July 03, 2012

High school students can explore aviation careers

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- High school students can learn more about corporate and general aviation careers during an upcoming career day at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The 11th annual Corporate Aviation/General Aviation Career Day is Friday, July 13, and coincides with the University’s Open House.  Students can participate in the Open House activities that morning, and then come to the Southern Illinois Airport for the aviation program.  

The event is free and open to high school students, including incoming high school freshmen.  Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the airport, which is between Carbondale and Murphysboro.

The career day runs from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Openings are still available. Go to aviation.siuc.edu/careerdays for more information or to register.  Students can register up to the day of the event.  For more information on the camp, contact David Jaynes, aviation management and flight program field representative, by email at djaynes@aviation.siu.edu or at 618/453-9235.  The first 75 participants receive a free T-shirt and a local flight in an SIU Carbondale flight training aircraft.


Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the SIU Carbondale Corporate Aviation/General Aviation Career Day.  Planes will arrive at Southern Illinois Airport, west of Carbondale, between 11 a.m. and noon, Friday, July 13.  Photographers and camera crews are asked to not photograph or record the tail numbers of any of the corporate or general aviation aircraft. Personnel from corporate and general aviation companies, along with SIU Carbondale aviation faculty, will be available for interviews.  Members of the media may also wish to attend the various presentations on aviation careers that begin at 3:15 p.m.  For more information, contact David A. NewMyer or Lori Robertson at 618/453-8898.


It is not too early for high school freshmen and sophomores to consider aviation as a possible career, said David A. NewMyer, chair of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight.  

“This is an excellent way for students to explore what they want to do,” he said.

The event covers careers in aviation flight, aviation management and aviation technologies, and will feature presentations by current and former SIU Carbondale aviation students.  It is one of three career days the aviation programs hold annually.  Aviation career days also involve United Airlines and American Airlines, and attract students from the Chicago area.

“This is a more of a local or regional career day,” NewMyer said.  “It’s important that students know about the other parts of aviation other than airlines.  General and corporate aviation have as many jobs as the airlines but you don’t hear as much about them.  It’s important for new students who might come into our aviation program to know about this.”

General aviation refers to all flying except for military and the airlines.  There are 223,500 general aviation aircraft in the United States.  Only about 10 percent of the nation’s approximately 5,000 public use airports provide service to airlines, leaving the remaining number for general and corporate aircraft.

There are about 600,000 jobs relating to corporate and general aviation in the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration forecasts several segments within the general aviation field -- turbine corporate airplanes, helicopters and light sport aircraft -- will grow dramatically over the next 20 years.

Students will also come in contact with aircraft they do not normally see, including state-of-the-art corporate jets, NewMyer said.

Scheduled corporate aviation aircraft will include an aircraft from NetJets, a fractional aircraft ownership company based in Columbus, Ohio; a King Air 350 turboprop from Springfield-based Bunn-O-Matic Corp.; and an airplane from Cook Enterprises in Anna.

Neal Barnstable, a 1993 aviation management graduate, is a Hawker assistant chief pilot with NetJets.  Barnstable said he knew prior to graduating from SIU Carbondale that NetJets, then Executive Jet, was where he wanted to go with his career.

Hired in June 2000 after gaining the necessary experience for a pilot position with the company, Barnstable has been an assistant chief pilot since 2002.  His main responsibility is “operational control” of his fleet, which means monitoring all ongoing and planned flights “to ensure they are conducted with the utmost in safety and service.”

Barnstable was attracted to SIU Carbondale’s aviation program because of the educational opportunities and the University’s “diverse educational opportunities.” He did consider “only aviation schools,” but was looking for “a more traditional college experience that SIU could provide.”

“I was also impressed by the number of graduates from SIU’s aviation program that had successfully gone on to great careers in the industry,” he said.

Barnstable said he wants high school students to be aware of aviation career paths other than airlines “that can be just as rewarding.  I would also like for them to understand NetJets, what we do, and what we offer as a career opportunity.”

General aviation aircraft will include a Cirrus SR22, a private single-engine piston airplane co-owned by aviation program graduate Doug Carr, vice president of safety, security, operations and regulations for the National Business Aviation Association, Inc, and a single-engine Cessna 182 owned by Mid-Continent Aircraft Corp., out of Hayti, Mo.   The Cirrus and Cessna 182 planes feature glass cockpits similar to the five planes the SIU Carbondale aviation program received in December.

Event sponsors include the National Air Transportation Association and the National Business Aviation Association. 

The event will also include tours of the University’s aviation facilities, and an update on the University’s 230,000-square-foot Transportation Education Center.  The facility will house the University’s aviation and automotive programs and will be largely complete to begin moving in mid-July. 

The itinerary for the day is:

  • 11 a.m.-noon -- Check in.  Arrival of students, parents and chaperones and arrival of visiting corporate and general aviation planes at Southern Illinois Airport.
  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. -- Complimentary lunch provided by SIU Carbondale aviation and Southern Illinois Airport Authority in main terminal.
  • 12:30 p.m. -- Group photo on the main ramp.
  • 12:45 to 3 p.m. -- Introductory flights to the first 75 participants and tours of SIU Carbondale’s aviation facilities.
  • 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. -- Panel discussion on aviation career tracks and opportunities with corporate and general aviation professionals, along with information on the University’s aviation programs. Aviation Technologies Building, room 145.