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Aviation Concentration

The SFU Aviation Program, provided in coordination with Nulton Aviation Services at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, is designed to take a student with no past flight experience and train them such that they can fly, professionally, a single engine, land-based aircraft in a variety of flight conditions.

    • Rotating Banner Cockpit
    • Diamond Aircraft Rotating Banner
    • SFU from plane
    • Aviation Classroom
    • Aircraft Controls
    • Gabby Opening Aircraft Door
  • The Aviation Concentration allows students to earn a bachelor's degree and a private/commercial pilot's license at the same time. The program places an emphasis on the professional skills and flight instruction theory for graduate marketability. It provides students with the opportunity to build flight time and earn a private/commercial license. Students will take theory courses on campus and schedule flight time at the  John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport  in Johnstown. 

    • Program Overview
    • Course Descriptions
    • Costs and Scholarships
    • Admission Requirements
    • Learning Outcomes
    Program Overview

    Aviation Concentration

    private/commercial pilot certification

    With this 21-credit concentration, students take theory courses taught by certified flight instructors from  Nulton Aviation Services.  Students will need to schedule and arrange transportation for their flight lessons at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport  in Johnstown.

    Curriculum: The courses in this concentration prepare the aspiring career pilot for immediate entry-level employment in the aviation industry.  Coursework covers aerodynamics, aircraft systems, federal aviation regulations, aircraft performance, aeronautical decision making/human factors, flight physiology, and navigation.  

    Course Descriptions

    The following seven courses (21 credits) are required for the concentration. Additional courses will be required to complete degree requirements.

    Theory courses will be taught on the SFU campus in Loretto by certified flight instructors from Nulton Aviation Services. Flight Labs will be held in Johnstown.  (Students will need to arrange transportation.)

    AVI 200- Private Pilot Theory 

    This course provides the foundation of knowledge needed to progress to the theory course and flight labs required for professional certificates and ratings. Commonly referred to as “ground school,” the course covers the basic components of an airplane as well as elements of aerodynamics, weather, navigation, safety, the national airspace system, and general operating rules and regulations required for the Private Pilot knowledge requirements. Successful completion of this course will provide an endorsement to take the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test.

    3 credits

    AVI 201- Private Pilot Lab 

    This course will develop the foundation of knowledge that a pilot will need to possess to safely exercise the privileges of the FAA Private Pilot Certification and progress further to professional certifications and ratings. Pre/Post briefings on the FAA practical test standards required maneuvers will be provided before and after every training flight. The student must successfully pass the FAA Private Pilot knowledge exam and the FAA Private Pilot practical exam to receive the Private Pilot Certification.

    Note(s): Success in this lab course requires that students achieve the FAA competencies in 50 Flight Hours.

    Prerequisite(s):Prior to beginning flight training, students must possess at least a 3rd class FAA aero-medical certification; proof of U.S. Citizenship as evidenced by birth certificate or Passport or successful TSA screening; and the ability to read, clearly speak, and write in English.

    Co-requisite(s): AVI 200 Private Pilot Theory or credit for previous ground training.

    3 credits: 1 credit repeatable (1 credit fall, 2 credits spring)

    AVI 202- Instrument Pilot Theory 

    This course will introduce the concepts of aircraft control by scan and interpretation of flight instruments. The student will learn to recognize unusual attitude indications and recover from such situations. Human Factors, CRM, and flight physiology will be emphasized. There will be an in-depth study of pitot-static and gyroscopic instrument systems and recognition of anomalies in these systems. The theory of operation, interpretation, and use of VOR, DME, GPS, RNAV, RMI, HSI and autopilot systems will be examined. A detailed study of IFR regulations, procedures, and publications for IFR operating rules in the U.S. Airspace System will be included. Aviation meteorology will be studied in more detail as well as recognition of potentially hazardous flight conditions. Successful completion of this course will provide an endorsement to take the FAA Instrument Rating knowledge exam.

    Prerequisite(s): AVI 200 Private Pilot Theory or credit for previous ground training.

    3 credits

    AVI 203- Instrument Pilot Flight Lab

    This course will provide the student with the basic attitude instrument flying skills, instrument holding, instrument approach procedures, and instrument cross country/enroute procedures. Nulton Aviation Services at the John Murtha Johnstown Cambria Country Airport will provide the flight training. Pre/Post briefings will be provided before and after training flights. Successful completion of this course will provide an endorsement to take the FAA Instrument Airplane Practical Test. Students must complete both the FAA knowledge test and practical test to receive the airplane instrument rating.

    Note(s): Success in this lab course requires that students achieve the FAA competencies in 45 Flight Hours.

    Prerequisite(s): FAA 3rdclass medical certificate, Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Transportation Security Administration Check, Private Pilot License, AVI 200 Private Pilot Theory and AVI 201 Private Pilot Lab or credit given for previous ground and flight training.

    Co-requisite(s): AVI 202 Instrument Pilot Theory.

    3 credits: 1 credit repeatable (1 credit fall, 2 credits spring)

    AVI 300- Commercial Pilot Theory 

    This course will take the concepts studied in Private Pilot Theory and Instrument Pilot Theory to a more advanced level to prepare the student for a professional career in the field. Subject matter will include Federal Aviation Regulations that pertain to Commercial Pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operations, NTSB accident case studies and accident/incident reporting, Aerodynamics, Meteorology to include recognition of critical weather situations and use of reports and forecasts, effects of exceeding aircraft performance limitations, function of complex aircraft systems and high performance aircraft operations, aviation safety to include aeronautical decision making and judgement,  aviation physiology to include night and high altitude operations, review of the National Airspace System, and Human Factors in aviation. Successful completion of this course will provide an endorsement to take the FAA Commercial Pilot knowledge exam.

    Prerequisite(s):  AVI 200 Private Pilot Theory, AVI 201 Private Pilot Lab, AVI 202 Instrument Pilot Theory, and AVI 203 Instrument Pilot Flight or credit for previous ground and flight training. 

    3 credits

    AVI 3-Commercial Pilot Flight Lab I

    This course will provide the student with part of the flight training required of the Commercial Pilot FAA practical test standards. This is the first half of two phases of flight training. Nulton Aviation Inc. at the John Murtha Johnstown Cambria County Airport will provide the flight training. The student will receive pre/post briefings on the commercial maneuvers and complex aircraft systems within the FAA practical test standards before and after flight training.  The instruction will include dual flight time and solo flight time for experience requirements.

    Note(s): Success in this lab course requires that students achieve the FAA competencies in 50.5 Flight Hours.

    Prerequisite(s): FAA 3rdclass medical certificate, Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Transportation Security Administration Check, AVI 200 Private Pilot Theory, and Private License or credit for previous flight/ground training.

    Co-requisite(s): AVI 300 Commercial Pilot Theory

    3 credits

    AVI 302- Commercial Pilot Flight Lab II 

    This course will provide the second part of the flight training required of the Commercial Pilot FAA practical test standards. This is the second half of two phases of flight training. Nulton Aviation INC. at the John Murtha Johnstown Cambria County Airport will provide the flight training. The student will receive pre/post briefings on the commercial maneuvers and complex systems within the FAA airman certification standards before and after flight training. The instruction will include dual flight time and solo flight time for experience requirements. Successful completion of the course will provide an endorsement to take the FAA Commercial Pilot Practical Flight Test. Students must complete both the FAA Commercial knowledge test and FAA Commercial Practical Pilot Flight test to achieve the Commercial Pilot License.

    Note(s): Success in this lab course requires that students achieve the FAA competencies in 62.5 Flight Hours.

    Prerequisite(s):  FAA 3rd class medical certificate, Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Transportation Security Administration Check, AVI 300 Commercial Pilot Theory, and AVI 301 Commercial Pilot Flight I or credit for previous flight/ground training.

    3 credits

    Costs and Scholarships

    Estimated Flight Instruction Fees: In addition to the tuition and fees associated with the degree selected, students will need to cover seven semesters of instructional flight lab fees. Due to costs of aircraft maintenance, gas, and instructing, this concentration – if executed in its entirety – costs an additional $53,500 over a three year period. If optional courses are selected, or rework required, students may incur additional fees.  

    Scholarships available: This program is made possible through a state Multimodal Fund Grant awarded to the Johnstown-Cambria County Airport Authority. Several scholarships  are available and will be awarded on a first-come basis for students who meet the admissions criteria and are accepted into the program. Please contact  an admissions rep in either Undergraduate  Admissions or Adult Degree & Continuing Studies and someone will guide you through the application process.

    Admission Requirements

    Aviation Concentration Specific Requirements

    The following will need to be met before a student can take courses in the aviation concentration: 

    • Age 18 or older. Students under 18 may be considered with parental permission
    • U.S. citizens must provide proof of citizenship (copy of birth certificate or U.S. passport)
    • Non-U.S. Citizens must undergo TSA screening and approval
    • Photo identification (driver's license or passport)
    • Student Pilot Certificate (online application
    • FAA 3rd Class Medical Certificate required/ 1st class recommended for those pursing careers with airlines (Medical Certifications FAQ)
    • Students will need to be able to arrange transportation to the airport in Johnstown.

    Questions: Please contact  an admissions rep in Undergraduate  Admissions  and someone will guide you through the admissions process.

    Learning Outcomes

    Individual Student Learning Outcomes (ISLOS) for the Program:

     At the successful conclusion of the Aviation Concentration, students will achieve the following programmatic learning objectives: 

    1.   Comprehend the role of the Commercial Pilot within an airline or corporate flight department.

    2.   Know the basic theories of aerodynamics and apply them to the various flight scenarios encountered in the field.

    3.   Understand and apply aircraft systems knowledge to the various equipment that a Commercial Pilot may manage. 

    4.   Apply human factors, crew resource management, flight physiology, and aeronautical decision making concepts to the flight deck environment. 

    5.   Recognize potentially hazardous atmospheric conditions and assess risk of flight in various weather scenarios. 

    6.   Navigate the U.S. National Airspace safely through use of all available resources.