Cessna Announces 2016 Top Hawk Universities

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Cessna Aircraft launched the second year of its Top Hawk university program, announcing this week its 2016 participants: Kent State University, LeTourneau University, Purdue University and Westminster College. Each school will receive a new Cessna 172 in February to support flight training, recruiting and promotional activities throughout the year. In addition, one student at each university will be chosen for summer internships at Cessna parent Textron Aviation. In 2015, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Kansas State University, Liberty University and the University of North Dakota were selected. Their Top Hawk students logged more than 1,300 flight hours in the Cessnas provided to them, including dual instruction and participation in the annual National Intercollegiate Flying Association competition.

Casey Hendrickson, a recruitment coordinator at Purdue, said the program brings a number of benefits. "Students involved in the Top Hawk program will learn about aircraft sales and marketing along with the opportunity to fly a new aircraft in the Purdue University fleet," she told AVweb. "It will be used as a recruitment tool to attract potential students not only to the professional flight program but all programs offered by the School of Aviation & Transportation Technology."

Listen to AVweb's interview with Doug May, vice president of piston aircraft at Cessna, about the long-term benefits of the program.