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The Aviation "Exploration" Program is designed to introduce students to every aspect of the aviation industry. This program is intended for students with an interest in pursuing any career related to aviation, not just as a pilot. Students will develop a broad knowledge base in subject areas ranging from the evolution of airplanes and commercial aviation, flight operations, weather, airspace, navigation, regulations, and aircraft systems. The curriculum progression builds upon the students' own perceptions and prior experiences with aviation. The students will also work with math, literacy, and career instructors at the Center to develop employability skills.


This course of study will allow them to excel in post-secondary training for careers such as dispatcher, airport management, air traffic control, flight training, or entry level work with an air carrier. Students who are interested and dedicate extra time outside of class may be prepared to take (and able to be endorsed for) the FAA Private Pilot written knowledge test. Students will complete multiple aviation online courses through the FAA and AOPA. These courses offer certificates of competency, which will be excellent resources for future job applications. Students will develop skills in airport and airspace operations, piston and turbine engines and related systems, navigation by pilotage and dead-reckoning, weather-based decision making, and operating as a member of a flight crew.



Students must come prepared to study hard, consistently give their best effort, become a member of the classroom team, be responsible and mature enough to work independently, challenge themselves, and have fun. Students must expect and be prepared for the academics that accompany the class - aviation is technical and very comprehensive in nature. A successful student will:

• Try their hardest, do their best work, never quit, and be respectful of others' work

• Possess the ability to perform simple mental math, and an understanding of how to work algebraic equations (time, speed, distance, fuel consumption, etc., and weight & balance)

• Be willing to be creative and flexible

• Be motivated to explore the career options that are available after high school


Students will take CACC and Kellogg Community College courses as a pathway to Western Michigan College of Aviation.  Successful completers can earn up to 7 credit hours for WMU courses.  These courses will apply to any of the three degree programs at WMU College of Aviation.



 James Paxton - Instructor 


Phone: 269-968-2271 

ext. 5201