The Eastern Michigan University Aviation Program, part of the College of Engineering and Technology, has signed a 5-year partnership agreement with Crosswinds Aviation, a flight training school dedicated to broadening opportunities for aspiring pilots.
The partnership will add a variety of benefits for the EMU Aviation Program. The partnership will allow commuter students in Livingston, Genesee, and Oakland counties the opportunity to receive instruction closer to home at Oakland County, Flint Bishop, and Livingston County Spencer J. Hardy International Airports. Plans to open a future Willow Run location will allow EMU Aviation students to receive training at four locations, rather than one.
“At Crosswinds Aviation, we are committed to working with young students and helping them get started on their aviation career,” Matt Dahline, owner of Crosswinds Aviation, said in a press release. “The partnership with Eastern Michigan University will allow us to connect with, and help, even more students beyond high school who desire a career in aviation. We look forward to the opportunities this partnership will open up for aspiring pilots.”
Crosswinds Aviation will also provide students the opportunity to flight train in a wider variety of aircraft, including the Diamond DA20/DA40 and Cessna 172, allowing EMU Aviation students a well-rounded experience in a range of aircrafts upon graduation.
“With this new provider, [students] have the opportunity to learn multiple aircraft systems so that they’re not trained to one specifically,” Jerard Delaney, the EMU aviation program coordinator said. “The DA20 is a 2-seat aircraft as opposed to the 4-seat aircraft used in the past, which operates at a lower cost so [students] will be able to save some money.”
With a commitment to opening doors for students who have a passion to fly, Crosswinds also has a High School Flight Program, which exposes students to many aspects of the aviation industry. The program has been in operation since 2013, with Flint Bishop Airport the most recent location to offer the program. More than 80 high school students have continued on to EMU for their aviation degree after having completed the high school training program.
"I actually received my degree through Crosswinds before attending Eastern,“ Austin Adams, a fifth year senior in the EMU Flight Technology Program said. “[Crosswinds] is a really great environment to work in and everyone there treats you like family, which really contributes to the experience.”
As part of the high school training, students get the opportunity to meet with industry experts, as well as free simulator time and computer-based ground training.
“We have a pretty good population of [high school] students that we can get into this program a lot sooner... once they apply for a university program, they already have their pilot certificate under their belt,” Delaney said.