Kansas State University Salina aviation students will have a new piece of technology to train on thanks to a generous donation from a Wichita aviation company.
Kirk Schulz, Kansas State University president; Verna Fitzsimmons, K-State Salina CEO and dean; and Kurt Barnhart, K-State Salina aviation department head and executive director of the Applied Aviation Research Center, joined representatives from Yingling Aviation on April 30 for a purple-ribbon cutting on a donated Frasca Mentor flight simulator, which is now part of the university’s aviation program.
“One of the things that Dean Fitzsimmons has talked about is that we need to make sure K-State Salina has current technology and modern equipment and that we’re updating our laboratories and facilities,” Schulz said. “I really appreciate the donation, and we want to continue to partner with companies like Yingling Aviation to produce what I think are the best graduates in the country.”
The Frasca Mentor is equipped to simulate a Cessna 172/S with Garmin G1000 avionics and a GFC700 autopilot. Fitzsimmons says this kind of technology is a welcomed addition to the K-State Salina aviation program.
“I know the students are anxious to start putting some time in on the simulator and getting accommodated with the instrumentation,” Fitzsimmons said. “We are so grateful for this donation — it will provide comprehensive training that will allow students to experience piloting scenarios that are usually unavailable in this class of airplane.”
Yingling Aviation has been using the simulator for the past six years until discontinuing its flight instruction program. Lonnie Vaughan, president of Yingling Aviation, says donating the equipment to K-State Salina was an undeniable choice.
“We decided to find it a home where it can be put to valuable use and K-State Salina obviously fits that bill,” Vaughan said. “It’s our hope that this simulator be an efficient, cost-effective and well-utilized addition to their flight training fleet.”
K-State Salina is awaiting Federal Aviation Administration approval to incorporate the new simulator formally into the pilot training curriculum. The university has three other simulators that students use in the professional pilot program.
Story by: Julee Cobb / KSU Salina