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Russ College Aviators Gain Plane

Russ College Aviators Gain Plane

The Department of Aviation in Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology has a new plane to help students progress through their coursework.

The 2003 Cessna 172S was purchased for flight training and will provide instructors an interchangeable option with the department’s 2000 model purchased in 2018.

“The Cessnas are high-wing planes with steam gauges,” says Theresa Meyer, chief dispatcher for the Department of Aviation. “These contrast with our Warriors, which are low-wing planes with glass cockpits. The differences in our training aircraft provide varied experience for our students, and better prepares them for employment after graduation.”

Aviation has become a more popular field of study over the past few years, with 2018 bringing a large influx of students to OHIO. This additional airplane allows Russ College to meet the needs of its growing enrollment.

“Obviously an airplane is a large investment,” says Nathan Hawkins, a junior aviation flight major, “so to see this commitment [by OHIO] to have a larger capacity of students flying at any given time is refreshing.”

Gerald Gray, an instructor in the department who flew the Cessna to Athens for the first time, agrees with Hawkins.

“Any addition to the fleet is a massive improvement to our program, but the fact that the new Cessna 172 matches an existing plane [Russ College] owns helps expedite our training,” he says. “The plane flew wonderfully and is a joy to fly. I look forward to instructing in it.”

Amid the current climate of uncertainty, Meyer believes the new plane is elevating aviators’ spirits, too.

“Especially in a time of additional restrictions due to Covid-19, the addition of the new aircraft has given our students and staff something to smile about,” she says.