State of Delaware helps local aviation program soar
DOVER, Del. – It’s out with the old, and in with the new as Delaware State officials celebrate the newest additions to their aviation program that will take students’ learning to new heights.
‘They’ll have an easier transition, as they move from the training room into the aviation industry,” said Director of Aviation Programs at DSU, Lt. Colonel Michael Hales.
Delaware State University’s aviation program is on track to be better than ever before thanks to a $3.4 million grant from the Delaware Higher Education Economic Development Fund to replace their old planes with 10 Vulcanair V-1.0 single-engine planes.
“The old planes, you’re looking at steam gauges here, the dial knobs. Here, it’s all LED glass cockpit it’s very nice here all touchscreen, it’s amazing,” said student pilot, Christian Black.
“We are in essence doubling our capacity. We have 11 aircraft currently,” said Lt. Col. Hales.
University officials say these upgraded planes are a game changer for their aviation program.
“Going from 1970s built airplanes and of course 1960 technology to now 2019, it makes a huge difference in the success of our students coming out of the aviation program,” said Lt. Col. Hales.
Program directors tell 47 ABC that there’s currently a nationwide pilot shortage for both airlines and the military. But by being able to provide the most up to date training, they can guarantee these students will be able to step off the runway, and into an official cockpit.
“All the planes that you would fly later in your career they’re all glass cockpit they’re all moving to that here because it’s safer, easier, and has a better interface to interact with,” said Black.
University officials add that while their aviation program expands they hope to continue to offer the best education possible for these future pilots. In addition to these 10 planes the aviation program will also be getting a twin-engine Piper Seminole plane to further expand the program. Officials add that the university has also committed to purchase an additional new airplane every year until 2028 to phase out all of the old aircraft.