I frequently drive to our airport and have a meal at the Crosswinds restaurant. The scenery is beautiful and the activity of aircraft landing and taking off interests me.
Many years ago, I held a private pilot's license for single and multi-engine aircraft and although I no longer pilot a plane, I still enjoy airport activity.
Often I see aircraft fly into Payson from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with an instructor and a student or two. They usually park their planes and have a meal at the restaurant.
Since this is a somewhat common occurrence, I began to inquire about the school and discovered that the university had a rather large and complete campus in Prescott.
Recently, I drove there and was treated to a complete tour of the facility.
There are two main campuses for Embry-Riddle. One is in Daytona Beach, Fla. and the other is in Prescott. What they teach is the science, practice, and business of aviation and aerospace. The school was founded only 22 years following the Wright brothers' first flight, and it now enjoys an enviable record of achievement in all aspects of aviation and aerospace.
Embry-Riddle is fully accredited to award degrees at the bachelor and master levels.
Presently they have more than 30,000 students enrolled in their programs.
The university's fleet of 93 instructional aircraft includes Cessna 150, 152, and 172s, as well as some Piper aircraft. There are 31 aircraft based in Prescott.
The Prescott campus is the only flight training facility in the world to use Automatic Dependence Surveillance-Broadcast radar technology, allowing pilots to see planes and terrain on a cockpit-installed radar screen.
The Arizona campus has some 1,700 students. During the first two years, students must reside on campus.
A degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University virtually assures the graduate a fine position with an airline, NASA, Boeing/Airbus aircraft manufacturers, as well as many other associated aircraft and space companies. Graduate degrees are earned in aeronautics, aerospace engineering, business administration in aviation, space science to name a few.
Embry-Riddle is considered the best in its field throughout the world.
The major airlines hire more alumni from Embry-Riddle than from any other collegiate aviation program.
The main campus is located on the outskirts of Prescott with flight training, aircraft maintenance, and simulator center housed in facilities adjacent to the Prescott airport.
I was able to climb into simulators for Cessna, Piper, and an Airbus A-320.
While pursuing their education, Embry-Riddle students can gain valuable experience through participation in cooperative education and internship opportunities such as B/E Aerospace, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, as well as governmental agencies such as the FAA, NASA, and others.
In Prescott, the most popular undergraduate programs are in aeronautical science and aerospace engineering.
The facility also has two Air Force ROTC detachments producing more commissioned officers and more pilots and other rated officers for the Air Force than any other institution in the nation except the Air Force Academy.
Also, Embry-Riddle's aerospace engineering program ranked number one for the sixth year in a row by U.S. News & World Reports America's Best Colleges.
I sure am.
Tuition exceeds $20,000 per year, but there are programs of assistance as is the case for most higher education institutions. When you see an Embry-Riddle student you know that these are some of the brightest young people in America.
If you have a son or daughter or grandchildren who may be interested in the aeronautical field they may contact the University Office of Undergraduate Admissions by dialing 1-888-409-3728.
This school is truly an investment in the future.