Florida Memorial University Earns Cessna Pilot Center Certificate

First HBCU, third college to earn this designation

(FMU Aviation students. Image: Florida Memorial University)

Florida Memorial University recently received its certification as a Cessna Pilot Center. Josh Colton, manager of Cessna Pilot Centers, presented the official plaque to Capt. A. J. Tolbert, chair of the Department of Aviation & Safety and a 21-year veteran of American Airlines, to recognize FMU as the third university in the nation to earn this distinction.

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For more than 80 years, Cessna has been a leading general aviation manufacturer. Its partnership with FMU brings to the university’s aviation program a broad spectrum of benefits, including the opportunity for students to fly FMU’s Cessna 172 SP G1000 aircraft at a discounted rate, access to a leading industry curriculum, and opportunities to obtain a degree while pursuing a pilot’s license.

The Cessna Pilot Center certification authorizes the university to incorporate the Cessna Flight Training Program into its lesson plans. This comprehensive flight training program is recognized in the aviation industry for producing competent and confident new pilots. FMU will also benefit from member exclusive seminars and supplementary programs.

“We’re excited to have Florida Memorial University as our newest collegiate CPC partner,” said Josh Colton, according to a statement. “We expect good things to come from this partnership. We’re pleased that [FMU is] going to use the Cessna curriculum to continue training some of the best pilots of tomorrow. We believe our industry leading curriculum will enhance enrollment for the university.”

FMU’s aviation students pay $124 per hour (wet) to rent the aircraft—a considerably lower rate in comparison to that of other institutions, which charge much more for the same equipment. Another advantage is that the costs of ground school can now be covered by student loans, says Capt. Tolbert.

“Cessna is the world’s leading general aviation manufacturer, and its training programs have a long record of excellence,” says Capt. Tolbert. “This is yet another milestone in the consistent advancement of our aviation programs at FMU.”

Approximately 80 students study aviation & safety at the university. “Students here are getting a first class ground school,” Tolbert says. Ground school teaches the students about airspace, radio calls, the aircraft systems, how the aircraft works, how it flies, and the rules and regulations of operating in the skies of the national airplace system,” says the captain.

The partnership goes into effect immediately.

For more information about Florida Memorial University and its aviation programs, visit its website.



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