Vaughn College and Texas-based Redbird Flight Simulations on Thursday (Sept. 15) signed a partnership agreement that both say will take aviation training in a whole new direction.
Under the agreement, Vaughn students enrolled in an aircraft operations (flight) degree program will be able to pursue Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight certification at Redbird's soon-to-open facility in San Marcos, Texas, near Austin. Redbird is one of the premier flight training/simulation companies in the world.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for our flight students," Vaughn President Dr. John Fitzpatrick said at a signing ceremony held in conjunction with the fall academic honors ceremony. "We're confident this will produce highly skilled pilots at great value to our students."
Under the program, students will pass the required FAA Knowledge Test after academic studies at Vaughn. Additional simulation training as well as in-air instruction will follow at Redbird's facility, called Skyport. Students will earn pilot's licenses more quickly and with less expense.
Vaughn and Redbird are scheduling the first class of student pilots for FAA private pilot certification for the spring semester. The program is expected to quickly expand to include certifications required for professional pilots.
At some point, Vaughn and Redbird would like to expand the program to attract international students. The College's five simulators include a pair of Redbirds.
"Twenty years from now, when they talk about this program and how it changed flight training, Vaughn College will figure prominently," Redbird chairman Jerry Gregoire said. "We're thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Vaughn."
Redbird chairman Jerry Gregoire, left, and Vaughn College President Dr. John Fitzpatrick sign a partnership agreement at the College on Thursday. Below, the two enjoy a light moment outside one of Vaughn's two Redbird simulators.