Skip to Main Content

Search NewsCenter

Top Headlines

Aviation: Reaching New Heights

Aviation: Reaching New Heights

Spring 2011

The opportunities are sky high when it comes to careers for graduates of FVTC’s aviation programs. 

Elizabeth Amweg, 22, started taking flight lessons when she was 15. By the time she graduated high school, the Plymouth, Wis., native had already earned her private pilot’s certificate at a nearby airport. When she started shopping around for a flight school to continue her professional pilot education, she quickly chose Fox Valley Technical College.

“I started out looking at some four-year programs,” Amweg explains. “But they were expensive—and they didn’t offer as much as FVTC does in its two-year program.”

A visit to campus made Amweg’s decision even easier. “The people were all friendly,” she says. “The class sizes were small and I discovered I could transfer to a four-year program later on and earn a bachelor’s degree.”

For Amweg, things couldn’t have worked out better. After only two years at FVTC, she graduated with her associate degree in Aeronautics-Pilot Training in 2009. At the same time, she earned her commercial pilot’s certificate with airplane single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument ratings. She also earned a certified flight instructor certificate. What’s more noteworthy is that Amweg had accumulated more than 300 hours of flight time in only two years—a critical component of qualifying for employment as a pilot.

“If I had chosen a four-year school, it would have taken twice as long and I wouldn’t have acquired nearly as much flight experience or pilot certificates,” says Amweg.

Plus, she wouldn’t already have two years of experience working as a flight instructor. Like some FVTC program graduates, Amweg was hired as a flight instructor at the college after completing her degree. She now has more than 1,000 hours of flight time, and recently landed a job as a first officer with American Eagle Airlines, where she will be flying 70-passenger airplanes around the United States and the Caribbean.

“We keep our class sizes small [16 students] and really try to give our students as much one-on-one tailored instruction as possible,” says Jared Huss, lead instructor of FVTC’s Pilot Training program. “Elizabeth was the kind of student every instructor looks forward to teaching. She took full advantage of all the resources available to her, and always went above and beyond what was required. Elizabeth carried a tremendous work ethic with her while she worked for us as both a work study and as a flight instructor.”

Before Takeoff

Along with the Pilot Training program, FVTC offers programs in Aircraft Electronics and Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics (A&P). Melissa Raddatz completed both programs, and she can attest that they too are top-notch offerings.

Raddatz, 28, started in FVTC’s A&P program, where she learned about every aspect of airplane maintenance, inspection, and repair—from welding, repair of composite structures, aircraft engine overhaul, and more. And she came to deeply appreciate the breadth of knowledge her instructors brought to the classroom. “All my instructors had real-world experience working for companies such as Rockwell Collins and Delta,” says Raddatz.

When she finished the A&P program, Raddatz enrolled in FVTC’s Aircraft Electronics program. She liked the electronics side of things even better than A&P. The two programs contributed toward her landing a new job with Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek, Mich. Her FVTC education helped tremendously with what was an extremely competitive interview process. “There were roughly 100 applicants for two openings,” says Raddatz.

Raddatz is now working as a wiring specialist, building and installing wiring harnesses for Duncan, which builds custom airplanes for corporate clients. Her husband, Austin, also works for Duncan. The two of them met at FVTC, where Austin completed the same courses of study. Raddatz, who is the first woman to have completed both the A&P and Aircraft Electronics programs, has also earned national recognition for her accomplishments. She was featured on the cover of the September/October 2010 issue of Aviation for Women magazine.

FVTC adds new option to pilot training program

Most years, 100% of the graduates of Fox Valley Technical College's pilot training program land a job within six months. With the downturn in the economy, that number dipped a bit last year to 80%. Jared Huss, lead instructor of FVTC’s Pilot Training program, reports that the industry is rebounding. But that doesn’t mean the college is sitting still.

“Along with keeping FVTC outfitted with state-of-the-art training equipment, we’re always looking for ways to collaborate with other college programs to increase opportunities for graduates,” says Huss.

FVTC is now offering students the opportunity to combine one year of Pilot Training with one year in the college’s Wildland Firefighter program. Students could earn their commercial pilot’s certificate with airplane single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument ratings the first year. Then, with a year in the Wildland Firefighter program, they would be qualified for jobs supporting wildland firefighters such as air patrol pilots (looking for fires), air attack pilots (directing firefighters on the ground from a plane), and air tanker pilots (dropping chemicals on fires).

“We hope this is just the first of several collaborative efforts along similar lines,” says Huss. “In the future, we plan to look at adding programs in criminal justice and agriculture that would help qualify students as pilots with the U.S. Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies, as well as crop dusting operations.”

 

@FoxValleyTech on Twitter

Get Social

Connect With Us banner

Categories

Student & Alumni Spotlight

Diesel Student Earns National Scholarship

Diesel Student Earns National Scholarship

Nov 21, 2014

Jonathan Block, Diesel Equipment Technology program student at Fox Valley Technical College, was ...

Focus on Alumni: Robin Grapa

Focus on Alumni: Robin Grapa

Nov 12, 2014

Q & A with Truck Driving grad Robin Grapa.

Engineered to Succeed

Engineered to Succeed

Nov 11, 2014

Student Dan Steiner and graduate James Koop both looked to FVTC for high-tech careers in ...

Featured Videos

Featured Photos

FVTC President's Blog


Fall 2014 Focus Magazine

Career Minded: Read the latest issue of Focus magazine, featuring programs that are in demand now. 


Upcoming Events

15 Dec 2014

18 Dec 2014

12/18: On Campus: UW-Green Bay

11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Appleton Campus

12/18: On Campus: UW-Green Bay

Thinking of transferring to UW-Green Bay? 

19 Dec 2014

12/19 Quick Start, Appleton

9-11 a.m. | Appleton Campus

12/19 Quick Start, Appleton

Friday, Dec. 19, 9-11 a.m. Learn about Fast Forward grant programs, then complete all your admissions requirements in one visit.

Calendar

«December 2014»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
301
12/1/2014
6610

Open Registration for Spring Term

Community registration for spring 2015 classes starts Monday, December 1. The spring semester begins on January 19.

Read more
3456
12/6/2014 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
8882

Discovery Day

Want to visit us in person? Attend Discovery Day to experience campus life at FVTC.

Read more
78910
111213
12/13/2014 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
6743

Winter 2014 Commencement Ceremony

Congratulations, graduates!

Location: Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Read more
141516
1718
19
20
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
1/10/2015 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
24516

Cooking Demo: Indian Cuisine Basics

Saturday, Jan. 10 | Join Chef Scott Finley as we go on a brief tour of Indian cuisine.

Read more

FVTC eConnect Newsletter Sign-up








CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above: