World-Class Aviation Businesses

Parker Northrup, Flight Chair

ADOT Impact Study logoCongratulations, College of Aviation Flight Department! One of five world class aviation businesses identified in Arizona.

For nearly 100 years, Arizona’s sunny skies and expansive landscape have attracted pilots, corporations, and military personnel to fly and do business in the Grand Canyon State. The state’s natural, cultural, and business-friendly economic environments make Arizona an exceptional place to conduct unique aviation activities. These activities generate economic growth while promoting the safety, accessibility, and security of the communities they serve; attracting visitors from around the world; and preparing future professionals for careers in aviation and aerospace industries.

Arizona’s world-class aviation businesses supported 4,746 jobs earning $317.7M in 2019. These businesses contributed $797.5M in total economic activity to the state, including $426.0M in value added to the Arizona GSP.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) at Prescott Regional Airport and CAE Phoenix Aviation Academy (CAE) at Falcon Field are two of the largest aviation training programs in the country, both of which provide career-oriented education for future pilots and other aviation professionals. ERAU is home to nearly 3,000 students who participate in courses offered by four colleges, including the College of Aviation’s Flight Department at PRC. In 2019, more than 730 students were enrolled in the Fixed Wing Aeronautical Science Program utilizing a fleet of 47 based aircraft. CAE draws prospective pilots from around the globe to prepare for careers as professional pilots. Six hundred cadets utilizing a fleet of nearly 80 based aircraft complete all necessary training to obtain a commercial pilot’s license in 12 to 18 months. ERAU and CAE both maintain partnerships with domestic and international airlines to provide students with a streamlined pathway to employment after graduation.

Internship Opportunity

Brittany Davis

Looking for a purpose driven, hands on summer internship opportunity? Consider applying for the Zed Factor Fellowship and/or the Hollings Scholarship!

The Zed Factor Fellowship offers paid aerospace industry internships and mentorship for students who are passionate about aerospace and have leadership potential. If you have 30+ college credits and come from an underrepresented background, then you are eligible to apply. The deadline to apply is January 3, 2022.

The Hollings Scholarship awards two year academic scholarships of up to $9,500 scholarship and a 10- week, full-time paid internship at a NOAA facility during the summer. To be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. citizen in their 2nd year of a four-year undergraduate program, with a 3.0+ GPA. Applications are welcome from students in variety of majors including aeronautics, applied meteorology, and unmanned aircraft systems. The application deadline is January 31, 2022.

If you are interested in these opportunities or want to learn about others, set up a meeting with the Office of Awards and Fellowships. Their team is here to help you with your application each step of the way from brainstorming to the final touches before you click submit. You can schedule a meeting with the Office of Awards and Fellowships through this link. If you have any questions, email

Aviation Stress Management Course

Jennah Perry, AAS Dept. Chair

"The course nobody knows they need until after they have taken it."

The College of Aviation is taking an innovative approach to enhancing student success, health, and wellness by offering a course called "Aviation Stress Management." Taught by Prof. Anastacia Rivera, who is a clinical counselor and neuroscience practitioner, this is a class students won't want to miss out on. In this course, students are taught the science of stress, how to recognize stress, and practical ways to mitigate and appropriately manage stress in order to increase health and wellness and to prevent stress from impacting student performance, weather that be in the cockpit, the classroom, or everyday life.

Below are some testimonials from students who have previously taken the course:

"Yes, this is a great course to take especially if someone is struggling with their mental health or just needs different ways of managing stress that comes their way."

"I think everyone should be in a class that is focused on this topic. People don't understand themselves and then self-destruct. We also have this thing in our culture that makes us think we need to only rely on ourselves...which is hard when we don't even understand ourselves truly."

"Goodness, there were a good number of helpful things I learned in this class but probably the most helpful was how much different I can respond to stress by changing small things like no longer talking so negatively to myself, take small breaks to bring down my stress throughout the day, and be more self aware of my stress levels and take the right action to lessen the stress."

Robertson Safety Institute

Cathy Watt, Coordinator

a team from Air Methods Corporation

On October 25th, the RSI team welcomed Air Methods Corporation - the leading air medical service, delivering lifesaving care to nearly 100,000 people each year. The Robertson Safety Institute professional education faculty, Prof. Bill Waldock and Prof. Brian Roggow, delivered the advanced aircraft accident investigation course that includes techniques, tools, and best practices in the context of accomplishing an accident investigation, with a new rotorcraft addition, presented by Prof. Clarke Pleasants.

During the week-long course, participants analyzed various mechanical and structural factors and loads on airplanes. They were introduced to the investigation of composite materials, advanced fire investigation, aircraft performance, aerodynamics, aircraft crashworthiness, human factors, and CFR emergency response procedures, among other topics. The week included crash laboratory simulated accident scenarios, with exercises and case samples, to identify, collect, and analyze data for aircraft accident probable causes. Fifteen Air Methods employees participated, and all were trained and certified by Friday.

Air Methods Presentation

Cathy Watt, Coordinator

Doug Downey, Vice President of Safety Air Methods Corporation, gave a campus presentation on Aeronautical Decision Making

Also during the week, Doug Downey, Vice President of Safety Air Methods Corporation, gave a campus presentation on Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM). This interactive discussion broke down the human decision-making process and uncovered how each individual could maximize their personal efficiency, accuracy, and effectiveness of rapid cognition – making the best decision when time and information are limited.

Whether applying to driving a car, flying an aircraft, or taking a written test, this empowering discussion helped students to make the best decisions and avoid errors, mistakes, and maybe even tragedy. The capstone of this presentation was an aviation video no one has never seen before and will never see anything like it on the internet, as it is only available to the NTSB, the file owner, and Doug. It was awesome!

Pilot Hiring Outlook Remains Strong Despite 2020

Ian Hummell, AS Fixed Wing Dept. Chair

Boeing recently released its Pilot and Technician Outlook for the years 2021 to 2040. This report forecasts future demand for professional pilots, flight attendants, and aircraft technicians. This is based on forecast demand for new aircraft and expected attrition rates.

Despite last year’s downturn in global travel demand, Boeing still estimates that the worldwide aviation industry will need over 600,000 new pilots over the next 20 years. This includes over 130,000 new pilots just in North America alone.

To put these numbers into perspective, the major airlines hired only 50,000 pilots between 2000 and 2020. In that time, the greatest number of pilots hired by these major airlines in a single year was roughly 5,000. To meet Boeing’s forecast demand, US airlines would need to hire an average of 6,500 pilots each year. Currently, there are just over 160,000 active Airline Transport Rated (ATP) pilots in the US as of December 2020.

These figures do not include forecast demand for helicopter or unmanned pilots. If you are learning to fly now, you are entering the industry ahead of a never before seen hiring wave! As the Boeing report puts it: “there will be strong competition to recruit and retain top-tier talent as more flights and routes are added.” Embry-Riddle graduates are that top-tier talent.

Post-Doctoral Stay

Dr. Jose Antonio Garcia Orza

Jennah Perry, AAS Dept. Chair

With the help of the CIPS office, the College of Aviation is excited to host Dr. Jose Antonio Garcia Orza this June for a Post-Doctoral stay. Dr. Orza is a member of the Department of Applied Physics at the Universitas Miguel Hernandez in Elche, Spain. During his stay, Dr. Orza will continue working with Dr. Mike Kaplan who is an Applied Aviation Sciences Meteorology adjunct faculty, in collaboration on a research grant entitled "A Climatology of Rossby Wave Reflection Dynamics Controlling Secondary Wave Breaking in the Polar Jet. Impact of Severe Events over the Iberian Peninsula,” and together will continue analyzing the pertinent scientific data and prepare publications on this collaborative research grant.

United’s Aviate Partnership

aspiring pilots representing United’s Aviate partnership with Embry-Riddle Prescott

Sue McGrath, Aviate Recruiter

These pictures represent young aspiring pilots who stepped up for the day to represent United’s Aviate partnership with Embry-Riddle Prescott. Each of the individuals in the photo have applied and successfully completed an interview with Aviate; meaning that they will be eligible to join the United Airlines flight deck after completing transition requirements with our Aviate partners; e.g. Performing the role of CFI for ERAU!!

From the Archives

Melissa Gottwald, Archivist

graphic of a how a seat cushion becomes a flotation device

"Your seat bottom cushion may be used as a floatation device...," but this wasn't always the case.

In 1953 two commercial aircraft crashes in water occurred which shared a similarity. In both cases, seat cushions floated to the surface as the airplane sank. In the case of Western Air Lines Flight 636, a flight attendant, who did not know how to swim, survived by clinging to a floating cushion for approximately one hour until rescued.

Douglas Aircraft Company recognized the possible safety advantage demonstrated in these accidents. Seat cushions could be valuable as life preservers on continental flights which would not normally carry life jackets. In addition, they could serve as adjunct safety devices to the emergency equipment provided on overwater flights. Douglas initiated a test program to study the buoyancy of typical aircraft seat cushions in order to advance this idea. They tested both standard and modified seat cushions initially in their laboratory using weights, with subsequent follow-up tests in the ocean with swimmers. It was determined that the standard Douglas seat cushion could support a single person for at least 24 hours and, provided it was easily removable from the seat, would serve as a good life preserver.

ISASI Guest Speaker

Dr. Sidney Dekker

Emma Rasmussen, VP ISASI Prescott Chapter

On Monday, November 8, Dr. Sidney Dekker gave a virtually-hosted talk in tandem with our International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) chapter. Dekker is a published author, 737 pilot, human factors and safety culture subject matter expert, and professor at Griffith University in Australia. He is the founder of his institution’s Safety Science Innovation Lab. During his discussion with ISASI, Dekker shared anecdotes from the investigations of Turkish Airlines flight 1951 and Singapore Airlines flight 006. Dekker also shared what “just culture” is in the context of the aviation industry and what it means to be a safety professional.

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