UD To Offer Helicopter Flight Training
Oct 25, 2016 | Stacey Ortman, director of public information
DUBUQUE, Iowa – The University of Dubuque has entered into an agreement with Midwest Helicopter Academy in Sauget, Illinois, to lease a helicopter and provide subject matter expertise in the delivery of high quality helicopter flight training at the Dubuque Regional Airport beginning January 2017.
“UD continues to receive inquiries from potential students about a helicopter program, and we believe we can fill that void,” said Steven Accinelli, director of Aviation Programs and professor of aviation at the University. “No other college, to my knowledge, in Iowa is doing this level of professional helicopter training.”
The helicopter program will be a track within UD’s Bachelor of Science in Flight Operations. Students will be able to obtain a private, instrument, and commercial certificate as well as a Certified Flight Instructor and Instrument Flight Instructor rating in helicopters. They will also enroll in a number of other safety and technical skills/courses. The helicopter program will require around 200 flight hours, similar to the current fixed-wing program.
Midwest Helicopter will provide subject matter expertise, as necessary, and a Guimbal Cabri G2 training helicopter with glass technology – an instrument display that integrates numerous functions previously done by a series of individual flight instruments. The University’s current faculty and maintenance staff have extensive helicopter experience; however, additional helicopter faculty and staff will be hired for the start of the spring 2017 term.
Capt. Chris Bailey, CEO and chief instructor with Midwest Helicopter, said the need for well-trained helicopter pilots has increased at a steady rate as baby boomers retire.
“For the past five years, we have experienced both a steady increase in new pilot trainees and subsequent employment in the industry,” Bailey said. “Helicopter operators in the United States and overseas have been challenged to find qualified pilots due to shortages and high demand that have resulted in increased wages.”