Vincennes University has approved $5.85 million for the purchase of a new aircraft fleet. The college expects to sell its current group of nine planes once the 11 new Cirrus and Piper aircraft are delivered in a year. The aircraft are used by the Aviation Flight program in Indianapolis. Officials anticipate receiving $5 million from the sale of the current fleet.
Students train at the VU Aviation Technology Center at the Indianapolis International Airport, which also houses the school’s Aviation Maintenance program. Flight lessons take place at the Eagle Creek Airport in Marion County.
Aviation Technology Center Director Michael Gehrich says "with the purchase of eight Cirrus SR20s, the primary trainer that our students will use, we will get the benefit of the latest technology. That is where we are going to get an edge over all other flight schools. We are going to be teaching in the latest technology planes out there. The added bonus is that these are the absolute safest aircraft built today for training pilots."
Gehrich says the additional aircraft will help train more pilots at a time when the skill is in high demand. "we currently have about 60 students in our Aviation Flight program. With this new fleet we will be able to start a new group of students twice a year, rather than just once now, so we believe the flight program will grow to about 100 students."
The Aviation Technology Center is fresh off a $6 million renovation. It was launched in 1993.