By Kelly Werthmann

DENVER (CBS4) – An innovative partnership between United Airlines and Metropolitan State University-Denver is propelling students from the classroom to the cockpit.

pilot school 10pkg transfer frame 540 Partnership Puts Aspiring Aviation Students In The Learning Cockpit

(credit: CBS)

“I love flying so much!” aviation student Madison Wolf said. “The airlines are definitely my end goal, so United would be amazing.”

It can be a long trip for young pilots hoping to join a major airline.

pilot school 10pkg transfer frame 690 Partnership Puts Aspiring Aviation Students In The Learning Cockpit

(credit: CBS)

The partnership between United and MSU-Denver is making that journey more direct by offering a new Career Path Program (CPP). For the first time, a major U.S. airline is establishing a CPP to give students an opportunity to fly for United.

“I think it’s the wave of the future,” Kevin Kuhlmann, Associate Chair of MSU-Denver’s Aviation & Aerospace Department, said. “We’re extremely excited that we’re going to be the launch customer in this agreement.”

pilot school 10pkg transfer frame 1620 Partnership Puts Aspiring Aviation Students In The Learning Cockpit

CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann interviews Kevin Kuhlmann. (credit: CBS)

MSU-Denver has one of the largest and most advanced collegiate aviation programs in the country. Kuhlmann said the hands-on learning students get at the university helps develop highly qualified pilots and that’s especially important in this day and age.

“If you look out 10 to 15 years and start to add up how many people are retiring from major airlines,” he told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann, “you start to realize they’re losing 2,000 to 3,000 pilots per year.”

pilot school 10pkg transfer frame 1020 Partnership Puts Aspiring Aviation Students In The Learning Cockpit

(credit: CBS)

According to the 2017 Boeing Pilot Outlook, it’s projected 637,000 new commercial airline pilots will be needed to fly and maintain the world fleet over the next 20 years.

Kuhlmann said United isn’t affected by the looming shortage yet, but the airline is now choosing Colorado students to help keep them off the ground.

pilot school 10pkg transfer frame 1320 Partnership Puts Aspiring Aviation Students In The Learning Cockpit

(credit: CBS)

“It’s aviation history,” Kuhlmann said. “Students have an opportunity to interview while they’re still in their academic pursuits. By doing that, they can concentrate on a defined path United Airlines has laid out for them. They’re going to be the crews of the future.”

The CPP does not guarantee a future job with United nor are students contractually obligated to work for the airline. However, the first-of-its-kind program is keeping students like Madison Wolf on course for success.

pilot school 10pkg transfer frame 1380 Partnership Puts Aspiring Aviation Students In The Learning Cockpit

(credit: CBS)

“I mean, I hope so,” Wolf said. “As long as I can keep up all the requirements, which I plan on doing. United is just top-of-the-line, I think.”

The CPP is cleared for takeoff, but it’s not off the ground yet. MSU-Denver students can begin applying for the program in August for the 2018 fall semester.

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s