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
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.