WMU News

Fall start set for next pilot-training course

June 19, 2003

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- Western Michigan University aviation officials are recruiting now to fill available seats in the next accelerated pilot training course, which is set to start Aug. 28 and offers prospective pilots a chance to train side by side with others headed for careers in either U.S. or international airlines

WMU's College of Aviation has a long track record of educating pilots for careers on carriers regulated by both the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Joint Aviation Authorities. The college recently merged its international training program with its larger domestic enrollment and launched a Certified Accelerated Training Program--known as CAPT--designed to take advantage of the college's expertise in both tracks and attract prospective pilots for both domestic and international air carriers. The program is open to both those with degrees and those who wish to work toward a bachelor's degree.

The CAPT program takes students with zero flying time through their FAA or JAA commercial, multi-engine, instrument pilot certificate. Training is capped off with a Jet Orientation Course and/or a Multicrew Cooperation Course for JAA students. Students complete the entire course in five semesters, or about 14 months of training. Undergraduates completing the full academic program earn 64 credit hours that can be applied towards the Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Flight Science.

The program is located with the rest of WMU's College of Aviation's facilities at W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek. Pilot candidates will have access to the same instructors and equipment used by the college for its celebrated academic degree programs in aviation. The college maintains a fleet of 60 aircraft, ranging from single-engine Cessna's and twin-engine Piper Seminoles to aerobatic trainers. Flight simulation equipment up to the level of a Boeing 737-type flight training device also is available. In addition, those enrolled have access to the full range of recreational, cultural and academic resources of WMU, one of the nation's top-100 public universities.

The new CAPT program follows the same intense training model perfected by the college in previous training contracts with such international carriers as British Airways, Aer Lingus and Emirates Airlines and scholarship programs with such domestic carriers as Delta Air Lines. The college once offered international training as a separate component of the college's training options, but has now integrated the program into the college's overall programming.

The CAPT curriculum makes use of the 80 percent commonality of the FAA and JAA academic syllabi to combine two previously separate courses. The remaining 20 percent of the course is taught separately and covers the specific areas where differences arise as a result of the specific requirements of the two regulators. The extra flexibility resulting from combining classes permits delivery of the highest quality instruction and helps to keep costs to a minimum.

The college will provide applicants to the CAPT program with assistance in the visa process; information about housing, medical certificates, insurance and academic credit; and guidance in arranging financing and payment options for the course.

WMU's College of Aviation has educated aviation professionals since 1939 and offers complete academic degree programs leading to a bachelor's degree in three areas--aviation flight science, aviation management and maintenance technology. The college entered the international training arena in 1997 with a series of high-profile contracts with international carriers. In 2001, the college first brought its accelerated ab initio curriculum to the domestic airline industry through scholarship awards for training through Delta Air Lines.

Complete information about the CAPT program is available online at <www.wmich.edu/aviation>.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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