  The full text of the Society’s comments is available at

Comments on the proposal are now being accepted at


GAMA and Build A Plane Launch Second Aviation Design Challenge to Promote STEM Education

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and Build A Plane, a non-profit organization to encourage aviation and aerospace education, are partnering for a second year to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in high schools across the United States through an aviation design competition. The winning high school will receive an all-expenses-paid, two-week trip for four students, one teacher and one chaperone to help build a Glasair Sportsman aircraft through Glasair Aviation’s well-known Two Weeks to Taxi program at its facilities in Arlington, WA, in June 2014.

“After seeing the incredible success of the inaugural aviation design competition in 2013, GAMA member companies continue to build our future general aviation workforce,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “Having worked side by side with the students for two weeks last summer and seen how the competition not only improved their skill sets but convinced almost all of them to enter the aviation field, I’m thrilled to be going back to our wonderful hosts at Glasair for another build in 2014.”

Schools interested in the competition will receive complimentary “Fly to Learn” curricula, which comes with flight simulation software powered by X-Plane. Teachers will guide students through the science of flight and airplane design, completing the curricula in approximately six weeks in the classroom or in four weeks through an accelerated program. Each high school will apply what they have learned by modifying the design of a Glasair Sportsman airplane that seats four adults while flying a specific mission profile. The schools will then compete in a virtual fly-off, which will be scored on aerodynamic and performance parameters. Judges from GAMA will select the winning school.

“We are so pleased to partner again on this extraordinary competition and look forward to working with another group of talented students,” said Build A Plane President and Founder Lyn Freeman. “What an incredible learning opportunity for both students and teachers alike to take the STEM education this program provides and then use those skills to help assemble a real-life airplane with aviation professionals. It really is the experience of a lifetime.”

Glasair President Nigel Mott added, “We are very excited to have the next wave of amazing students back at our facility to work with our team as they build the Glasair Sportsman. This is a fantastic opportunity to pass the torch to the new generation of aviation minds, and keep aircraft in the skies.”

Tom Dubick, Co-Founder of Fly to Learn, noted, “The Aviation Design Challenge provides a unique way for teachers to build aviation design into their classroom or after-school lessons and show students just how important STEM skills are in the real world. Fly to Learn is extremely proud to be part of this program again, and we look forward to helping to educate more students this year.”

GAMA member companies will provide financial resources, equipment and supplies to the build, while Glasair will donate two weeks of staff time to support the plane’s assembly. The winning team will receive round-trip airfare, hotels, meals and field trips to nearby aviation sites.

The competition will follow the schedule below:


University student and pilot wins Lightspeed Aviation’s $500 Burger Getaway

Kyle Van Kooten

Kyle Van Kooten of Clive, Iowa is the latest weekly winner Lightspeed Aviation's $500 Burger Getaway sweepstakes. The Getaway consists of a series of weekly drawings for a $500 package that includes gift cards for av gas, rental car, dining, and lodging. Any eligible customer registering a new Lightspeed Zulu.2 or Sierra ANR headset is automatically entered.

Kyle's very first flight — on a commercial airliner — sparked his passion for flying. Five years later he was behind the controls and last August he earned his private pilot license. Kyle, who now flies a Cessna Skyhawk and American Champion Citabria, is working on his instrument rating, as well single and multi-engine commercial certifications. He is also studying air traffic management with a concentration in professional flight, with the possibility of pursuing a career as a professional pilot.

Kyle entered the drawing by purchasing a new Zulu.2 headset. He plans to use his Getaway prize to take a trip with friends this summer.

"It's encouraging to see young people so passionate about flying and working so hard to make a career in aviation," said Teresa De Mers, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support for Lightspeed. "If Kyle is any indication, the future of our industry is bright indeed."

The $500 Burger Getaway weekly drawings end Tuesday, January 7, 2014. For more information and see previous winners, visit


Deadline Nearing for Wolf Aviation Grants

This year's deadline for applications for grants from the Wolf Aviation Fund is December 15. Applications must meet certain criteria and fit into the Fund's seven major program areas, which are: Developing Public Policy and Airports; Networking and Mutual Support; Development and Alternative Resources; Communications, Media, and Community Relations; General Aviation Technology, Safety, and Noise; Improving Public Understanding and Perception; and Aviation and Space Education.

Projects receiving awards reflect the remarkable goals and accomplishments of the grant recipients and the value of their contributions, often as volunteers leading teams of other volunteers in their communities.  They all deserve our recognition, support, encouragement, and thanks for working so hard to build the future of aviation.

Proposals often received partial support, because by providing partial funding as challenge grants the recipients often use the honor and recognition of a Wolf Aviation Fund grant to approach others and seek additional funding.  This approach permits more projects to receive grants and has proven quite successful.  We encourage all aviation supporters to look for those who have won Wolf Aviation Fund awards and display our logo, and to provide them additional support.

Not all proposals could be funded, thus the Foundation is working to increase the resources available for projects.  Your support could help make more projects happen!  Please visit the Wolf Aviation Fund website and learn about the Fund and how to help support some of these projects or to set up your own dedicated grant program.

Log on to now to read about the Fund's grant program and to discover the rich world of resources available for those who are doing great work in general aviation!


Dr. Mervin K. Strickler: Father of Aviation Education

By Shelia M. Bauer

There are many out there that are aware that the National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education (NCASE), has the honor of oversight in administering the “Dr. Mervin K. Strickler Aerospace Education Leadership Award.” But, I dare say that not many aerospace education newcomers know much about the man who this award is named for, other than the fact that Dr. Strickler is considered the “Father of Aviation Education.”

Well, as Paul Harvey was known for saying, “and here is the rest of the story….”

Strickler is a native Pennsylvanian who attended public schools and college there. He caught the love-bug for aviation education (AvEd) early in life, teaching ground school at night and weekends. He continued on the “AvEd” pathway as Chief Instructor for Clearfield , Pennsylvania Institute of Aviation.  In 1945, Strickler served as bombardier-navigator instructor during World War II and originated and headed the US Army Air Corps College of Aeronautics at Army Air Field, Las Vegas, Nevada. Then in 1951, he went on to earn his doctorate in education at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.

Strickler specialized in curriculum design in aviation education and higher education, a unique, if not one of a kind specialized degree then, as it stands today.  He became Chief of Aviation Education Programs at Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters from 1951-1960. He then served as Chief of Aviation Education Programs for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from 1960-1979.  Following his tenure with FAA, Strickler was a self-employed consultant to a variety of clients on aviation, aerospace, transportation, education and training management, administration, and development.

Strickler’s interests turned international when he served as the team leader for the United States Civil Air Patrol’s project to design a new nation-wide program of aerospace education for Egypt focusing on Kindergarten through high school and university levels. He served as the National Aeronautic Association’s delegate and consultant to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Commission on International Aerospace Education (CIEA.) He was a member on the Board of Directors of the Association to Unite Democracies (AUD.) In addition, Strickler became a writer/lecturer on Soviet-Russian aviation, space, and transportation and had traveled to USSR (and successor Republics) thirty eight times from 1971 to the present.

Strickler’s interest in video program development turned his attention to helping produce four video programs on Russian aviation, space, education and culture. He went on to assist the producer in the 1999 Public Television program entitled “Stolen Years” that featured interviews done in Russia with eleven survivors of Stalin’s prison camps. This was an award-winning production.

We don’t have space in this article for the lists of numerous publications including papers, articles, monographs, and books on a variety of aviation, aerospace, transportation, education, safety, and related topics, that Strickler produced. The lists of boards, organizations, universities, administrations and agencies Strickler served on throughout the years and the illustrious awards he has achieved throughout is also too numerous to mention here. However, as I scan pages of achievements, four float off the page to my attention;  the Department of the Air Force’s “Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service” (This is the highest civilian award attainable in the United State Air Force.),  “The Frank  G. Brewer Trophy” (for Outstanding Contributions to Air, Youth, and Educational Work), The Federation Aeronautique Internationale’s (FAI) “Nile Gold Medal” (the highest award in the world in the field of Aviation and Space Education.) and the “National Aeronautics Association’s (NAA) Elder Statesman Award” (as the senior authority on aviation education in the United States.)

As of this writing, Dr. Strickler, 92 years young, is still living at home and according to his daughter, Heather Holstine, feels “pretty good.”  That’s pretty darn good for not only a father, and grandfather, but “The Father of Aviation Education.”

*To learn more about the Dr. Mervin K. Strickler Award Aviation Education Leadership Award visit  the NCASE website at /