Aviation News

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They own the night

COCC trains pilots in night vision
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - By Dylan J. Darling / The Bulletin

The Bulletin - Night Vision Photo Pilots flying into Prineville Airport at night usually use a radio trick to turn on the runway lights so they can see the small airstrip.

But as Mike Stewart, a student pilot at Central Oregon Community College, guided a helicopter toward the airport on a recent night, he kept the field dark on his approach.

While to the naked eye the airport was just a black void between bright lights, Stewart could see in the dark. He and his instructor, Jared Douglas, assistant chief flight instructor at Leading Edge Aviation, were wearing night-vision goggles, which provide a green, monochromatic view of the world.

"The first few times you fly, it is kind of odd," said Stewart, 31, who is close to completing his two-year degree in aviation.

The helicopter program at COCC is one of the few in the country with a course in night-vision flying. While military pilots have been using night-vision goggles for decades, the skill is just now becoming part of civilian helicopter flying...

Watch Helicopter Night Vision video



Plane and Pilot Magazine - Logo

Pilot Outlook 2010-2029: A Shortage Looms

Latest industry statistics point to a pilot shortage that will dwarf those that came before

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - By Marc C. Lee

787 BoeingLike the pendulum on a giant grandfather clock, the availability of aviation jobs goes back and forth in giant, lazy swings. In 2007, regional airlines saw an enormous jump in pilot hiring, sucking flight instructors out of every corner of general aviation, and leaving gaping CFI positions at local FBOs everywhere. Flight schools scrambled while aviation industry pundits breathlessly exclaimed that there were no flight instructors left. Meanwhile, airline training centers bulged at the seams with fresh-faced recruits, some of whom had maybe 250 hours of time under their belts. In 2007 alone, 2,766 domestic airline pilots were hired.

Contrast that scenario with 2009. A scant two years later, and the entire airline industry crashed. During that entire year only 30 domestic airline pilots were hired30! It was the lowest point in the airlines history. So it is with that ominous mist hanging heavy over the aviation profession that we bring up the subject of a looming pilot shortage...




Aviation partnership formed

Oregon Institute of Technology has entered into a unique aviation partnership with Central Oregon Community College in Bend, Ore. COCC has blended their two-year aviation degree with fixed-wing (airplane) pilot training and rotary-wing (helicopter) pilot training offered by Leading Edge Aviation, located at the Bend Municipal Airport.

With the addition of OIT to this partnership, participating students have the option to graduate with a bachelors degree in Operations Management from OIT in addition to an associate degree in Aviation Science from COCC. Students will be able to complete the associate degree, professional pilot licensure/certification and bachelors degree on the COCC campus in Bend and at the Bend Municipal Airport.

Students may choose from the following Federal Aviation Administration airplane or helicopter certificates:

  • Private Pilot; Airplane single and multiengine land, airplane single sea, and/or rotorcraft-helicopter
  • Commercial Pilot; Airplane single and multiengine land, airplane single sea, and/or rotorcraft-helicopter
  • Instrument Rating; airplane and/or helicopter
  • Certified Flight Instructor (CFI); airplane and/or helicopter
  • Certified Flight Instrument Instructor (CFII); airplane and/or helicopter

Flight simulator training is conducted using glass cockpit technologies which offer easily readable graphical views of key flight indicators such as altitude display and mach speed. FAA approved flight simulators are also used in training.

Graduates of the Operations Management bachelors degree program are fully prepared for a career in aviation, including the airlines and helicopter operations in areas such as fire fighting and oil exploration.

Contact Karl Baldessari, aviation program director at COCC, for more information about the AAS/AS degree at COCC by telephone at 541.318.3702 or e-mail kbaldessari@cocc.edu. For more information about COCC, visit www.cocc.edu.

For more information about the bachelors degree in Operations Management visit www.oit.edu.