WEST LAFAYETTE - The latest class has completed a six-week program at Purdue University designed to train aspiring pilots with disabilities. Purdue is the primary training site for the Able Flight program, which has partnered with the West Lafayette school for the last eight years. In an interview in our most recent addition of our INdiana Connections advanced manufacturing and logistics e-newsletter, Purdue Polytechnic Associate Professor Bernie Wulle said the students are motivated and "here for a purpose."

Wulle told Special Projects Reporter Kylie Veleta the program serves as an industry pipeline. Many participants, he said, have found internships and jobs after graduation. "They make excellent employees," he said. "I constantly get phone calls wanting to know if they can tap into that resource."

Seven students participated this year and more than 30 have been involved in the past. Wulle says the students' experience ranges from none at all to those who were solo pilots before being disabled. The most recent participants hailed from California, Washington, Illinois, Massachusetts, Colorado, Georgia and Indiana.

Graduates received their "wings" from Able Flight last month during a ceremony at the EAA AirVenture event in Wisconsin. You can read more about the 2017 Able Flight Class by clicking here.