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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Aviation in the News

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Falcon 8X Sets SMO-TEB Speed Record


M. Thurber - AINOnline (April 26, 2019):

While it used to be normal to see Dassault Falcons landing and taking off from Santa Monica Airport (SMO) in Southern California, the April 24 arrival and departure of a Falcon 8X was somewhat unique—and not just because SMO's runway was shortened last year in an effort to reduce business jet traffic at the field. The flight, which originated in Portland, Oregon, was part of a successful effort to break the record for the Santa Monica to Teterboro leg.


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The 2019 List Of The World's Best Airlines Is Out Now


E. Rosen - Forbes (November 16, 2018):

Forbes recently released the new annual list of best airlines. Topping the rankings is Asian carrier Singapore Airlines. The much-awaited annual Airline Excellence Awards comes courtesy of, which is an aviation safety- and product-rating site based out of Perth, Australia.


As a new aviation professional, where would you like to end up? 


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Mavs Capture Second in Regionals, Falling Just Behind UND

C. Denisen (Oct 28, 2018):

The Maverick Flight Team was able to capture 2nd at this year's Region V National Intercollegiate Flight Association's (NIFA) SAFECON 2018.  The event was hosted by Kansas State University - Polytechnic and featured flight teams representing the University of Dubuque, the University of North Dakota, and the University of Wisconsin.


Pilots participated in a number of competitive events including Computer Accuracy, Aircraft Pre-flight Inspection, and Aircraft Recognition.  After several close rounds, the Mav Flight team moved into the second place spot, beating out both the University of Dubuque and the University of Wisconsin. 


 The Maverick Flight team will continue on to the national competition happening in May.



Sun Country joins push to sign-up MSU's young pilots

Mankato Free Press (Oct 18, 2018):

Seven weeks after Delta Airlines was on the Minnesota State University campus, Sun Country was there Thursday with an eye on the same prize — MSU's commercial aviation students.


Minnesota-based Sun Country announced at an MSU press conference that it would be offering aviation students an opportunity for a guaranteed full-time job in a Sun Country cockpit after graduation.


The Sun Country Bridge Program allows the students to sign with a national carrier while still in school, obtain the job after graduation and completion of required flight hours, have an opportunity to fly international routes shortly after graduation, and be eligible for captaincy after just two years, according to airline officials. 

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Ahead of holidays, FedEx leans on special bonuses to keep pilots from retiring



Johnson & Baertlein - Rueters (Oct. 4, 2018):

Santa’s sleigh cannot fly without its pilot.

With the peak holiday shipping season fast-approaching, global package delivery giant FedEx Corp is paying retirement-age pilots bonuses of $40,000 - and potentially as much as $110,000 - to keep them flying into next year, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter and a contract seen by Reuters.

The bonuses, outlined in the latest pilot contract and previously unreported, reveal that a wave of pilot retirements, global pilot shortages and rising cargo demand fueled by the growth of global e-commerce are straining the world’s largest air delivery fleet.

Any problem in maintaining capacity for FedEx, which many economists consider a barometer of U.S. economic strength, disrupts supply chains at a time when they are already being destabilized by international trade tensions.

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Airlines are 'desperate' for new pilots, and the shortage is contributing to canceled routes that are taking a toll on smaller cities 


 R. Premack - Business Insider (Sept. 5, 2018):

Vesselin Slaveykov, a JetBlue Airways pilot, finished pilot school just seven years ago. But he says the opportunities available to even newer pilots today are way beyond what he experienced at the beginning of his career.


Some regional airlines, where most pilots get their start, are trying to lure new folks to the career with $50,000 sign-on bonuses and tuition reimbursement for mandatory pilot training, which can take years and costs about $75,000.


That's an about-face from only a few years ago for those small carriers. GoJet Airlines, which flies to cities like Durango, Colorado, and Traverse City, Michigan, had a first-year pay of $20,504 in 2014. Now, new pilots with GoJet earn $61,512, including benefits and a sign-on bonus.


It's thanks to a critical shortage of pilots that has come to a peak this year...

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Delta Gets Aggressive in Recruiting MNSU Aviation Students 


M. Fischenich - Mankato Free Press (Aug. 30, 2018):

The path to becoming an airline pilot is a long and intense journey but MSU Mankato students may have a fast track into the cockpit.

Delta Air Lines is launching an accelerated pilot training program called 'Propel' and MSU Mankato is one of 8 colleges participating. Students can apply and if they meet certain stringent criteria, they will end up with a job offer.

Emily Coaker, a pilot for Delta Air Lines, said, "We've realized that in the next decade, Delta needs to hire approximately 8,000 pilots to staff the thousands of daily flights we have across the world. That's just due to the mandatory retirement age of our current pilot workforce."

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Updated: 11/09/2018 12:21pm - C.Denisen