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High School Students Can Learn To Fly

January 28, 2021

Contact: Mary Sandy or Ian Cawthray
Virginia Space Grant Consortium or
757-868-7602 or 571-335-7754

Do you have dreams of one day becoming a commercial airline pilot and traveling the world? The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), in partnership with Averett University, Aviation Adventures, and the Virginia Department of Aviation, is offering flight academies at no cost for high school students statewide.

Now in its third year, the Pathways Flight Academies immerse students in learning to fly as a first step to becoming a commercial pilot. Students admitted to this intensive program will undertake ground school and flight training that can potentially culminate in their first solo flight! A virtual ground school and in-person flight training will be offered between June 21 and July 16 for selected students who have shown an interest in becoming a commercial pilot and have shown an interest and passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM).

Funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Pathways Flight Academies is a rigorous program in which students immerse themselves in learning about weather, electronic navigation, flight systems and operations, and FAA regulations. The competitive application process is open to students statewide. Qualified applicants must be U.S. citizens, Virginia residents, and 16 years old by the start of the Academy session. They must also be able to pass an FAA flight physical exam upon acceptance into the program. Up to thirty students will be selected. In order to participate in the program, students must make themselves fully available for all program activities between June 21 and July 16, 2021.

Past program participants have provided overwhelmingly positive evaluations of the program. A 2019 –participant notes, “My experience at Pathways Flight Academies sealed my hopes of flying! With the achievement of a first solo flight, I have renewed and doubled my motivation and excitement to pursue my dreams of becoming a pilot!”

The application deadline is February 28, 2021. Learn more about the Pathways Flight Academies and the application process at

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