(KUTV) The only university aviation program in southern Utah just acquired 17 new fancy aircraft’s for their students.
The price tag for a purchase like that is about $7.5 million but these new aircraft are safer, sturdier, will be used for years to come.
The director of Southern Utah University Aviation program, Michael Mower tells 2News that the money allowed them to get 10 Cirrus SR20 airplanes and 7 Robinson R-44 helicopters.
“The really amazing thing about these SR20’s is the safety. Built in parachutes are a big deal for us,” Mower said and continued “It allows them [students] to come home safe at the end of the day and that’s a really big deal for mom and dad putting their kids through this program.”
The Robinson R-44 helicopter is also equipped with a larger, more powerful engine so it can handle the high Cedar City elevation, 5,600 feet above sea level, and sporadic winds.
“The aircraft runs into performance issues at this altitude so we have to train students in a power limited environment, Mower said “We wanna teach in the most difficult conditions we can.” Mower said.
There is a big unveiling event, Red Sky Rally, September 30 at the Cedar City Regional Airport from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The celebration is free and will include live music, food and an up close look at the new aircraft.
Students using these new tools are very anxious to jump into the cockpit and take the aircraft out for a spin.
2News spoke to a 19-year-old student at SUU who is using his experience in the program, these new aircraft, for something bigger. Find out more in the news story above.
Info on Red Sky Rally: