SALINA — Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus is taking another step forward in becoming a global aerospace leader by providing career-ready pilots.
The campus has added 17 new aircraft to enhance its fleet and provide students with a high-quality flight training program. These new planes were purchased from two well-known airplane manufacturers.
“This is a major step toward our vision to meet industry demands by providing students experience from a primary trainer all the way to a business-class airplane,” said Alysia Starkey, CEO and dean of K-State Salina.
The addition of the new aircraft allows for diverse training options with high-performance, complex, low-wing and high-wing planes, said Clinton Strong, head of the aviation department on the Aerospace and Technology Campus.
“Our entire K-State fleet will now have Garmin avionics, providing the latest technology and giving student pilots improved situational awareness while flying,” Strong said. “This change supports the campus’s goal to provide a high-quality, comprehensive and affordable flying experience.”
K-State Salina has purchased 10 new Cessna 172 Skyhawks with Garmin G1000 avionics from Textron Aviation that will be delivered during the first quarter of 2022. These planes will provide students with training in a top aircraft and bring the number of this model in the K-State fleet to 20. The increase helps accommodate the campus’s growing aviation enrollment.
Textron Aviation remains committed to supporting the training and development of the next generation of pilots, and our continued strong relationship with Kansas State is a critical element to these efforts,” said Chris Crow, vice president, piston sales, Textron Aviation. “K-State Salina has been training future pilots in Cessna Skyhawks since its program’s inception, further demonstrating the strength and capability of the platform and its leadership in pilot training.”
Through its strategic partnership with Cirrus Aircraft, K-State Salina has purchased five new Cirrus SR20s featuring innovative systems, including electronic stability and protection and the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System, or CAPS®, as an added protective layer for pilot and passengers. The campus will receive its first aircraft in the fourth quarter of this year and the remaining four aircraft in the second quarter of 2022. The addition of the high-performance Cirrus aircraft will provide students with the advanced-aviation training needed to become safe, professional pilots.
“Cirrus Aircraft is dedicated to delivering safe and innovative flight training solutions for leading aviation training organizations,” said David Moser, vice president of Cirrus fleet and special mission sales. “Our TRAC Series aircraft provide K-State Salina with an advanced platform that is ideal for training aspiring professional aviators.”
The campus also has added two more Beechcraft Baron G58s for complex, multi-engine training.
“The Baron will continue to be a pinnacle for K-State Salina’s flight training program,” Strong said. “This plane prepares graduates for professional careers with their experiences in this powerful and sophisticated twin-engine aircraft.”
Strong said the diversification of the K-State Salina fleet allows students to begin training in the Cessna 172, a dependable training aircraft, and then move into the high-performance Cirrus SR20 with its advanced avionics and higher speeds. Finally, they can complete their multi-engine rating in the capable Beechcraft Baron, where they learn a more advanced system.
“I don’t know of any other flight school that uses this unique combination of the 172, Cirrus and Baron for training,” Strong said.