During its January meeting, the Klamath Community College Board of Education of Klamath Falls, Oregon approved the development of a new academic program at the school. The new program, which will offer degrees in Aviation Science for prospective helicopter and fixed wing pilots, will be developed in partnership with Precision Aviation Training. Precision is a Newberg, Oregon-based, Federal Aviation Administration-approved aviation training academy with more than 30 years of experience training pilots.
“We are very excited about this program and partnership,” said Klamath Community College President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez. “Commercial helicopter and fixed wing pilots are in high demand not only in Oregon, but around the world. These are high-paying jobs that require a high level of technical training and expertise. We are very fortunate to have a partner like Precision.” The program is projected to be a full two-year Associate’s Degree course of study that will draw students from all over the United States as well as abroad.
“This will be one of the few fully accredited programs in the world, and certainly the only one in North America, that will offer training in the latest generation aircraft, called the Guimbal Cabri,” said Precision’s Managing Director David Rath. “This is the first piston-powered training helicopter designed and certified to the latest design standard. This state-of-the-art helicopter has made an impressive impact in Europe, UK, and New Zealand along with Asia and now South Africa and many others. It is the most advanced training helicopter in the world. Students will receive top-notch training while flying the helicopter that will soon be the preferred piston powered training helicopter of many of the major operators, given it’s avionics and latest engineering design.”
The uniqueness of the program is expected to attract students from all over the world. “We have existing relationships overseas where we already draw many students from, and we think this program and partnership with KCC will be even more appealing to our international students,” Rath said.
Though the program must still be approved by the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, the KCC Board’s action provides the framework for program development to proceed.
To show their full support, Dr. Gutierrez along with KCC staff attended the HAI convention on Wednesday February 26th. They kicked off the day by signing the Partnership Agreement with Precision and then remained at the show to meet current and future professional helicopter pilots. They also had the opportunity to see the new generation training helicopter first-hand and talk to Bruno Guimbal himself on the aircraft’s attributes that will be used in the upcoming helicopter flight training program. “I had no idea how large and expansive this industry was. At the college we see a real opportunity to not only provide the planned flight training but also expand into Aviation Airframe / Power-plant training and along with a technical degree program that includes the operation and maintenance of Unmanned Aerial Systems,” said Dr. Gutierrez.
Once state approval is secured, KCC and Precision plan to begin offering aviation training by the start of the summer 2014 term. “We plan to build a comprehensive aviation program at KCC that will attract students from all over the world,” said Rath. Precision is sourcing a third-party lender to assist students with securing the funding necessary to cover the program cost and additional required Aviation Science course fees, and is also collaborating with the VA to ensure that benefits for qualifying students cover a large portion of the program cost.
An on-campus program showcase has been tentatively scheduled for 29 April 2014 at Klamath Community College. The showcase will include multiple helicopters to be flown by Precision for the event as well as an aviation simulator, which the public will have an opportunity to experience during the event.
Come by booth 7311 and learn more how you can fly the latest and greatest in light piston helicopters.