Support from two local companies will soon place future aviators behind the controls of a cutting-edge flight simulator at Okanagan College.
Carson Air has pledged $125,000 to support the purchase and installation of a Redbird FMX flight simulator at the College’s Kelowna campus.
“We hope this gift challenges and inspires many students, as they hone their skills and work towards careers as professional aviators,” said Kevin Carson, president and operations manager of Carson Air.
The donation was announced at the opening of a training facility at the Southern Interior Flight Centre (SIFC) in the Carson Air Group’s new hangar at the Kelowna International Airport.
The simulator purchase was also made possible by a donation of $25,000 from ROV Consulting, a structural engineering firm based in Kelowna.
“It has been wonderful to watch the diversification in programming at Okanagan College over the years,” says Richard Visscher, president/CEO of ROV.
The event marked the 25th anniversary of the College’s Commercial Aviation Diploma program and partnership with Carson Air’s Southern Interior Flight Centre, which has graduated more than 300 commercial pilots.
Okanagan College’s vice-president of education Dr. Andrew Hay said, “partnerships like these are absolutely invaluable to our ability to deliver training that is attuned to the needs of industry and best positions our graduates to excel in their fields.”
In addition to the financial contribution, Visscher also plans to work with the college to share his own flight knowledge and experience by mentoring students in the simulator.
“Having quality training available to our students locally, from my own field of Engineering to Business to Commercial Aviation and so many others, means so much for our regional economy. I’m personally very excited to see students put their skills to the test in the simulator,” Visscher said.
“It is a wonderful tool,” adds Carson, “One that will help students train for a diversity of situations and conditions they’ll encounter in the air.”
The simulator is expected to be in use by next September.