Tag Archives: Aviation Institute

Aviation School, Republic Airways Sign Accord

Earning your flight credentials through Parkland College now guarantees you an employment interview with a major regional airline carrier.

To help resupply American air carriers with well-trained pilots, the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College is pleased to announce the signing of a guaranteed interview agreement with Republic Airways.

“For years, many aviation experts have warned of an impending shortage of pilots for airlines as current pilots reach retirement age,” said Sybil Phillips, director of the Institute of Aviation. “To satisfy the demand for pilots, the major airlines often draw from regional carriers like Republic Airways, who then must redouble their efforts to find qualified pilots. The Institute of Aviation feels well-positioned to address these needs.”

Jody Scott, Republic Airways’s director of talent acquisition, said schools like Parkland have been a reliable source for well-qualified pilots. “We are pleased to enter into an extended partnership with the Institute of Aviation, where we will guarantee interviews for the college’s exceptional graduates.”

Republic Airways is a partner with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and other major brands and employs about 6,000 aviation professionals across the country. Several Institute of Aviation alumni count among the carrier’s pilot ranks, Scott said.

“In fact, in a recent application process for a recruitment leadership role, nearly a dozen graduates from the program stepped up to put their name in the hat,” she said. “The reputation these men and women have within our company is a big reason we hope to continue hiring institute students.”

“The Institute of Aviation’s high standards of academic achievement, airmanship, and character are valued and respected by employers worldwide,” said Wendy Evans, recruiter for Parkland’s aviation institute. “This reputation and the alumni network aid in securing quality employment as graduates build time toward higher pilot certificates as they pursue careers in aviation.”

Founded more than 40 years ago as the small turboprop commuter Chautauqua Airlines in Jamestown, N.Y., Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings has grown into one of the nation’s largest regional carriers, with more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue, a fleet of about 200 aircraft and approximately 1,000 scheduled daily flights to 110 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.  Republic Airways Holdings owns Republic Airways and Shuttle America, collectively “the airlines.” The airlines operate fixed-fee flights under major airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express.

With a livery of mainly Embraer 170s and 175s, Republic Airways is the world’s largest operator of Embraer aircraft. For more information, visit www.rjet.com or follow the company on Facebook,  LinkedIn, and Twitter.

[Wendy Evans is the aviation recruiter for the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.]

 

Dad, Daughter Learn to Fly at Parkland

Two generations of the McGuire family are experiencing the joys of flight training at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois this semester. Dave, a Champaign  business owner and daughter Emily, a junior at the High School of St. Thomas More, share their impressions of what led them to flying–and what keeps them there.

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Dave and Emily McGuire appreciate their Parkland flight training.
Dave and Emily McGuire appreciate their Parkland flight training.

Emily McGuire:  I had never been all that into aviation as a young kid. I didn’t think it was the cool thing to do, but my dad convinced me to try an event sponsored by the airport, and I immediately fell in love with the whole aspect of flying. I love the feeling of being up in the air and leaving any troubles I have on the ground.

Flying is also empowering; it is unique that at such a young age I can ask my friends to go for a ride with me, and mean a plane ride! I think that if I can do it, then anyone else can if they put their mind to it. I never would have realized how much fun it actually is unless I had taken that chance.

I obtained my private pilot’s license a couple of months back. I took my AVI 101 class in the summer before my junior year of high school and juggled a summer job as well. When school started back up again, I was able to work with my principal and teachers as well as my amazing flight instructor to get a schedule that allowed me to make it to flight classes and get the essential classes for school. Parkland was very flexible and understood my needs!

Dave McGuire: I have held my private’s pilot license for 20 years, and I recently made a serious commitment to get my instrument rating. Everyone is busy, and with family activities, work schedules, etc., earlier attempts to get the rating took a back seat. I made the decision to enroll through Parkland because:

1) The staff in the Aviation department have confirmed their passionate and capable reputation.
2.) The structured environment allows for the focus I need to work on new skills and the re-learning of old skills neglected.

I was apprehensive about putting my 50-year-old brain in a classroom with smart, talented “young” students, but our ground school instructor, Bill Jones, provided the appropriate environment. (I can’t say enough good things about Bill’s experience and teaching style.) I was challenged and made new friends. Although not my goal, I continue to challenge my flight instructor, Don Talleur. He’s fantastically patient. My goal is to be a safe, competent IFR pilot. When Don says I’m ready, I’ll be confident that I am.

I look forward to next semester.

Come Fly with Us: Open House, DuPage Airport

Calling all Institute of Aviation prospective students and alumni! You are invited to attend the Institute of Aviation Open House at the DuPage Airport on Saturday, April 18 starting at 1 p.m. The Open House will be at the DuPage Flight Center, 2700 International Drive in West Chicago.

Free fun flights are available for the first 10 prospective students to RSVP to aviation@parkland.edu. Be sure to RSVP soon, because a parent or guardian will need to sign a consent form if the prospective student is less than 18 years old.

Students will learn about what the Institute of Aviation has to offer, with our four pathways to an aviation career. Alumni and friends will learn about what’s been happening as we transition to Parkland College from the University of Illinois.

Our focus will be on prospective students from 1-4 p.m., and then we greet, meet, and field questions from alumni and friends from 4-7 p.m.

Stop by to meet current students and flight instructors, maybe take a fun flight, and learn more about the possibilities at the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.

Why One International Student Flies

“Why do you want to be a pilot?” Many people ask me that question followed by whether my plane has a bathroom.  No, it does not. Normally I would answer, “you know, it’s cool to fly.” And shrug. But writing this piece made me think about the real reasons why I cannot give up flying.

More Friendliness
I am from Beijing, a city that has 21 million people. Everybody is in a hurry to get somewhere, and there are hardly any interpersonal relationships. Strangers never smile at strangers, and I don’t know my neighbors. The city looks heated but cold.

I always say this to people about flying: ”Think about it: If you are stuck in a 3 by 4 square-foot box for six hours, you need to be a nice person.” This is how I feel when I am at the Institute of Aviation. I don’t feel distant to anyone: the experienced check pilots, the 65-year-old student pilot, the “top-off, please” fuel guy, the Flightstar staff, or the air traffic controllers whom I have never met. There is one thing that connects us, aviation. But it is never dull because every one of us shines in his or her own way.

More Females
I will emphasize one of the pronouns I just used: his or HER. Everybody knows that aviation is a tough field for women. The female representation is tiny, and I just found out that out of the 1.4 billion people in my country, there are only 142 female airline pilots.

But at the Institute of Aviation, I am proud of our female representation. We have a female chief pilot whom we all look up to. We have girls trying to be pilots at the age of 16. This is a very special feeling for me, seeing the strong women empowerment at the institute. My family, which holds the Asian conservative value most dear, believes that I should have a life that a girl “should have,” that is, get a stable salary job and be a great mother. I am completely okay with this idea, but I am going to connect that job with flying airplanes. Even with all the pressure from my family, I never thought I would give up flying. Thanks to all the examples at the Institute of Aviation, I am more determined than ever.

More Freedom to Ask
Thinking in a second language is hard; now imagine flying using a second language. I never wanted to admit that this is an obstacle because I want my instructors to treat me the same as everybody else. But sometimes, it does take an extra question. My education until the day I entered college was “do as I am told.” If my teacher told me that a hexagon is a beehive, then it could never be anything else. This might be an exaggeration, but we were afraid to ask questions.

But when it comes to training to be a safe pilot, one of the most important reminders we receive here is “never be afraid to ask your controllers.” Now, according to Bill (my instrument rating instructor), I am his “I have a question” and “I completely understand” girl.

Aviation has reshaped my entire life. I transformed from the girl who almost settled to be an accountant for the rest of her life to a proud female pilot. The University of Illinois led me to the love of my life, and Parkland College saved it.

So you want to know why I want to fly airplanes? Well… you will have to experience it yourself.

 

[Fran Tao, a student from China, is taking flight training at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois.]

It’s not too late to fly!

While Parkland courses have started already, it’s not too late to take a flight course.

The 13-week AVI 101 course starts Monday, February 2. Deadline for registration is 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, January 27.

UIUC aerospace engineering students tell us that learning to fly is a great resume builder, and it sets them apart from the competition.
International students tell us that learning to fly while in the U.S. is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Learning to fly an airplane will increase your confidence and present a challenge that is truly rewarding. You might also find the path to a new career.

Ready to take flight? Give us a call right now and we’ll help you get started.

Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois
Natalie Health
Administrative Assistant
Willard Airport
217/353-2171
www.parkland.edu/aviation

First-Time Flight Instructor, First-Time Flight

[Dylan Rickrode,  an Aviation Human Factors major at the University of Illinois, takes us on his first trip as a flight instructor. He now instructs part time with the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois.]

I officially gave flight instruction for the first time this fall, on Sept. 13. It was a perfect day to fly, with clear skies and barely any wind. It was also my student’s first flight, so we were both excited.

After some instruction on taxiing and how to takeoff, we departed to the north to go to the practice area. I knew by the smile on his face that he loved aviation. When we got out there, we began doing some basic turns, climbs, and descents. I have to say that I was impressed at my student’s natural talent. We came back to the airport flying right over campus and both agreed how breathtaking it was. Everything is so much cooler seeing it from the sky. I am excited for the semester and all of the fun experiences it is bringing.

Our second flight was on Sept. 16. There were scattered clouds, and we had to dodge them on our way out to the practice area. When we got there, we did some more straight and level flight, turns, climbs, and descents. I began to teach him about sectional chart use and how to properly identify where we were. It was fun finding things on the chart that we were flying over, like grain elevators and lakes. He thought it was really cool how detailed the charts were and picked up on our location for the remainder of the flight.

We were able to fly again on Sept. 18, and we reviewed many of the same things we had been working on previously. We also included flying at various airspeeds and flight configurations to demonstrate the ever-important relationship between pitch and power. Of course, use of trim was a main part of the lesson. Once again, my student caught on very quickly and was sharp to identify not only what we were doing, but also why we were doing it.

It was a big first step in training…for both of us.