Workshop teaches students to use navigation system

Holly Mueller

Capt. Scott Davis speaks to students and local pilots at a nine-hour aeronautics workshop Saturday morning. The workshop attendees learned how to use the tools and navigational system inside the Cessna 172 SP Skyhawk. SAMANTHA RAINWATER | DAILY KENT STATE

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Capt. Scott Davis dared to do what most professors fear. He conducted a nine-hour aeronautics workshop on Saturday morning.

At 8 a.m., 24 Kent State students and local pilots filed into a Van Deusen Hall lecture hall. By 11:30 a.m. the unimaginable happened – all 24 people were still awake.

Davis’ energetic voice and colorful slides grabbed the attention of his audience.

“It hasn’t been bad at all – not like a normal class,” said David Colopy, junior flight technology major.

The workshop was held to teach students and local pilots how to use the new digital tools and navigational system inside of the Cessna 172 SP Skyhawk, Davis said. Kent State purchased two of these state-of-the-art planes in January.

There are only three Cessna 172 SP Skyhawks in the state of Ohio.

“It’s pretty amazing that Kent has two of them,” he said.

The $250 workshop was offered as a one-credit hour class and was free for Kent State students looking to receive credit, said Isaac Richmond Nettey, senior academic program director of aeronautics.

The registration fee helped provide the instructional manual for each individual, as well as a DVD and poster of a Cessna 172 SP Skyhawk cockpit. These tools helped describe the controls and displays associated with the navigation system, Nettey said.

Davis, a commercial airline pilot for Continental Airlines, said the workshop was based on a PowerPoint presentation he put together himself.

The presentation also taught how to compute airplane altitude “and much more,” Davis said.

Nettey said he was very happy with the turnout.

“It exceeded my expectations,” Nettey said. His goal to have 12 to 15 people attend the workshop was nearly doubled Saturday.

Although the aeronautics program will be receiving the two new planes within the year, some of the students attending the workshop won’t be able to fly them for a while, Colopy said.

He said he has yet to get his license that will allow him to fly the new Cessnas.

“I’ll have to wait two more years,” he added.

Davis, an adjunct professor for Kent, said he also conducts safety seminars dealing with cockpit resources. These became even more important after Sept. 11 because they teach pilots what to do if “they are in trouble,” Davis added.

These types of seminars help pilots use resources on their planes they may not have realized they had, Davis said.

Davis said he grew up in Colorado and dreamed of being a forest ranger. He found his passion for flying, however, when he had the opportunity to work on a sheep farm in New Mexico. Davis said his boss had a plane, and he was able to accompany him on flights.

Davis said he chose to study aeronautics because it was hard to get a job as a forest ranger, and it didn’t pay very well. He said his decision was “pretty much me loving to fly versus not getting paid very much.”

Contact College of Technology reporter Holly Mueller at [email protected]