|By Carmelo Turdo|
A new program to develop the next generation of aviators was announced Saturday during the annual Cessna Demo Day at Air Associates of Kansas. Air Associates of Kansas, the premier Midwest flight training facility and full-service fixed-base operator at Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe, KS, has teamed up with Kansas State University-Salina and Johnson County Community College to offer a comprehensive opportunity for students to obtain a Bachelor of Aeronautical Technology Degree, flight training and professional flight experience. All three partners were on hand at the Air Associates of Kansas hangar to introduce the program to prospective students and guests among a backdrop of aircraft provided by Textron, the parent company of Cessna and Beechcraft, among other aircraft brands.
The Academic requirements are obtained in cooperation with the eastern Kansas institutions. Basic education courses can be completed through Johnson County Community College, either in class or on-line. Core courses are offered by Kansas State University-Salinas, and flight training takes place at Air Associates of Kansas. A value-added component to the program is the opportunity for the students to use their commercial and Certified Flight Instructor ratings to obtain income-earning flight experience with Air Associates of Kansas..
Guest speakers at the event included Tom Cargin, Owner of Air Associates, Kansas State University Provost April Mason, and Kansas State-Salina University Aviation Department Head Barney King. Also available was Kansas State-Salina University Professional Pilot senior student Ian Barnhart, chosen by Textron as one of the coveted "Top Hawk" ambassadors from only four universities across the country. He will fly a specially marked Cessna 172 to various events in the Midwest and intern with Textron this summer. Following the internship, the students will then compete in a flying challenge for the title "Top Hawk."
|"Top Hawk" pilot Ian Barnhart (second from right) with other presenters with his plane|
|Air Associates owner Tom Cargin begins the presentation|
|Kansas State representatives explain the Professional Pilot Program|
|Tom Cargin (L) and Barney King (R) with Kansas State representatives|
Outside of the hangar were aircraft from the Cessna and Beechcraft brands of Textron, including the Cessna 172, Beechcraft King Air 200, Beechcraft G36 Bonanza and Cessna TTX:
Special thanks to Air Associates of Kansas, Kansas State University and Johnson County Community College for their hospitality!