By: Ryan Armstrong ‘19
Beginning second semester this year, Saint Andrew’s students have had the opportunity to pair up with Lynn University’s College of Aeronautics to work toward their private pilot’s license, and potentially beyond.
At the helm of this program is Dr. Barroso, Director of Marketing and Communications at Saint Andrew’s School, whose past experience working with Lynn, as well as his admiration for its flight program, inspired him to initiate this partnership.
“It’s a natural fit,” said Dean of the Aviation Department at Lynn University, Dr. Johnson. “The culture at Lynn is much more about the whole person; you get that same feeling at Lynn as you would at Saint Andrew’s.”
Much of this parallel between the two institutions is due to the one-on-one instruction students will be receiving with Lynn’s flight program, primarily from instructors holding Airline Transport Pilot certifications, the highest level of certification an airline pilot can receive.
The wealth of experience from the instructors aides in the safety of the program, which boasts an accident-free record. “We’ve been around about 25 years and we’ve never had an incident,” said Dr. Johnson. “All our maintenance is taken care of by our Chief Pilot, who’s a very experienced mechanic. We also take the airplanes out to a local shop called Platinum; about once a year we make sure another outside mechanic looks at the aircraft…it's very, very safe.”
Due to a massive shortage of pilots, which makes the aviation business more lucrative and easier to access than ever, Dr. Barroso and Dr. Johnson believe that this program will be advantageous for any students planning a career in aviation. “The faster you can get your ratings, the better,” Dr. Johnson said.
The program will consist of three flight blocks each week, typically with a weekly total of three hours dedicated to flight and three to four hours of ground school, either after school or over the weekend. Dr. Johnson said that in order to accommodate Saint Andrew’s students, the university instructors will be flexible with their schedules.
In fact, according to Dr. Barroso, students will have such freedom in the scheduling that they can begin the program as soon as they approach their 16th birthday, meaning that students can work on accumulating hours during the school year or over summer break.
The instruction will be under part 141 regulations, meaning, according to Dr. Johnson, that “the FAA will approve the syllabus of the school,” and continuously oversee the program, enforcing stringent maintenance. In fact, the airlines tend to prefer students who received part 141 training, as “they know that they already have a set way of doing things,” Dr. Johnson said.
Yet, this program could be advantageous even to students who aren’t pursuing a career as a pilot. “[Colleges] want to find who has the most potential for success,” Dr. Johnson said, “and one of the biggest indicators of success is the fact that you’ve done these extra things[extracurriculars]and have commitment.”
Dr. Barroso urged potentially interested students to contact him to experience a discovery flight for $59, during which an instructor will brief the student and the student can spend about an hour flying the plane.
“This [program] is a way students can stand out,” Dr. Barroso said.