San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


Vaughn College and Redbird Flight Simulations recently executed an agreement to develop a flight training program at the San Marcos Municipal Airport.

Under the agreement, Vaughn students enrolled in an aircraft operations degree program will be able to pursue Federal Aviation Administration flight certification at Redbird’s Skyport flight training facility and simulation development laboratory, which is expected to open in November. Redbird is one of the premier flight training/simulation companies in the world.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our flight students,” said Dr. John Fitzpatrick, Vaughn College president. “We’re confident this will produce highly skilled pilots at great value to our students.”

Under the program, students will pass the required FAA Knowledge Test after academic studies at Vaughn. Additional simulation training and in-air instruction will follow at Redbird’s Skyport. The program will allow students will earn pilot’s licenses more quickly and with less expense, according to Vaughn and Redbird. The program is designed to enhance pilot proficiency and safety practices while increasing graduation rates and student retention.

Vaughn and Redbird are scheduling the first class of student pilots for FAA private pilot certification for the spring semester. The program is expected to quickly expand to include certifications required for professional pilots.

At some point, Vaughn and Redbird would like to expand the program to attract international students. The College’s five simulators include a pair of advanced aviation training devices by Redbird.

“Twenty years from now, when they talk about this program and how it changed flight training, Vaughn College will figure prominently,” said Redbird Chairman Jerry Gregoire. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Vaughn.”

Redbird is based in Austin and Vaughn College is headquartered in Flushing, New York.

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