shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Learn About What's Going On

Page address:

Student Pilots to race across the country

     Air Race Classic an All Woman  Contest

An article in the Mankato Free Press on June 17, 2016 highlights the Wright Women from the Department of Aviation in the Air Race Classic beginning this weekend with takeoff on Tuesday.   [PDF] See article here. (1,004 KiB)


With high hopes, aviation students flock to MSU Mankato

Elizabeth Baier · Mankato, Minn. · Oct 27, 2015 MPR


Tyler Spear and Brett Gagan settled into their seats inside the cockpit.

"All right, ready for takeoff?" asked Spear.

"Yep," replied Gagan. "Clear takeoff."

Although their instrument panel showed all the switches and screens of a CRJ 700 regional jet, and the view out their window showed a runway at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Spear and Gagan weren't going anywhere. They were in a simulator located in a dimly lit room at Minnesota State University Mankato.

MSU has Minnesota's only four-year bachelor's degree program in aviation. The program has grown markedly in recent years, thanks in part to the rule that forces commercial pilots out of the cockpit at age 65.

According to the Air Lines Pilots Association, 21,000 pilots are expected to retire from large U.S. carriers in the next 10 years. The coming wave of baby boomer retirements will hit the aviation industry hard.

Spear, of Brooklyn Park, and Gagan, of Hayward, Wis., both seniors, have an excellent chance of landing jobs after they finish their schooling and log the necessary flight hours.

"I always had an interest in aviation, so I decided it would be a good career choice," Gagan said. "It's always a challenge and I'd have fun with it, so I wouldn't work a day in my life, really."

To see the complete article from MPR, click here.



Aviation newsletter, Summer 2014

Crew Read File

Go Mavericks

Jet Simulator

Reactivated Board



The Department of Aviation is thrilled to launch a new aviation alumni newsletter


A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Jeff Peterson saw a faculty position in Mankato’s aviation program as an opportunity to continue to serve.


Heidi De Hoogh ’99 serves as the Director of Safety and Security for Sun Country Airlines and brings a wealth of experience to Mankato’s aviation program advisory board.


New opportunities come with the aviation program's staying power.


MSU Aviation Class Helps Sun Country

MSU Aviation Class Helps Sun Country Airlines


Maverick Flight Team

Off to an incredible start for the Maverick Flight Team

Aviation students with best project to get flight time in Boeing 737 Flight Simulator

Real-World Research for Sun Country Airlines


Maverick Flight Team Finishes 10th in Nation

Finish was team's best ever at the national competition.


Aviation in the News

Demand for airline pilots set to soar

By Charisse Jones, USA TODAY

For as long as he can remember, Costas Sivyllis has dreamed of becoming a pilot.

There was no specific moment," says Sivyllis, 20, a junior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. "I've grown up my whole life knowing this was it."

Sivyllis hardly could have picked a better time to enter his chosen profession, and he knows it. "I'm very excited about the future … because we've never really seen anything like this," he says.

After nearly a four-year drought of job openings, the airline industry is on the brink of what's predicted to be the biggest surge in pilot hiring in history. Aircraft maker Boeing has forecast a need for 466,650 more commercial pilots by 2029 — an average of 23,300 new pilots a year. Nearly 40% of the openings will be to meet the soaring travel market in the Asia-Pacific region, Boeing predicts, but more than 97,000 will be in North America.

Continue reading »