Tippecanoe School Corporation
GLCA course puts students in the pilot's seat
Sue Scott

McCutcheon senior Isabella Wilson wants to pursue a career in aviation and a class at the Greater Lafayette Career Academy is helping her on that journey. Isabella is enrolled in the Flight and Aviation Management program. Successful completion of the year-long course earns her dual credits and puts her on track to complete private pilot ground school and drone pilot certifications.

The classroom includes several computers and simulator software, as well as a Frasca 242 flight simulator that was donated to GLCA by the Purdue University School of Aviation and Transportation Technology.

Three certified flight instructors from Purdue lead the students through various topics including aerodynamics, aircraft systems, regulations, physiology and weather. “Aviation is one of the most exciting career paths,” says instructor Will Sternberg. “Every day is different, and you never know what exciting flight you’ll have next.”

It’s that enthusiasm from the instructors that has impressed McCutcheon senior Cooper Rooze. “Our instructors are very passionate about aviation and really care about our interest in the industry,” says Cooper. “Even though the material is challenging, the instructors make it fun.”

“We have had numerous projects and presentations, as well as the amount of detail in each unit, that create a realistic and informative environment which has kept me on my toes this year,” says Harrison senior Joseph Fassnacht. “This class is an amazing first step into the aviation world which has opened my eyes to the many possibilities of careers and the difficulty of becoming a pilot.”

“I have also enjoyed watching everyone around me grow in this class—whether that be deciding to continue this further or not,” says Isabella. “I have made great friends in this class and I can't wait to see where they end up going.”

Students in the flight simulator
Isabella and classmates in aviation class