Indiana State University Newsroom



Aviation students see future as commercial airline pilots

November 6, 2015

Indiana State University aviation students got a glimpse of their potential future when ExpressJet, the world's largest regional airline, brought one of its planes to the university's Flight Academy at Terre Haute International Airport.

For three hours, students had the opportunity to examine the Bombardier CRJ200 from nose to tail and ask questions of pilots, flight attendants and maintenance staff who traveled with the plane. Students spent the most time checking out the flight deck and its sophisticated electronics.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to meet with professionals in the industry and get their opinions, see what it's really about, get to play around and walk about the aircraft," said Kevin Geiser, a freshman professional flight technology major from Schererville who said he "fell in love" with aviation when he visited a local airport as a Cub Scout.

"It makes me remember why I want to become a professional pilot in the first place," said Colton Hooper, a professional aviation and supply chain management major. "Flying in a tiny two-seater plane can get a little boring at times, but then when you get to see what the final end product will be it's a great opportunity."

Darrin Greubel, a 1991 Indiana State aviation graduate who has been with ExpressJet for more than 20 years, noted that the airline has agreements with ISU and other colleges and universities to offer conditional employment to graduates who meet certain requirements.

"We create a pathway where the young person can go to school, perform well and built flight time. When they graduate, they've got a job waiting for them," Greubel said. "That's a big deal for the students, a big deal for the school and a big deal for the parents, who often make a big investment in their student's education."

Greubel said ExpressJet, which has 8,500 employees and operates planes for American, Delta and United airlines, regularly visits partner flight schools as a way to give back to education as well as build a pool of potential future employees.

Courtney Madden, manager of corporate communications and culture for ExpressJet, said students interviewed while still in school are partnered with existing pilots who graduated from their school who are dubbed "EPIC Ambassadors," the acronym standing for "ExpressJet Pilots Inspiring Careers."

"These are pilots, not recruiters, and students can reach out to them, ask questions, learn a little bit about the airline line, have someone in the industry they can talk to," Madden said.

EPIC ambassadors "can write a letter of recommendation and students build a great networking connection to the industry," she added.

Indiana State aviation graduates can expect a great future with ExpressJet, Greubel said.

"When we hire pilots from Indiana State, they are successful with our company. They perform, they are well trained and have a great education," he said.

Photo: http://photos.indstate.edu/Other/Media-Services/Media-Technology/Express-Jet-visit-to-Sycamore/i-JQqWTNQ/0/X3/11_04_15_Express_Jet-1829-X3.jpg - Indiana State University professional aviation flight technology majors Kayleigh Bordner of Flora, a senior, and Matthew Johnson of Westfield, a freshman, check out the flight deck of an ExpressJet aircraft at the ISU Flight Academy Nov. 4, 2015 (ISU/Tony Campbell)

Photo: http://photos.indstate.edu/Other/Media-Services/Media-Technology/Express-Jet-visit-to-Sycamore/i-w2fJSD3/0/X3/11_04_15_Express_Jet-1887-X3.jpg - Indiana State University aviation students board an ExpressJet plane Nov. 4, 2015 to learn what it's like at the controls of a modern commercial airliner. (ISU/Tony Campbell)

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

 

Story Highlights

Indiana State University aviation students got a glimpse of their potential future when ExpressJet, the world's largest regional airline, brought one of its planes to the university's Flight Academy at Terre Haute International Airport.

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