Pair of planes added to Southeastern’s aviation fleet
DURANT – Southeastern Oklahoma State University recently announced the addition of two new airplanes to its aviation sciences program.
The program, which began in 1966, serves 150 students seeking to become professional pilots. They train under its six teaching faculty members, 17 instructor pilots, five maintenance personnel and three staff members.
The planes, which were built by Cirrus Aircraft, were purchased through the 18-month Soaring to New Heights campaign, to which approximately 150 university alums and others contributed upward of $1 million.
Southeastern’s fleet now features 19 aircraft.
Lloyd Sauls, director of the Aviation Sciences Institute (ASI), Lead Flight Instructor Elizabeth Resh and Senior Instructor Jacob Shiver took possession of the planes last week.
Meanwhile, on Sept. 26, Southeastern pilots, joined by Cirrus director of fleet sales John Razmus, flew aircraft N901SE and N902SE to Eaker Field, the home of SE Aviation.
Sauls and Resh also completed a five-day introduction and training course to operate the Cirrus SR20 TRAC aircraft.
“This is really a major advancement in aviation at Southeastern,’’ Sauls said, explaining that the Cirrus SR20 features a flight-management system integrated with a modern autopilot system.
“This will allow our students to be better prepared to train on and fly today’s modern commercial and business jets by exposing them to advanced automated aircraft systems,” he said.
The ASI offers programs in aviation management, professional pilot (accredited by Aviation Accreditation Board International) and master’s in aerospace administration and logistics.
Additionally, the institute offers programs at Rose State College and Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City.
A pair of pathway programs - the Envoy Pipeline Program through American Airlines, and the Destination 225 degrees program through Southwest Airlines - are also available to students.
Southeastern President Thomas Newsom said the new planes “will serve to enhance the overall program for many years to come.’’