Aviation department adds new flight simulator

Henderson State University’s aviation department has added a second state-of-the-art flight simulator to its pilot training program.

The Arkansas Department of Aeronautics awarded a $99,500 grant to Henderson for the purchase of the simulator.

“Thanks to the state’s understanding of our department, including what we do and our growth, we just installed a new Redbird full motion flight simulator in the Caplinger Airway Science Center,” said Troy Hogue, director of aviation at Henderson.

Hogue said the department received the first Redbird simulator in 2010.

“We have used it constantly with our previous student load,” Hogue said. “Over the last couple of years, our department has grown tremendously and we saw the need for a second simulator.

In the last three years, enrollment in the aviation department has grown from 101 students to 187.

“We’re growing both in our professional pilot track and our aviation management class,” Hogue said.

Henderson offers the only four-year college degree program in Arkansas.

“Thanks to the robust aviation industry and mandatory retirement, if you’re wanting to be a professional airline or corporate pilot, now is the time,” Hogue said.