Demands for Pilots Means Growth for E. Texas Flight Program
February 18, 2016
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  • The growing aviation industry has one East Texas university expanding it’s program.

    LeTourneau University has said the demand for pilots and mechanics has recently increased, so the school has made new partnerships and efforts to help fulfill the need.

    The pre-flight checks completed and clearance given. A familiar process for flight instructor Dean Rodgers as the single propeller plane starts barreling down the East Texas Regional runway.  He’s been working with fixed-wings for over a year, and has noticed the need in the industry. Rodgers explained in order to succeed and stay safe when you’re up in the sky, it starts with having a plan.

    “Managing the situation managing the resources you have available to you and being aware of what’s going on around you,” Rodgers said.

    Josh Gimre has known for years he wanted to be a pilot. He said his early studies quickly made him realize it’s more than hopping into the plane and taking-off.

    “Early on there’s just so much information there’s a lot going on and a lot of new information a lot of feels talking on the radio it’s just kind of an overwhelming feeling,” Gimre said.

    Gimre and Rodgers say with each flight, they’re both picking-up new skills to make them better aviators.

    “Even as an instructor you continue learning in throughout your career you continue learning as well,” Rodgers said.

    Rodgers explains that the skies of East Texas are an ideal training ground for young pilots.

    “We get a lot of great experience dealing with air-traffic control ground tower departure frequencies and dealing with getting in and out of busy air spaces,” Rodgers said.

    For gimre, who is working with an airline the school has partnered with, it’s giving him hope for after graduation.

    “I’m kind of excited to see what the future holds for aviation,” Gimre said.

    A new Cessna Skyhawk aircraft is on-loan to LeTourneau until September. Read more about the plane here.