Delta State Receives American Airlines Grant for Pilot Training Lab
Courtesy of Delta State University

Delta State’s Dr. Gary Bouse (2nd from left) and Sam Washington (center) attended a ceremony in Fort Worth, TX, to receive a $25,000 grant from the American Airlines.

Delta State University’s Department of Commercial Aviation is the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the American Airlines Pilot Recruiting and Development Program. Delta State was one of 10 organizations in the country to receive the grant.

“This grant will allow Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation to purchase equipment and software to set up two multi-station training labs that will let students practice instrument and commercial level procedures prior to entering the aircraft cockpit,” said Dr. Julie Speakes, Chair of the department. “The lab will also be able to be transported to local and regional high schools to provide hands-on experience for students who may have an interest in aviation.”

The instructional lab will also help prepare students to enter actual aircraft cockpits and perform the required maneuvers and mission profiles, thus reducing the amount of time and costs to the students of obtaining initial and subsequent flight certificates.

An added bonus with the lab will be its mobility. The department will be able to pack up and deploy the lab at various sites such as local and regional high schools, air shows, fly-ins and other community events. This will give the department greater visibility as they advertise the unique and affordable programming at Delta State.

Dr. Gary Bouse, Chief Development Officer for the Delta State University Foundation, and MAA Vice President Sam Washington, Delta State instructor of commercial aviation, attended a ceremony for the grant recipients at the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum in Fort Worth, Texas on Jan. 19.

“Of the nearly 600 organizations we invited to participate in our program, these 10 stood out with innovative ideas on growing and diversifying the pilot career path and creating opportunities for those who may not otherwise have the chance to learn,” said Captain David Tatum, American’s Director of Pilot Recruiting and Development.