Things get Cirrus for aviation department


Peter Ludolph

One modern Cirrus SR-20 plane has already been added to the aviation program. Another Cirrus SR-20 will be added April 20.

Peter Ludolph, Staff Reporter

Lakeland College has shown its commitment to the aviation program through bringing in new technically advanced aircraft and the movement of the program into its own facility at the Sheboygan County Airport.

“The college is committed to this program and wants to see it succeed,” said Brandon Molina, instructor of aviation. “It gives the aviation students a sense of ownership by giving them a place to study and make their own.”

The new primary trainers for the program are two Cirrus SR-20 aircrafts. This is a technically advanced aircraft, which means that it is almost fully computerized.

One has already been received by Lakeland and another will be coming on April 20. The college also uses a Piper Twin Comanche for multi-engine commercial training.

According to Molina, the Cirrus prepares an individual to be a professional pilot because it trains the student in the kind of equipment that he or she will need to understand as a professional, which is advanced computerized cockpit equipment.

The aviation center at the airport has Lakeland network computers, a full-sized classroom, two briefing rooms, offices for the aviation instructors, an aircraft dispatch area, a common area and an attached full-size hanger.

“It’s awesome to have our own building now where we actually feel like we are welcome,” said Timothy Fruit, a junior chemistry major who is also studying aviation. “It feels more like a pure environment for students to immerse themselves in aviation.”

The new changes that have been implemented have also raised the bar of pilot training at Lakeland.

“The fact that we are training to be professional pilots will allow us to compete with other flight programs,” said Molina. “It is no longer looked at as a weekend warrior-type (of vocation).”