Professional Pilot Technology

  • Type of Degree: Bachelor of Science (BS)
  • Location: Williston Campus
  • Credit Requirements: 121

Our Professional Pilot Technology program is the first collegiate program:

  • To offer a bachelor’s Aviation degree program in the state of Vermont, starting in 2012
  • To incorporate pre-solo spin training for all students
  • To include seaplane training and ratings in the BS degree
  • To incorporate conventional landing gear (tail draggers) in the Commercial pilot training syllabus
  • To include aerobatic instructional options during Commercial pilot training syllabus as an option
  • To have a multi-engine amphibian for Multi-Engine Land and Sea training & ratings
  • To offer all 9 available FAA certificates & ratings, including 3 flight instructor ratings
  • To offer VA benefits for aviation training in the state of Vermont

The Professional Pilot Technology program provides flight training courses in cooperation with Vermont Flight Academy at Burlington International Airport. Offered FAA certificates and ratings include: Private, Instrument, Commercial (Single-Engine Land & Sea),  Multi-Engine (Land & Sea), and Certified Flight Instructor (Airplane, Instrument, & Multi-Engine). The coursework combines basic and advanced airmanship skills to provide safe operations for all types of flying. In partnership with Vermont Flight Academy, students can expect to complete approximately 250-275 hours of flight time and will become certified flight instructors during their junior year.

Graduates of this program are prepared for a variety of career opportunities in aviation. Students attain necessary flight credentials for numerous cockpit positions including flight education, corporate flying, charter operations, commuter airlines, and, ultimately, positions with domestic and international air carriers. In addition, students may also qualify for employment in many other aviation industry positions such as managers, dispatchers, simulator trainers, and marketers for aviation or related companies.

Video transcript available for viewing.

The Bachelor of Science in Professional Pilot Technology program will:

  • Provide graduates with the academic and professional tools needed to achieve success in the constantly changing aviation industry
  • Provide knowledge of contemporary world-wide aviation industry issues
  • Provide specific flying skills to attain FAA certificates and ratings that allow for success in all segments of the international aviation industry
  • Enhance critical thinking and decision-making skills necessary for safe and effective flying
  • Provide professional preparation and a zeal for lifelong learning, with a focus on the development of professional skills enhanced by the  technology of aviation and integrated safety practices

Students with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Pilot Technology will

  • Demonstrate the theoretical knowledge and flight skills necessary to attain FAA certificates and ratings in Private, Instrument, Commercial, Flight Instructor, and Multi-Engine as well as training or endorsements in taildragger (conventional gear), aerobatic, high performance, high altitude, complex, and seaplane aircraft
  • Understand and interpret meteorological data to ensure safe and efficient flight operations
  • Operate as a crew member in an aircraft cockpit and function and communicate effectively with precision and clarity as part of a multi-disciplinary team with peers, instructors, superiors, subordinates, and government agencies
  • Understand the technological,  political, and historical developments constituting the evolution of modern aviation
  • Accurately analyze and interpret data from aerodynamic, mathematical, and scientific principles to ensure safe and efficient flight operations in all types of flying

Completion of the aviation degree entails intensive motivation and commitment. Most pilot certificates or ratings are completed in a 14-week semester. This requires the necessity to fly 4-5 times minimum each week to complete the courses. As an FAA-approved 141 flight school, the FAA requires Stage Checks and short written exams for each stage in every course. The flight school also has milestones in each week of training for every course. The Chief Flight Instructor and assistants are dedicated to following the published milestones and stage checks for every student to ensure proper completions. Students will be called upon to make up cancellations or delays on weekends and during scheduled breaks if necessary. Students must be available to fly seven days per week, including some flights at night.

Be aware that consequences will incur for noncompliance of all scheduling requests, milestones, and Stage Check failures. Consequences include, but are not limited to, charges for lateness, unpreparedness, or failure to show up for flights. If continuous interventions in published milestones occur, students can expect grade reductions or dismissal from the program for poor attendance or failure to progress properly.

Compliance with all schedules, FAA regulations, and course syllabi is a major part of the training for a career in the field of aviation.

News & Events

25May
It was a bluebird day for flying as Matthew Fuller piloted a single-engine Cessna 172 along the taxiway at Burlington International Airport. The 35-year-old Vergennes native was just weeks away from completing his bachelor of science degree in Vermont Technical College's Professional Pilot... Read More
11Sep
At a press conference on Wednesday, September 10, Vermont Tech announced that students majoring in aviation now have an unusual airplane in which to learn rare flying skills.  Vermont Tech’s Professional Pilot Technology program, in partnership with the Vermont Flight Academy, received a Twin... Read More

Students

Before Vermont Tech

  • I had lived with my family all over the world.
  • I was in the Coast Guard.
  • I had no idea how much I would love being a pilot.

This is me now

  • I’m hooked on flying
  • I can rebuild a damaged airplane
  • I attended the Women in Aviation Conference
  • I can’t wait to join the U.S. Forest Service

Education & Career Opportunities

9

FAA Certificates and Ratings available, including three flight instructor ratings.

Our graduates hold multiple Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot certificates and ratings and are well prepared for a wide range of careers in aviation, including as professional pilots. Flight training includes private, instrument, commercial, certified flight instructor (airplane, instrument, and multiengine), seaplane, and multiengine land and multiengine sea.

No other college program in the world offers the extra ratings, such as seaplane, and few offer more than four certifications.

Faculty

  • Douglas W. Smith

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    Aviation was a part of my life from age 8.  My father taught me the basics of flying before I could even reach the rudder pedals of an airplane!  High school found me working at a local airport with a flight school in Texas, whereby for every day I worked washing and fueling airplanes, I earned a one hour flight lesson as payment.   I graduated from High School with a Commercial Pilot Certificate before I left for college.  My aviation passion never faded, with flying in college and afterwards in Australia for two years.

    In 1974 I obtained my flight instructor credentials and after building time and experience, worked my way up the aviation ladder to flying freight and passengers in larger aircraft for Basler Airlines in Wisconsin, including the famous DC-3 from WW II, even flying smokejumpers one summer for the Forest Service in Missoula, MT in the wonderful “gooney bird”.   I also flew Jimmy Carter around Illinois in a DC-3 when he was a candidate for President!

    Aviation led me to the Chief Flight Instructor position at Auburn University’s School of Aviation in 1976.  Within a year, I was hired by Delta Air Lines, and spent 35 years flying as an airline pilot for Basler, Delta, Eos, and Air India, retiring off the Boeing 777 international routes.  My total flight time exceeds 35,000 hours.

    I remained active as a flight instructor throughout my career, specializing in instructing Private Pilots just starting in aviation, and offering seaplane training as well, on my days off.   I served as a Line Check Pilot with Delta , qualifying new pilots on most of the Boeings that Delta flew.  When the opportunity to start an aviation program with Vermont Tech arose, I first co-founded the Vermont Flight Academy, applied for FAA approved (Part 141) flight school certifications, and then working with VTC,  established the first BS degree in aviation for the state of Vermont.  The  broad aviation curriculum included ground and flight courses in all the short-comings that I had observed over my career, to include more pilot training with certificates and ratings,  specialty training in conventional landing gear aircraft (tail draggers), spin-training and upset recoveries, seaplane training, and high altitude training with hypoxia, simulator training as often as possible, and high performance training, among the regular curriculum courses.

    The adjunct professors of Vermont Tech’s Aviation Technology, come to the classroom as former airline pilots, flight instructors, weather experts, and learning and curriculum specialists.   We focus and enjoy the process of training the next generation of professional pilots, and the students seem to appreciate the real-world examples in their courses that the faculty often include.  Aviation insists on hands-on participation in every subject of the curriculum.

    In addition to duties as Aviation Program Director, my participation in additional arenas include:

    FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (for VT, NH, ME)
    Vermont Aviation Council (Governor appointed)
    Flight School Association of North America
    University Aviation Association
    Aircraft Owner’s & Pilot’s Association
    Experimental Aircraft Association – Young Eagles flying
    Seaplane Pilots Association, Field Director for Vermont
    FAASTeam, Lead Representative for aviation safety workshops
    Vermont Aeronautics & Aviation Association
    Vermont Chamber of Commerce
    Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE)
    Assistance Chief Flight Instructor, Vermont Flight Academy
    Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) member

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    Aviation was a part of my life from age 8.  My father taught me the basics of flying before I could even reach the rudder pedals of an airplane!  High school found me working at a local airport with a flight school in Texas, whereby for every day I worked washing and fueling airplanes, I earned a one hour flight lesson as payment.   I graduated from High School with a Commercial Pilot Certificate before I left for college.  My aviation passion never faded, with flying in college and afterwards in Australia for two years.

    In 1974 I obtained my flight instructor credentials and after building time and experience, worked my way up the aviation ladder to flying freight and passengers in larger aircraft for Basler Airlines in Wisconsin, including the famous DC-3 from WW II, even flying smokejumpers one summer for the Forest Service in Missoula, MT in the wonderful “gooney bird”.   I also flew Jimmy Carter around Illinois in a DC-3 when he was a candidate for President!

    Aviation led me to the Chief Flight Instructor position at Auburn University’s School of Aviation in 1976.  Within a year, I was hired by Delta Air Lines, and spent 35 years flying as an airline pilot for Basler, Delta, Eos, and Air India, retiring off the Boeing 777 international routes.  My total flight time exceeds 35,000 hours.

    I remained active as a flight instructor throughout my career, specializing in instructing Private Pilots just starting in aviation, and offering seaplane training as well, on my days off.   I served as a Line Check Pilot with Delta , qualifying new pilots on most of the Boeings that Delta flew.  When the opportunity to start an aviation program with Vermont Tech arose, I first co-founded the Vermont Flight Academy, applied for FAA approved (Part 141) flight school certifications, and then working with VTC,  established the first BS degree in aviation for the state of Vermont.  The  broad aviation curriculum included ground and flight courses in all the short-comings that I had observed over my career, to include more pilot training with certificates and ratings,  specialty training in conventional landing gear aircraft (tail draggers), spin-training and upset recoveries, seaplane training, and high altitude training with hypoxia, simulator training as often as possible, and high performance training, among the regular curriculum courses.

    The adjunct professors of Vermont Tech’s Aviation Technology, come to the classroom as former airline pilots, flight instructors, weather experts, and learning and curriculum specialists.   We focus and enjoy the process of training the next generation of professional pilots, and the students seem to appreciate the real-world examples in their courses that the faculty often include.  Aviation insists on hands-on participation in every subject of the curriculum.

    In addition to duties as Aviation Program Director, my participation in additional arenas include:

    FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (for VT, NH, ME)
    Vermont Aviation Council (Governor appointed)
    Flight School Association of North America
    University Aviation Association
    Aircraft Owner’s & Pilot’s Association
    Experimental Aircraft Association – Young Eagles flying
    Seaplane Pilots Association, Field Director for Vermont
    FAASTeam, Lead Representative for aviation safety workshops
    Vermont Aeronautics & Aviation Association
    Vermont Chamber of Commerce
    Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE)
    Assistance Chief Flight Instructor, Vermont Flight Academy
    Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) member

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    The Bachelor of Science in Professional Pilot Technology program will:

    • Provide graduates with the academic and professional tools needed to achieve success in the constantly changing aviation industry
    • Provide knowledge of contemporary world-wide aviation industry issues
    • Provide specific flying skills to attain FAA certificates and ratings that allow for success in all segments of the international aviation industry
    • Enhance critical thinking and decision-making skills necessary for safe and effective flying
    • Provide professional preparation and a zeal for lifelong learning, with a focus on the development of professional skills enhanced by the  technology of aviation and integrated safety practices

    Students with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Pilot Technology will

    • Demonstrate the theoretical knowledge and flight skills necessary to attain FAA certificates and ratings in Private, Instrument, Commercial, Flight Instructor, and Multi-Engine as well as training or endorsements in taildragger (conventional gear), aerobatic, high performance, high altitude, complex, and seaplane aircraft
    • Understand and interpret meteorological data to ensure safe and efficient flight operations
    • Operate as a crew member in an aircraft cockpit and function and communicate effectively with precision and clarity as part of a multi-disciplinary team with peers, instructors, superiors, subordinates, and government agencies
    • Understand the technological,  political, and historical developments constituting the evolution of modern aviation
    • Accurately analyze and interpret data from aerodynamic, mathematical, and scientific principles to ensure safe and efficient flight operations in all types of flying

    Completion of the aviation degree entails intensive motivation and commitment. Most pilot certificates or ratings are completed in a 14-week semester. This requires the necessity to fly 4-5 times minimum each week to complete the courses. As an FAA-approved 141 flight school, the FAA requires Stage Checks and short written exams for each stage in every course. The flight school also has milestones in each week of training for every course. The Chief Flight Instructor and assistants are dedicated to following the published milestones and stage checks for every student to ensure proper completions. Students will be called upon to make up cancellations or delays on weekends and during scheduled breaks if necessary. Students must be available to fly seven days per week, including some flights at night.

    Be aware that consequences will incur for noncompliance of all scheduling requests, milestones, and Stage Check failures. Consequences include, but are not limited to, charges for lateness, unpreparedness, or failure to show up for flights. If continuous interventions in published milestones occur, students can expect grade reductions or dismissal from the program for poor attendance or failure to progress properly.

    Compliance with all schedules, FAA regulations, and course syllabi is a major part of the training for a career in the field of aviation.

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    The Bachelor of Science in Professional Pilot Technology program will:

    • Provide graduates with the academic and professional tools needed to achieve success in the constantly changing aviation industry
    • Provide knowledge of contemporary world-wide aviation industry issues
    • Provide specific flying skills to attain FAA certificates and ratings that allow for success in all segments of the international aviation industry
    • Enhance critical thinking and decision-making skills necessary for safe and effective flying
    • Provide professional preparation and a zeal for lifelong learning, with a focus on the development of professional skills enhanced by the  technology of aviation and integrated safety practices

    Students with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Pilot Technology will

    • Demonstrate the theoretical knowledge and flight skills necessary to attain FAA certificates and ratings in Private, Instrument, Commercial, Flight Instructor, and Multi-Engine as well as training or endorsements in taildragger (conventional gear), aerobatic, high performance, high altitude, complex, and seaplane aircraft
    • Understand and interpret meteorological data to ensure safe and efficient flight operations
    • Operate as a crew member in an aircraft cockpit and function and communicate effectively with precision and clarity as part of a multi-disciplinary team with peers, instructors, superiors, subordinates, and government agencies
    • Understand the technological,  political, and historical developments constituting the evolution of modern aviation
    • Accurately analyze and interpret data from aerodynamic, mathematical, and scientific principles to ensure safe and efficient flight operations in all types of flying

    Completion of the aviation degree entails intensive motivation and commitment. Most pilot certificates or ratings are completed in a 14-week semester. This requires the necessity to fly 4-5 times minimum each week to complete the courses. As an FAA-approved 141 flight school, the FAA requires Stage Checks and short written exams for each stage in every course. The flight school also has milestones in each week of training for every course. The Chief Flight Instructor and assistants are dedicated to following the published milestones and stage checks for every student to ensure proper completions. Students will be called upon to make up cancellations or delays on weekends and during scheduled breaks if necessary. Students must be available to fly seven days per week, including some flights at night.

    Be aware that consequences will incur for noncompliance of all scheduling requests, milestones, and Stage Check failures. Consequences include, but are not limited to, charges for lateness, unpreparedness, or failure to show up for flights. If continuous interventions in published milestones occur, students can expect grade reductions or dismissal from the program for poor attendance or failure to progress properly.

    Compliance with all schedules, FAA regulations, and course syllabi is a major part of the training for a career in the field of aviation.

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    Our Professional Pilot Technology program is the first collegiate program:

    • To offer a bachelor’s Aviation degree program in the state of Vermont, starting in 2012
    • To incorporate pre-solo spin training for all students
    • To include seaplane training and ratings in the BS degree
    • To incorporate conventional landing gear (tail draggers) in the Commercial pilot training syllabus
    • To include aerobatic instructional options during Commercial pilot training syllabus as an option
    • To have a multi-engine amphibian for Multi-Engine Land and Sea training & ratings
    • To offer all 9 available FAA certificates & ratings, including 3 flight instructor ratings
    • To offer VA benefits for aviation training in the state of Vermont

    The Professional Pilot Technology program provides flight training courses in cooperation with Vermont Flight Academy at Burlington International Airport. Offered FAA certificates and ratings include: Private, Instrument, Commercial (Single-Engine Land & Sea),  Multi-Engine (Land & Sea), and Certified Flight Instructor (Airplane, Instrument, & Multi-Engine). The coursework combines basic and advanced airmanship skills to provide safe operations for all types of flying. In partnership with Vermont Flight Academy, students can expect to complete approximately 250-275 hours of flight time and will become certified flight instructors during their junior year.

    Graduates of this program are prepared for a variety of career opportunities in aviation. Students attain necessary flight credentials for numerous cockpit positions including flight education, corporate flying, charter operations, commuter airlines, and, ultimately, positions with domestic and international air carriers. In addition, students may also qualify for employment in many other aviation industry positions such as managers, dispatchers, simulator trainers, and marketers for aviation or related companies.

    Video transcript available for viewing.

    " ["format"]=> string(9) "full_html" ["safe_value"]=> string(2498) "

    Our Professional Pilot Technology program is the first collegiate program:

    • To offer a bachelor’s Aviation degree program in the state of Vermont, starting in 2012
    • To incorporate pre-solo spin training for all students
    • To include seaplane training and ratings in the BS degree
    • To incorporate conventional landing gear (tail draggers) in the Commercial pilot training syllabus
    • To include aerobatic instructional options during Commercial pilot training syllabus as an option
    • To have a multi-engine amphibian for Multi-Engine Land and Sea training & ratings
    • To offer all 9 available FAA certificates & ratings, including 3 flight instructor ratings
    • To offer VA benefits for aviation training in the state of Vermont

    The Professional Pilot Technology program provides flight training courses in cooperation with Vermont Flight Academy at Burlington International Airport. Offered FAA certificates and ratings include: Private, Instrument, Commercial (Single-Engine Land & Sea),  Multi-Engine (Land & Sea), and Certified Flight Instructor (Airplane, Instrument, & Multi-Engine). The coursework combines basic and advanced airmanship skills to provide safe operations for all types of flying. In partnership with Vermont Flight Academy, students can expect to complete approximately 250-275 hours of flight time and will become certified flight instructors during their junior year.

    Graduates of this program are prepared for a variety of career opportunities in aviation. Students attain necessary flight credentials for numerous cockpit positions including flight education, corporate flying, charter operations, commuter airlines, and, ultimately, positions with domestic and international air carriers. In addition, students may also qualify for employment in many other aviation industry positions such as managers, dispatchers, simulator trainers, and marketers for aviation or related companies.

    Video transcript available for viewing.

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    Our graduates hold multiple Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot certificates and ratings and are well prepared for a wide range of careers in aviation, including as professional pilots. Flight training includes private, instrument, commercial, certified flight instructor (airplane, instrument, and multiengine), seaplane, and multiengine land and multiengine sea.

    No other college program in the world offers the extra ratings, such as seaplane, and few offer more than four certifications.

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    Our graduates hold multiple Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot certificates and ratings and are well prepared for a wide range of careers in aviation, including as professional pilots. Flight training includes private, instrument, commercial, certified flight instructor (airplane, instrument, and multiengine), seaplane, and multiengine land and multiengine sea.

    No other college program in the world offers the extra ratings, such as seaplane, and few offer more than four certifications.

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    Doug
    Smith
    Program Director

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