School of Aerospace & Drone TechnologyCareer Technical Student Organization: SkillsUSAFlight Operations Pathway: (Primary Pathway) Those employed in flight operations include aircraft pilots, flight engineers, flight attendants and air traffic controllers. The earnings of airline pilots are among the highest in the nation. Many pilots usually start with smaller commuter and regional airlines to gain experience to qualify for higher paying jobs with national or major airlines. Commercial pilots have a faster than average growth pattern while other areas of employment remain steady or slow. All pilots who transport passengers or cargo must have a commercial pilot’s license with an instrument rating issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Because of FAA regulations, airline pilots flying large aircraft cannot fly more than 100 hours a month or more than 1,000 hours a year. Most pilots have a variable work schedule that includes working several days on and several days off. Most pilots spend considerable time away from home because of overnight layovers. Commercial pilots may also have irregular schedules. Most airlines require at least two years of college and prefer to hire college graduates. Pilots are employed in all areas of the U.S., but most airline pilots are based near major metropolitan areas. Nearly all air traffic controllers are employed by the FAA. To become an air traffic controller, a person must enroll in an FAA‐approved education program and pass a pre‐employment test. Large numbers of controllers are expected to retire in the next decade, so job prospects are good even though competition to get into FAA training programs will be strong. Air traffic controllers do enjoy relatively high pay and good benefits. Flight attendants provide personal services to ensure the safety, security, and comfort of airline passengers during flight. They greet passengers, verify tickets, explain use of safety equipment, and serve food or beverages. Customer service skills are critical to this employment.
Aviation Maintenance Pathway: (Optional Secondary Pathway) Aviation Maintenance pathway students will build a solid knowledge base in the basics of aircraft maintenance, performance, and design. Classroom and laboratory activities assure a thorough understanding of the aviation environment. In 2020, students began the construction of a kit airplance that, once complete, will be sold to obtain funds to purchase another kit.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems: This pathway provides a foundation to prepare a student to earn a commercial license to pilot an unmanned aircraft system. Topics discussed include weather and effects of weather on an unmanned aircraft; types and uses of unmanned aircraft; pre-flight planning and checks; FAA requirements; technology and remote instrumentation; radio communications, plus much more. Students will have an opportunity to earn their remote pilot license by taking and successfully passing the FAA Part 107 Exam.Unmanned Aircraft Systems course standards