Boeing awarded a $3 million grant to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) aimed at accelerating the schools pilot training and aviation maintenance programs at the 18th Annual U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit on Thursday. The grant will create a permanent endowment to fund annual scholarships for flight training, maintenance training and certification costs.
While there are certainly arguments about how many pilots will be needed and when, stats like those presented in Boeing's last Pilot & Technician Outlook, which estimates that 635,000 commercial aviation pilots will be needed in the next ten years, have caught the attention of the airline industry. So much so that the last five years have seen several airlines and even a couple of aircraft manufacturers launch their own ab initio flight training schools.
The Sling Pilot Academy this week is set to induct the first round of students to its Accelerated Airline Pilot Program based at the Torrance airport in Southern California. The school has also announced a $20,000 scholarship to be offered to one student who applies before Aug. 5, 2019.
Universal Helicopters (UHI) announced a purchase agreement with Tecnam for ten new aircraft on Monday. The order includes four P2008 LSAs, four P2010s and two P2006T twins. The aircraft will be headed to two fixed-wing training locations operated by UHI sister company Universal Fixed-Wing (UFW).
After months of production delays, Icon Aircraft is ramping up production of its A5 light sport amphibious aircraft. Showing a demo model at the Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring this week, Icons Scott Rodenback said in this exclusive podcast that about 90 airplanes have been built. The company says some 1300 are on backorder.
Veteran FBO and flight school operator Lou Mancuso has opened a new flight academy at Sebring, Florida, that he says will provide fast-track training for pilots planning professional flight careers. In this exclusive podcast recorded at the Sport Aviation Expo 2019 show in Sebring, Mancuso said the school will rely on light sport aircraft, specifically the Bristell.
In the airline and military realm, fly-by-wire control has become old hat but because of expense and certification complexity, the technology hasnt trickled down to light aircraft general aviation. Some in the industry, however, believe that digital control architecture and the enhanced stability it can offer might make airplanes easier to fly and would thus kick the door open to higher aircraft demand. A company called Flight Level Engineering is just completing a project for the FAA that could lay the foundation for certification of such systems, for which there may be no significant manufacturing barriers.