DSU adds helicopter training to aviation program
A new partnership is bringing helicopter training to Delaware State University’s Aviation program.
DSU President Tony Allen and Deputy Commanding General Amanda Azubuike signed an agreement Thursday, authorizing the U.S. Army to pay for U.S. Army ROTC Cadets’ flight lab fees in the new helicopter training program.
Fixed wing aviation students’ fees are less than half that – around $58,000 – so Azubuike says it’s a great investment by the Army. And bringing the program to an HBCU will help expand diversity.
“We hope that we are extending opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have," Azubuike says. "So being connected to an HBCU, it’s a population that we are trying to target that may not typically have the opportunity because flying is expensive.”
Cadet Tajay Kelly has wanted to be a pilot since he was two years old and is excited for the opportunity to pursue his dream.
“I used to fly and then switched to management, but now I have the opportunity to fly again because they gave me a scholarship," Kelly says. "So, your dream may be hindered, but it can still happen.”
The actual training helicopter is a Cabri G2 Helicopter. Each student who learns to fly it will earn their private pilot license, their instrument rating, their commercial certificate and their flight instructor rating in helicopters.
10 students will start the program this fall, with 10 more added each year. The program will later be an option for all undergraduate aviation majors.
DSU’s aviation program currently enrolls more than 100 aviation pilot students and 40 aviation management students.