Flight Familiarization Program
Students in FFP participate in approximately 15 hours of ground school where they cover the basics of navigation, communication, and aerodynamics. In ground school students have the opportunity to ask an experienced pilot questions as he explains why an aircraft can fly, how an aircraft engine works, how to communicate with an FAA control tower, and everything in between!
Dispersed in between ground school sessions, students are given the opportunity to experience what they learned on the ground in the air with a licensed flight instructor. Students are at the controls as the Piper Warrior aircraft leaves the ground. Through the confidence maneuver students learn that airplanes will fly with little to no input from the pilot. By the third flight students are communicating with FAA air traffic controllers as they wait for takeoff clearance, report that they are entering the traffic pattern, and inform ground control that they have piloted safely from the runway to the taxiway after landing.
To round out the FFP student experience trips are organized to FAA facilities, Jetblue Airways Corprate Offices and, The Cradle of Aviation (a local aviation museum). Students have the opportunity to talk to aviation professionals about their jobs as they get a behind the scenes tour of real aviation organizations. On the museum trip students learn about the history of flight and have the opportunity to see and touch some of the early innovations in flight.
FFP is both fun and educational. Students report a real sense of accomplishment after experiencing their first flights. They also report that the program helps them better understand the material they learn in their aviation courses.
It would be hard to find a program like this in any other college setting for no extra cost to full-time students. It was specifically implemented to give York Aviation Management students the chance to experience what pilots experience and be able to relate to the pilots they will work with in their future aviation careers.