State-of-the-art planes for KSU

Tyrel Linkhorn

New Cessnas are added to fleet of training aircraft for flight students

President Carol Cartwright addresses a group of students, faculty and flight instructors on the recent purchase of two new Cessna 172SP Skyhawks yesterday afternoon at the Kent State Airport. With the current fleet of 25 planes, ranging in age from five t

Credit: Jason Hall

With snowy, overcast skies, temperatures barely scraping the upper 20s and a brisk wind, yesterday was not a day anyone would particularly wish to take to the air. Nevertheless, Kent State’s airport was buzzing with activity as two new state-of-the-art Cessna 172SP Skyhawks were officially delivered to Kent State President Carol Cartwright.

The aircraft which were presented to Cartwright by Hal Shevers, chairman of Eastern Cincinnati Aviation, are the first additions since 2000 to Kent State’s fleet of training aircraft for its roughly 150 flight students.

“This is not a welcome to view our new airplanes, but a welcome to a new future of this program symbolized by new aircraft,” Provost Paul Gaston said.

What the future holds, and what sets the new Skyhawks apart from Kent State’s existing aircraft are their Garmin G1000 navigation systems.

“The G1000 is a digital navigation system comparable to what is used by airlines and corporations,” Aeronautics Director I. Richmond Nettey said. “Our students will become adept at using a navigation system comparable or superior to what they would be using as professional pilots.”

In addition to allowing students to train on industry-standard equipment, the G1000 “makes navigation easier because you have so much information available digitally and in the form of visual display as well,” Nettey said.

So easy, in fact, that Shevers likened it to flying in a computer game.

The new equipment will decrease radio clutter by monitoring aviation weather for anywhere in the United States, weather radar and air traffic in local airspace.

“The new aircraft will help us become more knowledgeable for the future in aviation,” said Scott Horning, senior aeronautics major and president of Kent State’s flight team. He also said they will serve as excellent marketing for the university’s flight program, which is the 10th largest Aeronautics in the United States.

As far as flight-team competition is concerned, Horning said use of the new Skyhawks is likely two to three years off.

During her remarks, Cartwright also praised the aviation program’s partnership with Continental Airlines.

The Bridge Program provides a partnership between the air carrier and the university to transition Kent State graduates into pilot openings with Continental.

Features of the program include summer classes with Continental, internships at the airline’s training facility in Houston, Texas and guaranteed interviews for available positions upon graduation.

Since the agreement was signed into effect March 26, 2003, over two dozen pilots have been placed with the airline, Nettey said.

Contact news correspondent Tyrel Linkhorn at [email protected].