Archive for May, 2012

Pilot Training Page Helps Students Get Started

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
pilot training - pre-flight checkBy

Many people we talk to are ready for pilot training but don’t know where to start. With this information in mind, we recently added a new “Pilot Training” page to to try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about pilot training costs, schools, and additional sources of information. We also included links to our other great pilot training resources and articles.

If you’re thinking about becoming a pilot, either for a career or as a hobby, our new pilot training page is a great place to begin. If you have any ideas for additional resources, please let us know.

Please click here to visit our pilot training page.

Fly safe, and often!

Great Opportunities to Become Pilots and Mechanics

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Milestones in both airplane and helicopter aviation have recently been attained as designers and manufactures successfully work towards improving aviation safety, efficiency and performance.  This is good news across the board for anyone considering a career in aviation as this means continued demand for pilots, aircraft engineers and aircraft maintenance technicians (A&P).

In the airplane world, Icon Aircraft recently attained an important aviation milestone as Icon presents to the world the first spin resistant production aircraft with the Icon A5.  Icon A5: The First Spin Resistant Production Aircraft (VIDEO)

In the helicopter world, Eurocopter has recently achieved a milestone in helicopters with the X3 (or Xcube) to provide greater speed and range for helicopters:  Eurocopter X3 (VIDEO)

Aviation Schools Online has the most comprehensive online directory of airplane-helicopter flight training schools
and aircraft mechanic schools listings to start your career.

Check out:

Aviation Treasure found in Desert Tomb

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Just recently something amazing was found.  Although hidden for years, it has been well preserved through the sands of time.  Not a man like Ötzi the Iceman who lived 5,300 years ago and was found in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps.  Not an animal like Yuka the Woolly Mammoth which was recently found and determined by scientists to have lived over 10,000 years ago.  It is a P40 aircraft from World War II, found in the Western Desert of Egypt, 200 miles outside of the closest town.

As the story goes, the pilot, Flight Sergeant Copping, survived the emergency landing only to die of exposure attempting to exit the desert.

Although some argue the authenticity of the story and wreckage, the photos are hard to argue.

You can read the intriguing story at:


First class of UAS techs graduate from NCTC

Saturday, May 12th, 2012
Photo of NCTC's UAS technician graduates

From left; Tyler Beckman, Joe Moore and Solomon Kassaye, Northland Community Technical College’s first nationally certified Unmanned Aircraft Systems maintenance technicians.

Reprinted with permission from Kevin Bonham and Grand Forks Herald.

By Kevin Bonham – Staff Writer

THIEF RIVER FALLS — Tyler Beckman, Joe Moore and Solomon Kassaye are entering into some rare air — without ever leaving the ground.

They’ll graduate tonight from Northland Community and Technical College, becoming the country’s first unmanned aircraft system maintenance technicians certified by the National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies, an industry group.

Just one of them has a job lined up. Beckman, a native of Pemberton, Minn., will stay at Northland Aerospace, located at Thief River Falls Regional Airport, to serve as the school’s aircraft repair technician.

But Moore and Kassaye are not worried about finding work.

“There are probably 30 companies around the country interested in hiring, but they’re not begging yet, because this is so new,” said Moore, who came here from Arkansas to pursue a career as an industry consultant.

Kassaye, who grew up in Ethiopia, moved the United States six years ago and became a U.S. citizen last year. He came to Northland for the school’s aviation maintenance technology program and stayed two years to earn the UAS certification.

“There’s a lot of options, but hopefully I’ll get work overseas as a UAS mechanic,” he said.

Growing industry

Jon Beck, UAS program manager and instructor, said placement will be no problem for any of the program graduates.

The UAS industry is just emerging, quickly spreading beyond military applications to commercial industry, such as law enforcement and surveillance, fire detection, search and rescue, pipeline and electric transmission patrol, as well as agriculture, mapping, photography and imagery and freight.

“The biggest employers probably will remain the Department of Defense for now,” Beck said. “But as the airspace opens, they will integrate. In the next couple of years, the civilian workforce will be pulling in more and more students, many in this area.”

The Northland UAS program provides certification for maintenance and repair of all components, including remotely piloted aircraft, ground control stations, as well as computer networks, communication and guidance systems.

The UAS program, an expansion of the school’s aviation maintenance technology program, started in the spring of 2011 with a total of $10 million in federal grants. It is expected to enroll 20 to 25 students in the summer semester and 30 to 50 in the fall, according to Beck.

Earlier this year, Northland and UND signed a five-year agreement to cooperate in UAS education, research and training. UND is offering the nation’s first four-year Bachelor of Science degree in UAS operations, training pilots and sensor operators.

UAS repairmen

Beck, a Thief River Falls native who grew up in the St. Cloud area, learned UAS maintenance while serving in the Air National Guard.

“We’re expecting things to explode in the next few years in this area,” he said. “There will be so many opportunities.”

Shortly after finishing final exams Wednesday, Beckman and Moore examined a quarter-inch-thick slab— two pieces of composite carbon fiber over a honeycomb core — they fabricated to be part of an airplane wing, the same as those used in the shell of aircraft, including the Boeing 787.

“It’s awesome, very cool. The strength is amazing,” said Beckman, explaining that the composite is about 40 times stronger than steel.

Beck said while most companies in the UAS industry currently have specialized teams to repair aircraft, the Northland program is leading the transition to more cost-effective alternatives.

“What happens if an aircraft gets damaged,” Moore said, “are you going to send the whole aircraft back to the factory because of one dent? No, you make the repair.”

And as commercial UAS applications expand, from military surveillance to crop monitoring or search and rescue, so will the demand for certified maintenance technicians.

“You have to decide what you want it for,” Moore said, “and we want to fix them.”

Reach Bonham at (701) 780-1110; (800) 477-6572, ext. 110; or send email to

Girls With Wings Aviation Appreciation Day

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Young pilots with instructorGirls With Wings, Inc., announces its Second Annual Aviation Inspiration Day taking place May 26th, 2012 in S. St. Paul, MN. The Airport Terminal at Fleming Field, 1725 Henry Avenue, will be the headquarters for this family friendly event with a wide range of activities for all ages. The Minnesota Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is coordinating appearances from the Civil Air Patrol and other aviation organizations to raise the general public’s awareness of different aspects and career opportunities in aviation. Tours of various airport facilities, like the CAF Museum are available. Plus rides on a vintage jeep and firetruck!

The 2011 daylong event attracted over 250 participants, with over 60 girls attending the Girls With Wings® Presentation, which teaches girls “everything” they need to know to be a pilot. The girls receive their “Pilot Certificate” and then are able to fly on a no cost Young Eagles flight provided by EAA Chapter 1229.

A panel presentation from various aviation professionals will be during lunch, with food donated by Wipaire, a manufacturer of airplane floats. All events are free, except for a $5 fee to attend the Girls With Wings Presentation. Pre-registration via is highly encouraged since the flights, available to all youths ages 8-17, fill up quickly. Full details about the event, to include a video of highlights from last year, is on the website.

Girls With Wings focuses its efforts on introducing young girls to their role models in aviation-related occupations. Website activities and inspirational stories of women involved in various fields of aviation will motivate girls to pursue their own skyward adventures.

GIRLS WITH WINGS, INC: A nonprofit organization using aviation to entertain and educate girls about their limitless opportunities for personal growth via an interactive website and presentations to girls groups and organizations. The scholarships are funded through private donations. If you wish to schedule a presentation, make a contribution or receive further details regarding our program, please contact Lynda Meeks at or 216.577.6131.

# # #

For more information, visit or contact:

Lynda Meeks, Executive Director
Ph: 216.577.6131

The Logbook Checklist

Thursday, May 10th, 2012
Cage Consulting logoBy Angie Marshall & Cheryl Cage
Cage Consulting: Helping Pilots Reach Their Goals Since 1988

While the aviation industry is still slow, there has been some subtle movement over the last few months. Several companies have been quietly recalling furloughed pilots, in fact, some have even started to do some hiring. Now is the time for you to start preparing your logbooks, your resume, and your game plan.

Logbooks must be up-to-date and neat.  Sloppy, disorganized, inaccurate logbooks will be the cause of a great deal of questioning and concern on the part of the interviewer.  Before you hand-out your resume at job fairs or submit an application please review the following:

1.  Audit your flight times BEFORE you do anything with your resume or application.   Applicants have been escorted out of an interview because their flight times did not match their application.

2. If you find that a mistake has been made, make the necessary changes to correct the error. Do not erase or white-out information. Instead, go to the next available entry space in your logbook and write AUDIT and the date of your corrections. Then write in the corrected times.

3.  Tab your checkrides. This helps the interviewer locate the information quickly and it will also allow you a chance to reflect on your checkride history prior to answering questions on an application or during your interview.

4.  Remove any notes, folded paper or trash from your logbooks. You don’t want the interviewer to open your logbooks only to find your grocery list!

5.  Make sure all your pages are signed.

6.  Be sure to give accurate flight times on all resumes and applications. Potential employers want to know your actual hours, not “approximates” or “guesstimates”.

7.  Be sure to read the application flight time requirements CAREFULLY!  All companies request flight times to be broken out differently. What you have on your resume may not look exactly like what’s on your application. If they ask you to give your PIC without student time, then you break down your PIC without student time. Read, reread, and then read again before placing your flight times on the application.

8.  It is acceptable to use computerized programs to keep track or your flight times, however, you need to have your original logbooks with the original checkride sign offs to present at the time of the interview.

9.  NEVER, NEVER overestimate your flight times for any reason.

10.  If you have lost a logbook, you must strive to recreate your flight time.  Remember, this is a legal document with legal signatures in it.   Contact the FAA for your Complete Airmen’s File which will have your FAA ratings and sign-offs, contact past students/instructors for letters to verify your time, ask former companies for flight log print outs, etc.

Worse case, if an error is discovered during your interview; don’t be afraid to admit that you were wrong.  By taking responsibility for your error, the interviewer will hopefully understand your oversight and make note of your humble approach.

For more information on our pilot career services such as resume development, career/special concerns/furlough consulting, and job fair/interview preparation services please contact us at:



Phone: 720-222-1432

Girls With Wings Summer Scholarship: Two Awards

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Young female pilot with Super CubGirls With Wings, Inc., announces its 7th Scholarship Program for a future Girl With Wings to include an additional iteration for Summer 2012. Girls With Wings has traditionally given out a Private Pilot Scholarship to help defray the cost of flight training lessons in pursuit of a private pilot certificate. This scholarship is targeting individuals who have soloed but have not completed the Private Pilot Course. In addition, the second scholarship offered by Girls With Wings is the Dreams Take Flight Scholarship. This scholarship is designed to introduce the world of aviation to someone that has dreams of a career in aviation and would benefit from experiencing the joy of flight. The award of this scholarship is intended to fund introductory flight training to encourage achievement of a stated goal, whether as a pilot or in another field of study.  There is no prerequisite flight training required for this scholarship, just enthusiasm and the desire to learn.

The application requires an essay with photo stating why the applicant believes she is a role model for Girl With Wings, to include her motivation, inspirations and future plans. Entries are to be received between May 1st and June 30st, 2012. The awardees agree to submit three updates with pictures taken during flight training and a final essay summarizing how the scholarship helped her, what she learned and her intent to continue her work as a Girls With Wings role model. This spring’s winners include Alaina Kappner, who has nearly completed her Private Pilot Flight training. The three winning essays are available on the GWW site.  Full details at

Girls With Wings focuses its efforts on introducing young girls to their role models in aviation-related occupations. Website activities and inspirational stories of women involved in various fields of aviation will motivate girls to pursue their own skyward adventures.

GIRLS WITH WINGS, INC: A nonprofit organization using aviation to entertain and educate girls about their limitless opportunities for personal growth via an interactive website and presentations to girls groups and organizations. The scholarships are funded through private donations. If you wish to schedule a presentation, make a contribution or receive further details regarding our program, please contact Lynda Meeks at or 216.577.6131.

# # #

For more information, visit or contact:

Lynda Meeks, Executive Director
Ph: 216.577.6131

Fly to Learn, X-Plane and Think Global Flight Create Alliance

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Click to visit ThinkGlobalFlight.orgJacksonville, Fl., May 2, 2012 Captain Judy Rice of Think Global Flight ( ), X-Plane Founder Austin Meyer  ( ) and Randy Witt of Fly to Learn  ( ) created an alliance to bring S.T.E.M. Education to students worldwide. is a non-profit effort to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M) education, aviation and aerospace through the “adventure of an around-the-world flight”, taking off in the Fall of 2013 from Honolulu, Hawaii.  The students will engage in educational “challenges” developed by Fly To Learn, found within Think Global Flight’s Student Command Centers.  The Fly To Learn curriculum is an inquiry-based S.T.E.M. program developed to excite and challenge students.  “No aviation experience is needed nor do you need special equipment so the sky is the limit! Teachers and administrators will find Fly To Learn fun to teach”, state Fly to Learn’s Randy Witt, also a partner in X-Plane.

“Fly To Learn is the educational component that uses X-Plane to teach S.T.E.M. Education in the classroom.  We are excited about this new opportunity to reach kids worldwide,” remarks Austin Meyer, X-Plane Founder.

Think Global Flight’s Captain, Judy Rice, will be flying a Cirrus SR20 G3 complete with the Garmin Perspective.  The aircraft was donated for the around the world flight by Guidance Aviation ( ) of Prescott, Arizona.  “All the pieces are in place,” states Rice. “We have the aircraft, we have already signed up numerous schools both domestically and internationally, the sponsors are beginning to sign up and now we have the most important component provided by Fly To Learn, the education!”

“Fly To Learn and are a perfect fit to grow education and aviation. This is a natural progression for X-Plane and Laminar Research as we begin to build Fly to Learn and reach out to students and teachers globally promoting S.T.E.M.  This is exactly why we have brought Captain Judy Rice on board to help us develop our curriculum for Fly To Learn and we are exceptionally excited about the fantastic developments at“, states Randy Witt of Fly To Learn.

“We are very excited about the progress we have made.  We are fortunate to have a dedicated marketing staff, also donated by Guidance Aviation to develop our marketing strategy, websites, brochures and manage our promotional goals to bring this effort to the teachers and students around the globe,” remarks Rice. “Moreover, this dedicated marketing effort is great for our sponsors. We will be promoting them around the world to future aviators, meteorologists, aerospace engineers, air traffic controllers and maybe even an astronaut or two.”

“We look forward to continuing to help Captain Rice build momentum for this effort and promote S.T.E.M. education, aviation and aerospace. We are lucky to be involved in such a great project,” remarks John Stonecipher, CEO, Guidance Aviation.


Think Global Flight:
Think Global Flight Facebook:
Fly to Learn:
X-Plane 10:
Guidance Aviation:

A&Ps and UAVs: Combine your passion for mechanics and engineering

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

If you do a Google Search for “UAV Aircraft Mechanic”, look what you’ll find- a lot of jobs and opportunities. One company, BOSH Global Services, has numerous listings for A&P’s with UAV experience.  And that’s just one company.  In addition to new demands within the aerospace sector,  the public sector is now beginning to leverage UAV technology throughout the country as law enforcement and Homeland Security build up their UAV capabilities.

As the FAA begins to take input from the public on the regulation of UAV use, you will certainly see the demand for A&P’s and UAV technicians rise.  Once the FAA rulings are in place, demand will most certainly surge.

Aviation Schools Online has a comprehensive listing of both A&P (Airframe and Powerplant) schools as well as UAV schools.

A&P Schools listing:

UAV / UAS Schools listing:

Additionally, Aviation Schools Online has listings for VA Approved Aircraft Mechanic schools at: