This spring semester private pilot ground school is back in session and going well. An enthusiastic group of young men have been tackling topics in the classroom and embracing the realization that flying starts way before you ever walk out to the plane! Our new engine is in the Cessna 172 and running really well. The airplane underwent significant maintenance during the semester and students are excited about the improvements made and the ADS-B in/out avionics upgrade also in the works thanks to a generous donation from local friends of the program. When the ADS-B work is complete, we will have traffic information and weather streamed directly in the cockpit on iPads. The FAA has made the ADS-B upgrades mandatory in the U.S by 2020 for anyone who flies into certain types of controlled airspace. And with our operations amidst the complex and busy Phoenix area airspace, we absolutely qualify. It will be great to get this done well ahead of the deadline, and benefit from the increased layer of safety and resources it brings our operations.
To get real-world exposure with their class studies, students received a special tour of the local Scottsdale airport air traffic control tower. They observed controllers in action, and the variety of general aviation aircraft that they handle: from small training airplanes to executive jets, with a mix of helicopters in there too. It was great to meet some of the controllers they will actually talk to on the radio when flying!
While we are facing unexpected delays in getting the hangar up here; we are working through the process and it’s our top priority. With the structure in place, we will be able to work more efficiently, and our training program’s flight and maintenance operations will be based there. We all are looking forward to that, and also solicit your prayers for continued momentum and the timely completion of this hangar project at Thunderbird.
Current aviation students who satisfactorily complete ground training this semester and pass the FAA written test this summer will start their flight training at the beginning of the next school year. Most of the students in ground class are working toward that goal. There are multiple students who could benefit from assistance through the AWA-Thunderbird Worthy Student Fund. A big thank you to those who have already started partnering with us to assist these young people with their training. We appreciate your prayers, interest, and support of our program. If you’d like to learn more about helping our students or the development of this program, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re off to blue skies ahead!
Learn more about Thunderbird Adventist Academy flight program here.