Professional Pilot Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

Fixed Wing: Students in this emphasis will fly airplanes.

• Training Devices: DA 40, DA 42, Redbird Flight Simulator, Regional Jet Simulator

• Ratings required for graduation: Private, Instrument, Commercial, CFI, and Multi-engine Add-on

Rotorcraft: Students in this emphasis will fly helicopters.

• Training Devices: R22, R44, Elite TH22 Simulator

• Ratings required for graduation: Private, Instrument, Commercial, CFI, CFII

History of Excellence:
Utah State University, then known as Utah State Agricultural College (USAC), began training pilots in 1939, as part of a Civilian Pilot Training program established by the Civil Aeronautics Administration. In 1942, the second Navy Training Station was established at the USAC and on March 23 of that year, U.S. Navy and Marine recruits began flight training at the Logan/Cache Airport. By 1946, training was offered to prepare civilian students for commercial certifications and both two-year and four-year degrees were offered in what was then called aeronautics. USU continues to meet the demand of the aviation industry while meeting the needs of our students.

Student Life:
On campus or off, students find a variety of activities to fill their time out of the classroom. Whether it is a loud night in the Spectrum taking in an Aggie basketball game, an intramural game on the Aggie Legacy Fields or a quiet hike in the national forest, students can spend their time in a variety of ways. The Aggie Recreation Center provides an indoor track, climbing wall and fitness classes and equipment. The Outdoor Recreation Center offers rental equipment for camping, snowshoeing, and other outdoor adventures. USU and community organizations and venues host a variety of theater, music and arts events including nationally touring productions. You can also find what else campus has to offer.

Fixed Wing Training is Part 141:
USU is a Part 141 Flight School. This means the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates and certifies our training. Part 141 sets the standard for flight training and safety. It gives students the most comprehensive training in the industry. It also requires USU to comply with specific FAA rules when it comes to safety and preparation, making the Part 141 training environment safe.

Utah State University is Utah’s land-grant institution. As such, we provide high-quality education to people throughout the state. There are two USU campuses where students can enroll in aviation classes: Logan and Price. Both campuses have amazing opportunities for exceptional education, flight training, on-campus and off-campus housing, and student life.

You can view the admisisons requirements. For greatest success, students should apply by the priority deadlines listed on the Office of Admissions website. The fixed wing emphasis requires a 3.0, unweighted, high school GPA. Students who meet the GPA requirement can be admitted directly to the major. There is not a separate application or process to be admitted to the major. The admissions letter will indicate to which major a student is admitted. After admission, all students must complete orientation, which opens in February for students admitted to begin classes the following fall semester and in October for those starting classes the following spring semester. Orientation will teach you how, when, where, and WHAT to register for.

Students should apply for admission before they leave for their service and defer their admission, rather than wait to apply when they return home. The process helps you navigate holding any scholarships for your return and allows you to set up a delegate who can register for you if you are unable to do your own registration before you return from your service.

USU Aviation classes fill every semester, and they fill quickly. Based on resources, we know not all students will be able to fly in Logan their first semester. We expect new students to fly their first year (fall, spring or summer). The way a student “secures a flight spot” is by getting a seat

in the flight courses (ground and flight). Registration day and time is based on a student’s earned credits. Register as soon as possible.

Students must have a Federal Aviation Administration medical certificate in place before they can register for flight classes.

There are options:

1. Start classes summer semester. AV 2330 Private Pilot Ground School and AV 2350 Private Pilot Certification are available in Logan and Price during the summer. Summer is a great time to fly!

2. Attend in Price! There are SO many perks to attending USU Eastern: half of Logan’s tuition, smaller classes, fewer flight students (better access to planes, instructors, check rides, etc.), and amazing flying weather.

3. Register for other courses (general education) and try again next semester.

We are happy to work with students who come to USU having already earned a private pilot certificate. Private pilot is the only certificate/rating we will give credit for at USU. Students who hold a private pilot certificate must send a copy of their certificate (temporary is fine) and current medical certificate to their academic advisor. The advisor will authorize the student to register for the second-semester flight courses: AV 2401 Cross Country Ground School and AV 2451 Challenge Cross Country. The “challenge flight” is the first few flights of AV 2451. It is USU’s opportunity to verify a pilot’s knowledge and safety. Once that is complete, students will pay a fee to have AV 2330/2350 (7 credits) posted to their USU transcript.

Capacity in AV 2401/2451 is limited and will fill each semester. Students should send their private pilot and medical certificates as soon as possible. We will not authorize a student for AV 2401/2451 before the private pilot certificate is complete.

Core curriculum includes classes in aviation law, weather, physics, and safety. Students will also invest time developing management, organizational, and communication skills. Emphasis area classes focus on specific aviation-related material – ground schools, flight certifications, aircraft systems, and flight training devices (simulators).

Flight fees are paid through course fees that are attached to individual flight courses. Each fee is an average of how much it costs for USU students to complete the respective course.

Students pay the fees semester by semester as they register for each course. 

View Course Fees

We recommend all students apply for federal financial aid through the FAFSA. That typically offers the best loan options. Most students use a combination of aid from the FAFSA and additional private loans to cover their account balance each semester.

Many scholarships are offered through the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. This year, the college awarded over one million dollars in scholarships to undergraduate students. Continuing undergraduate students may apply for college and departmental scholarships during the month of January. You will find instructions for the online applications at the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences website. New freshmen and transfer students should apply for scholarships through the Office of Admissions. USU Aviation is connected to many aviation groups that offer scholarships. Advisors and faculty will announce these scholarships as they become available.

All students need an FAA medical certificate before they can start flying with USU. While only a third-class medical is required for student pilots, we recommend a first-class medical certification as that is what most employers will require later on. We need to verify several documents before a student can fly. These are gathered the first week of the semester by airport staff: FAA medical certificate, student pilot license, and TSA documents

View Flight Requirements

All students will need to purchase and/or own flight uniforms, checklists, a Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), FAA charts and publications, navigation plotter and E6B, logbook, and headset. Most of these items are available for purchase at USU Dispatch. More details can be found in the USU Flight Operations Manual.

There is no transportation provided to or from the airport for flight training. Having a personal vehicle is the most convenient option. Students who do not have a personal vehicle can check with classmates, roommates, or friends for rides. The Cache Valley Transit District (CVTD) provides free transportation in Cache Valley. It has a stop about 1 mile from the Logan-Cache Airport. Students can walk or bike from that stop to the airport when the weather permits

USU Aviation has working relationships with many regional airlines. SkyWest, Envoy, and Horizon are the most notable. These airlines have written agreements with USU Aviation. They make regular visits to campus to speak with students and conduct interviews. Republic Airways, Piedmont, Mesa, GoJet, and Endeavor are a few others who connect with the program and our students.

Nearly every regional airline has some kind of pipeline or cadet program. Most have signing bonuses or tuition reimbursement programs. The amounts vary from $12,500 to $20,000+. Students can learn about these opportunities at the annual Fall Career Fair and Spring Career Conference hosted by the aviation program.

Graduates leave USU with about 300 flight hours. From there, the path varies based on their emphasis.

Fixed Wing jobs include: Commercial Airlines | Charter | Cargo | Border Patrol | Test Pilot Flying | Scenic Flights | Emergency Medical Services | Bush Pilot | Military | Government and Commercial | Law Enforcement | Search and Rescue | Sight-seeing | Crop Dusting | | Fire Fighting | Flight Instructor | Airport Operator

Rotorcraft jobs include: Government and Commercial | Law Enforcement | Search and Rescue | Sight-seeing | Executive Transport | Offshore Support | Emergency Medical Services | Crop Dusting | Pipeline and Utility Support | Test Pilot Flying | Military | Fire Fighting

If you are looking to become a military pilot, USU has excellent ROTC programs. Students in either Army or Air Force ROTC programs learn leadership skills and complete field training exercises to prepare them for life as an officer in their future branch of service.

Yes! Please, get involved! From professional development to career exploration, to enjoying a BBQ together, there is something for all aviation enthusiasts. 

View Clubs

Benefit-eligible students can have up to 100% of their flight costs covered, but there may be limits. Students should work with the USU Veterans Resource Office.

Fixed wing students with the last names that start with A-L: Kaylee Roholt

Rotorcraft students and fixed wing students with last names M-Z: Lisa Hunsaker