Monday, January 23, 2012

Helicopter Flight School Is Counting on University Partnership

by Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction - The owners of a local flight school are hoping a partnership they say is in the works with Colorado Mesa University will be a win-win for students in the Grand Valley.

Suncrest Aviation has been operating the only helicopter flight school on the Western Slope from the Grand Junction Regional Airport since 2009. Now, owners are confirming they are close to reaching a deal with CMU to give helicopter certificates as part of a new aviation program that is allegedly going to be offered through the Western Colorado Community College branch of CMU.

“This will be huge for us, and will give our students a big advantage over other students in flight programs because they will also have a degree when the graduate,” flight school instructor Julia Thaxton told NewsChannel 5 Sunday from the cockpit of a training helicopter hovering over Grand Junction.

The flight school has another location in Utah, and right now at the Grand Junction school, has a class size of about six students.

“We are hoping this partnership will be good for us and bring in a lot more students, and good for the students who will be able to get a college degree along with the needed Federal Aviation Administration certification,” Thaxton added.

The flight school training includes five different certifications, including private pilot, instrument rating, commercial pilot, certified flight instructor (CFI ), and certified flight instructor instrument (CFII).

CMU media spokeswoman Dana Nunn said the school is working on an aviation program, but would not elaborate on if a deal is in the works with any specific company.

“Before any new degree can begin it first has to get approval from the board of trustees,” Nunn said.

For more information about the flight school, click here.