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Frequently Asked Questions

Pilot FAQs

How is USU different from other flight schools?

History of Excellence:

Utah State University, then known as Utah State Agricultural College (USAC), began training pilots in 1939, as part of a Civilian Pilot Training program established by the Civil Aeronautics Administration. In 1942, the second Navy Training Station was established at USAC and on March 23 of that year, navy and marine recruits began flight training at the Logan/Cache airport. By 1946, training was offered to prepare civilian students for commercial certifications and both two-year and four-year degrees were offered in what was then called aeronautics. USU continues to meet the demand of the aviation industry while meeting the needs of our students. Read below to find out more about our training and academics.

Student Life:  

On campus or off students find a variety of activities to fill their time out of the classroom. Rather it be a loud night in the Spectrum taking in a basketball game, an intramural game on the legacy fields or a quiet hike in the national forest students can spend their time in a variety of ways. If sports and outdoor activities are not your thing, then USU and the city of Logan host a variety of artistic and cultural events including nationally touring productions. You can also find what else campus has to offer here.

Part 141 Flight School:

USU is a Part 141 Flight School, which means that it certifies through the FAA its programs. Part 141 sets the standard for the training and safety in USU’s flight program. It gives the student the most comprehensive and total training in the industry. It is also requires USU to comply with specific FAA rules when it comes to safety and preparation, making the Part 141training environment safe.

Location:

USU is located in beautiful Cache Valley, in the city of Logan, UT. Ranked TOP 5 college towns in the U.S.,  Logan has plenty to offer USU students. Only minutes from the Cache National forest, students find many outdoor adventures year round. Logan is also ranked as one of the best places to find a job.

Regional Jet Program:  

USU has recently implemented it Regional Jet Program with a CRJ700 simulator. The program includes 2 semesters of ground school and a semester of flying in the CRJ700 simulator. The CRJ700 is same type of aircraft that SkyWest and other regional airlines use in the sky every day. With this advanced training you will be ahead of the game as you will have training in the systems, operating procedures, performance and flight planning of a typical regional airline operation.    

SkyWest Bridge Agreement:

In August 2013, Utah State University Aviation announced a new partnership agreement with SkyWest Airlines, giving professional pilot students the opportunity to become a SkyWest Airlines first officer. Under the new program, professional pilot students who have been hired by USU as certified flight instructors are eligible to apply for the SkyWest Pilot Cadet Program. Students also have the opportunity to gain internships. For more information, click here.

What classes will I take?

Students will take a wide variety of classes. Not only will pilots complete ground schools for each certification, but they will also be required to take classes that will turn them into aviation professionals. Classes include an aviation law course, aviation marketing, aerodynamics, weather classes as well as systems classes. Pilot students sit side by side with maintenance students to get an in depth look at airplanes and how they work through various systems classes, such as hydraulics. These classes will give USU Aviation graduate an advantage during the interview process where they are expected to have extensive knowledge of the type of aircraft the company flies.

Through carefully selected courses, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) prepares students for careers in aviation by building experience and knowledge.

What is the employment outlook?

According to Boeing, the airline industry will need to hire more than one-million workers over the next 20 years to prepare for a wave of 30,000 new aircraft. They estimate that airlines will need to hire 466,650 pilots and 596,500 maintenance crew workers between 2010 and 2029. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts an 11 percent growth rate, as fast as the average growth rate for any occupation, in employment for pilots from 2010 to 2020.

What is the typical career path of a graduate?

Students will leave USU with 200-250 flight hours. From there they can go on to be flight instructors, give aerial tours, fly skydivers, or light ferry work to build hours. After building the hours needed to obtain an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate many pilots will go on to fly with regional airlines similar to SkyWest who, by law, require their new pilots to have 1500 hours. From there it is up to the pilot what they want to achieve: major airline, cargo, or corporate.

What if I want to be a military pilot?

If you are looking to become a military pilot, USU has an excellent ROTC program. Students in either Army or Air Force ROTC programs will learn leadership and complete field training exercises to prepare them for life as an officer in their future branch of service. USU’s ROTC programs are a great way to get into the cockpit of the most advanced airplanes in the world.

What types of airplanes will I fly?

USU’s current fleet consists of Diamond Star 40s (DA40). Which will be flown during your private, instrument, and part of commercial ratings. Diamond Star 42 (DA42) will be used to earn your commercial multi-engine land (MEL) as well as multi-engine instructor (MEI). Our fleet of Piper Arrows will cover your Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and (CFII) and students will have an opportunity to get familiar with a Cessna 152 before completing their CFI rating. Flight simulators are also available such as our newly purchased CRJ 700 Ultra and Redbird SD simulator.

View Fleet & Facilities

Aviation Maintenance FAQs

What can I do with a degree in Aviation Technology – Maintenance Management?

The Aviation Technology – Maintenance Management (ATMM) program at Utah State University follows Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 147 Curriculum, and prepares students to test for Airframe and Powerplant Certificates. They are then prepared to work as Aviation Maintenance Technicians. Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians repair and perform scheduled maintenance on airplanes and helicopters. They also inspect airplanes and helicopters as required by the FAA.

What is the employment outlook?

Graduates of the ATMM program at Utah State University are finding success all over the aviation industry. To name a few, we have ATMM graduates employed at the following:

  • Cessna, Wichita, KS
  • Erickson Air Crane, Central Point, OR
  • Western Aircraft, Boise, ID
  • Boeing, Everett, WA
  • Teton Aviation, Driggs, ID
  • Huntsman Aviation, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Lone Mountain Aviation, Las Vegas, NV
  • USU Flight Training, Logan, UT
  • FAA Air Traffic Control, Salk Lake City, UT & Reno, NV
  • Bell Boeing, Mesa AZ

Although a degree is not required to work as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician, job prospects will be best for mechanics who hold an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate and a bachelor’s degree in aircraft maintenance.

What is the salary of a graduate?

Like everything in aviation, the answer here is “it depends.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that in May 2010, the median annual wage of aircraft mechanics and service technicians was $53,420, and the median annual wage of avionics technicians was $52,320.

How will I be prepared to enter the industry when I graduate?

Because the ATMM program at USU follows the 147 curriculum set forth by the FAA, our students meet the curriculum requirements and have a firm understanding of the operating rules to be certified as an Aviation Maintenance Technician. The course work and lab time that is built into the degree program prepares students to be knowledgeable professionals in the field.

Do I need to buy tools?

Yes. Students must provide their own tools for several classes. Students usually begin the classes that require their own tools their sophomore or junior yea

What organizations are available for students?

The pilot club and NIFA flight team at Utah State University provide students who have an interest in aviation with an environment to interact with fellow aviation enthusiasts. Activities range from social gatherings to professional development trips. There are also several clubs that are not aviation specific but are open to all students.

View ASTE/Aviation Clubs

What scholarships are available?

There are many scholarships for aviation students. Most will require initiative on behalf of the student, but you can find them if you look! We hope that new freshman will be served by the Utah State University Admissions Office. For continuing students, there are many different scholarships available, including aviation specific scholarships, through the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences (CAAS). CAAS awarded over $500,000 in scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year! Program staff receive notice of many private aviation scholarships throughout the school year. Watch for their announcements about those. Keep in mind that most scholarships will have a requirement based on merit (grades). Be mindful of your GPA as you begin your academic journey.

Where can I get more information? 

For more information about the Aviation Technology--Professional Pilot program at Utah State University contact Kaylee Roholt.