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Aviation course takes off at UWGB

James Taylor, News Writer
January 30, 2013
Filed under News, Top Stories

UW-Green Bay students will soon be reaching for the skies. The university is expanding its course catalogue to include a class that offers students lessons in avionics. The new class will give basic instruction in aerodynamics as well as classroom training using a flight simulator.

The course will be instructed by Dr. Sherwood Williams, owner of CAVU Flight Center and Executive Air and lessons will be conducted at Austin Straubel Airport. The opportunity for students to learn if a career in aviation is right for them couldn’t come at a better time because the industry expects a shortage of pilots in the near future.

“The airline industry has a lot of pilots nearing retirement in the coming years,” Williams said. “They expect a shortage for the next five to 10 years. This class will give students interested in aviation the chance to understand the processes of flight.”

Since the official announcement was made regarding the addition of the new avionics course, the response from students and the public has been positive.

Carmen Leuthner, UWGB education outreach director, expects the class to meet the needs of students interested in aviation as a hobby or possibly a career.

“There are many people in our community, including college students, whose dream it is to explore a career or hobby in aviation,” Leuthner said. “UWGB is pleased be a partner in this collaborative offering and we have already received a number of inquiries and registrations for this spring training.”

The new aviation course will have lessons from a meteorologist, air traffic controller and a mechanic. Students will also become acquainted with airspace rules as well as other necessary knowledge needed to pass the FAA Private Pilot or Sport Pilot Knowledge Tests. Students will also tour the air traffic control tower at Austin Straubel Airport, Williams said.

David Schneider, a recent UWGB graduate, started his path toward becoming a pilot while enrolled at UWGB. Schneider is now an instructor at CAVU Flight Center and Executive Air.

He said he feels the opportunity for people to learn about avionics during the formative years of college can be rewarding whether it’s seeking career opportunities or recreation.

“While I was at UWGB, I sat in on a couple of flights and looked into how I could become a pilot,” Schneider said. “When I had an instructor take me up, he let me do everything but land the plane. After that, I was hooked.”

Although the addition of this course is for beginners, UWGB has been involved in other avionics training for more experienced pilots.

“Through this same partnership we have also offered other training, Aviation and Navigation for Instrument Pilots,” Leuthner said. “That course is designed to prepare experienced pilots for the FAA Instrument Pilot written exam and provide a refresher course to experienced pilots wishing to brush up on their skills.”

For people on the fence about entering an aviation course, a discovery flight can be arranged through CAVU Flight Center and Executive Air. A discovery flight allows the passenger to experience flight in a small aircraft while receiving a walk through on instrumentation from an experienced pilot. Discovery flights can be arranged by appointment through CAVU Flight Center and Executive Air, Schneider said.

“It gives you a really good idea about how it feels to fly a plane,” said Schneider. “It’s basically a first lesson in flight and is how I got started — if you have any interest at all about flight, this is for you.”