Aviation - Professional Pilot

What is aviation?

During your first week as an aviation student at Hesston College, you’ll find yourself in an airplane cockpit. We’re serious about training pilots, and we don’t waste any time helping students achieve the dream of flight. In addition to flight training and ground schools, your degree program provides a solid foundation of classes designed to prepare you for a successful career as a professional pilot.

Success factors

  • The dream of flight! Your motivation to fly is the biggest factor in your success!
  • Time management
  • Careful planning and follow through
  • Good communication

Career possibilities

More than 700 pilots have trained at Hesston College, and many of our alumni fly or work for many regional, national and world-wide airlines, dozens of corporate and charter companies and serve as missionary pilots or with humanitarian organizations. They are flight instructors at major universities and schools of aviation, do aerial application, work as FAA inspectors, medical evacuation pilots and many other areas of the aviation industry.

Majoring in aviation

  • Earn your FAA certificates and associate degree in two years. In just two short years, you will have about 200 hours of flight experience, along with your FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate. The Private, Instrument and Commercial programs are approved under FAA Part 141.
  • Flexible scheduling. You may opt to take the program over two and a half or three years, allowing one or two semester for elective courses and time for extracurricular activities, employment or other responsibilities.
  • Opt for more training. Although your associate degree is complete with the Commercial Pilot Certificate, we also offer advanced opportunities such as multi-engine and flight instructor training.
  • We hire our graduates. After completing instructor training, you have the opportunity to apply for an instructor position with our team. Our instructors can fly 500+ hours per year!
  • We operate the following aircraft: Cessna 172, Cessna 172RG and Piper Twin Comanche. Flight training takes place from our facilities at the Newton City/County Airport (KEWK), about 15 minutes from campus. These facilities include classrooms, offices, hangar and flight simulator.
  • Hesston is just 30 minutes north of Wichita, the Air Capital of the World.
  • Unique weather patterns make Kansas one of the best places to learn to fly.
  • Travel west for training in mountain conditions – a highlight for many students.

“My Hesston Experience within the Aviation Department was the most positive learning experience of my life. The staff nurture learning by leading students into discovery and understanding. Emulating the Hesston College Aviation way has helped my business become a success.” — George Felix, class of 2014, aviation instructor 2014-15, Felix Flight Services, Crystal, Minn.

Aviation curriculum

Participation in the flight program requires a minimum ACT Composite or SAT combined Critical Reading and Mathematics score (or a minimum ASSET reading/writing combined scaled score if no ACT/SAT - see back side). Students meeting these requirements usually complete the program in five semesters (or four semesters plus summer enrollment). Students not meeting the above academic acceptance requirements may enroll in the Introduction to Aviation class. If they successfully complete the class, pass the FAA test on the first attempt and accomplish their academic contractual agreement, they may enroll in the flight program the following semester, and usually complete the program in six semesters.

Aviation plan of study

FAA certificates and ratings offered

  • Private Pilot
  • Instrument Rating
  • Commercial Pilot
  • Multiengine Rating
  • Certificated Flight Instructor – Airplane
  • Certificated Flight Instructor – Instrument
  • Certificated Flight Instructor – Multiengine

Affiliated Departments

Meet the Faculty