Friday was a big day for the aviation program at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
The University hosted 154 high school students from Oklahoma and Texas who are interested in pursuing a career in aviation. At the same, officials with Southeastern’s Aviation Sciences Institute (ASI) announced that the program has recently purchased two new Piper Seminole aircraft.
Aviation Visitation Day participants toured the main campus as well as the ASI facilities at Eaker Field, while learning more about the SE aviation program.
According to ASI director/assistant professor Michael Gaffney, the Piper Seminole is one of the most popular multi-engine training aircraft in use today.
It is manufactured by Piper Aircraft in Vero Beach, Florida; the planes are expected to arrive in Durant this fall.
“This addition to the fleet will certainly enhance our Aviation Sciences program, which is already recognized nationally for its excellence,’’ said Southeastern president Thomas Newsom. “The potential to grow this program is unlimited, and we will continue to look for innovative ways to support its operation.’’
The two PA44 Piper Seminoles will be used in the flight training program to train advanced students on how to operate in a complex aircraft with more than one engine in visual and a multitude of weather conditions and emergency conditions to prepare them for the pilot career ahead of them.
Gaffney said the decision was made to purchase two of these aircraft to allow for simultaneous training of multiple students and to provide training redundancy when the aircraft undergo Federal Aviation Administration-mandated inspections and maintenance.
When the students have successfully mastered the multi-engine training aircraft, they are ready to move to the Transport Aircraft simulation environment of the Boeing 737 MAX.
Last fall, the ASI announced the purchase of a new Flightdeck Solutions 737 MAX Flight Training device.
This will teach students how to operate one of the most popular airliners in operation today, the Boeing 737 MAX. Gaffney said students will be taught airliner-centric advanced system operations, advanced aerodynamics, flight management system programming, and to function as coordinated crew in a complex airline environment using the new trainer/simulator.
The simulator is expected to arrive in May 2022 and will be fully functional in June.
The ASI has a rich history of academic and professional pilot accomplishments dating back 55 years. Its mission is to provide its students with the highest quality aviation education and flight training possible.
Southeastern’s airline partners in the Professional Pilot Program are Southwest Airlines, Envoy Airlines, and Delta Airlines.