Flight academy gives cadets a taste of flying at CBU

Flight academy gives cadets a taste of flying at CBU

Riverside, Calif. (July 26, 2023) – The Department of Aviation Science at California Baptist University is hosting the Air Force’s Aim High Flight Academy this month.

The three-week program is designed to motivate participants to explore aviation as a career. Ten cadets – eight high schoolers and two college students – from various states and even Taiwan lived on campus. CBU provided aviation classroom instruction as well simulator and flight training, and the Air Force provided two mentors for the group.

CBU hosted a similar event previously with the Air Force, but this is the first time for the academy. CBU is one of eight locations holding the program.

“CBU is honored to support the Aim High Flight Academy initiative. Investing in the future of aviation by using our resources to motivate the next generation of pilots is the heart of all we do,” said Dr. John Marselus, the chair of the Department of Aviation Science.

The program is similar to an introductory flight program, packing a lot into three weeks.

“They're in a plane or simulator five hours a day, so they're taking off in terms of how quickly they're able to grasp concepts,” said Eric Cavataio, flight instructor II.

Flight academy gives cadets a taste of flying at CBU

Connor Bigelow, 17, from Nebraska, wants to be a pilot like his dad, who flew in the Air Force and now works for a commercial airline. Bigelow had two hours of flight training before the academy and could earn up to 15 additional hours during the academy.

“I’ve learned how planes function and radioing to towers. It’s a different tone than I expected,” Bigelow said.

Salvatore Guagliardo, 18, from Chicago, has enjoyed being in the pilot seat of a Piper.

“Everything about the actual flying has been awesome. The plane is bigger than I thought it was going to be,” Guagliardo said.

Learning about the radio communications has also been a highlight.

“I really liked talking to the tower and ground and traffic because it's cool to see. People don't realize how difficult it is, not for the pilots but for the guys in the tower. They have to manage so much, and that was really cool to see,” Guagliardo said.

Megan Calkin, 17, from Florida, had never been in a small aircraft much less flown a plane before. She learned how to control the plane and to use visual references to fly, not just rely on instruments.

“Being in the pilot seat is awesome. It’s a feeling that you’re in control and being able to change things. To do just about everything they tell you to do is neat,” Calkin said.

Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski
Email: ameluski@calbaptist.edu

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504