Advanced Aviation Program Has Chance To Grow

By KBJR News 1

May 19, 2012 Updated May 19, 2012 at 9:16 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---The Lake Superior College Advanced Aviation Program has been around since 2000, but with the arrival of Kestrel Aircraft in Superior this past year and Cirrus Aircraft unveiling their new private jet.

The program is hoping for a larger movement towards the aviation life.

"What we try to do here is establish students too get an airline job or become a professional pilot," Kevin Korteum, Director at the Lake Superior College's Advanced Aviation Center said.

"What we're trying to do is encourage folks not only if they think they want the college program, or if it's a continuing ed," Korteum said. "We want to tell the community that we have a whole lot of interest in them and hopefully they have an interest in flying."

With Kestral making a presence known in Superior, and AAR Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul group coming to Duluth, interest is hopefully an understatement for people seeking jobs in the aviation industry.

"I've always like planes," Sergey Usovich, an LSC student said. "I've always watched them fly through the sky and the little streaks they left, and I guess that was what got me interested. Just the general amusement and bewilderment of airplanes and how they fly and operate."

Students like Sergey are entering the aviation workforce at an opportune time according to job analysts.

"Right now it's terrific," Kortuem said. "Every analyst that I've been reading about says that the airlines are going to be hiring between 20 and 23,000 pilots every year from now until 2030."

Those are good odds for the 12 graduates that walked the stage this past week for the program, who most say are finding positions.

"We're happy to say that their really finding jobs....and really the placements been very good and we're happy about that because it's quite a commitment to become a professional pilot", commented Kortuem.

And for those who are unsure of taking the flight path, Sergey who now has to log 1500 flying hours says that you just have to jump in.

"I'd say start as early as you can, because the earlier you start the more time you have to plan it all out and figure out what you want to do with your life," Usovich said. "Don't be afraid to jump in. Hop into a simulator, or go to an open house and just get flying as early as you can and get that experience under way."

Recent graduates from the Aviation Program have received jobs within the agricultural departments and also in flight instruction.

Written and posted by Shawn Frost.
sfrost@northlandsnewscenter.com