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Fri, Mar 05, 2004

Embry-Riddle to Launch New Aeronautical Science Degree

New Program Tailored Airline Operations

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will introduce for its Fall 2004 semester a new bachelor of science degree program in Aeronautical Science that is specially designed to train pilots the way airlines do. The program will be offered at its campuses in Daytona Beach (FL) and Prescott (AZ). Embry-Riddle's new curriculum takes advantage of an array of sophisticated flight-training devices that simulate the jet aircraft used by regional airlines, as well as the smaller planes used in introductory flight training. The devices allow students to become better pilots faster and at a lower cost than before. The Embry-Riddle curriculum employs flight-training devices for the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, the Piper PA44 Seminole, and the Canadair Regional Jet.
 
"We've been watching the airlines for years," said Tim Brady, dean of the College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach campus. "We've shaped our Aeronautical Science degree program into one that trains students the same way the airlines train their pilots. Few universities with flight programs have the 172s," Brady said, "and none have 172s, PA44s, and CRJs."

The FAA has given its top approval rating, Level 6, to the university's simulators, making them the only flight-training devices in the nation qualified at such a high level in a university program. In the revamped Aeronautical Science program, Embry-Riddle students will still take to the air in the university's Cessna 172s and twin-propeller, multi-engine Piper PA44 Seminoles, although 118 fewer flight hours will be required on average to complete the flight curriculum. Students will, however, spend about 60 hours learning flight procedures in the university's new flight simulators. There are several reasons for this, Brady said.
 
Embry-Riddle officials claim the simulators enable students to learn more about aircraft performance and aerodynamics earlier and to perfect difficult flight maneuvers without risk. With performance data from a real plane embedded in their software and 220-degree, wrap-around visual panels, the simulators replicate the experience of flying an actual aircraft. Students can perform maneuvers they couldn't do as safely in an airplane, such as stalling and going into a spin, and flight instructors can adjust different factors that affect flying, such as hazardous weather conditions and a crowded airspace.
 
Even though each training device acquired by Embry-Riddle costs more than a new Cessna 172, it is five times more useful than the airplane for flight training and costs one-third to half as much per hour to operate. These savings are passed along to students. Brady estimates that Embry-Riddle's new Aeronautical Science program will be 30 percent less costly to students than the old one. An added benefit of the new curriculum is that Aeronautical Science students will receive flight training -- in a Canadair Regional Jet simulator in Daytona Beach and an Airbus 320 simulator in Prescott -- for the planes they will actually fly when they go to work for an airline.

FMI: www.erau.edu

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