Indiana State University Newsroom

Flight Academy receives upgraded FAA certification

August 21, 2014

The Indiana State University Flight Academy is moving into its second year of operation under a higher level of certification.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration traveled to the flight school Thursday to present the new certification, signifying that Indiana State meets Part 141 of FAA regulations. This marks a significant upgrade from Part 61 regulations that covered private flight services that previously trained Indiana State students.

"The ISU Flight Academy must maintain the highest levels of standardization in its training, facilities and aircraft to maintain this coveted certification," said Harry Minniear, professor and chair of the aviation technology department. "We must follow stringent requirements and uphold them on an annual basis. The flight school is subject to scheduled and random FAA inspections of training facilities, aircraft and student/instructor records. Annual check rides are mandated for the chief and assistant chief instructor pilots with an FAA examiner. Additionally, the school must keep in depth documentation on the progress of each student's training."

First-time student pass rates must also meet minimum standards in order for the school to retain its FAA certification, Minniear added.

"The industry holds this level of certification in high regard for professional aviation education and it is mandated for all college degree programs and veteran and GI Bill benefits," said Bob English, dean of the College of Technology at Indiana State. "This certification also keeps ISU abreast of other competing flight programs."

Advantages of the more stringent certification include:

• Highest levels of standardization

• Detailed course syllabus providing key benchmarks for students and instructors

• A highly efficient path to attaining flight certificates and proficiency in a shorter time span

• Reduced flight training hour requirements toward certificates and ratings

• Comprehensive and attentive ground training in preparation for FAA written, oral and practical exams.

"It means a lot knowing that the standardization and the safety that the FAA holds accountable will be over watching us, which makes me feel a lot safer," said Alex Frye, a sophomore aviation management/professional pilot major at Indiana State.

Frye said he will save thousands of dollars in training costs because of the reduced hour requirements.

Photo: - A plane from the Indiana State University Flight Academy flies over the south side of Terre Haute Sept. 11, 2013. (ISU/Tony Campbell)

Contact: Harry Minniear, professor and chair, aviation technology department, College of Technology, Indiana State University, 812-237-2641 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or