Future pilots are one step away from flight, as Marshall University’s Bill Noe Flight School officially opened Tuesday in its new facility at Yeager Airport.
City of Charleston and Kanawha County leaders cut the ribbon for the school Tuesday morning.
The flight school is set to open for the fall 2021 semester, which begins Monday, Aug. 23. Students will earn a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Commercial Pilot – Fixed Wing.
The ground and flight courses also will lead to a series of FAA certifications, preparing graduates to become commercial pilots of single and multi-engine aircraft.
“I think this school is probably the best school that anybody in this region can go to … to become a commercial pilot,” said Ben Epperly, a student enrolled in the flight school’s upcoming semester.
Prior to the school’s creation, Epperly was planning on leaving the state for flight school. Now Epperly says he is happy to have a state-of-the-art flight school in his own backyard.
The university received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to start a Part 141 pilot school. The school will help meet the nation’s projected significant need for commercial pilots during the next 20 years. Its ground and flight courses will lead to a series of FAA certifications and will prepare graduates to become commercial pilots of single and multi-engine aircraft. Officials with the University’s flight school say the Tri-State’s environment will set students apart from other pilots in training.
“You not only have to deal with some low-level fog sometimes, you’re (also) going to deal with the Appalachian Mountains,” said Bill Noe, a flight school aviation specialist and the school’s namesake.
Marshall’s classroom building and 12,000-square-foot hangar are located on Eagle Mountain Road, just past the Capital Jet Center.
When in full operation, the Bill Noe Flight School is expected to enroll more than 200 students and produce some 50 commercial pilots annually.