Why fly at parkland college?


Parkland College’s Institute of Aviation is a restricted ATP-approved school. That’s big. It means that the FAA authorizes us to certify graduates with fewer than 1,500 hours of flight time to obtain a Restricted Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (R-ATP). This certificate lets you serve as a co-pilot until you obtain the necessary 1,500 hours. And as an aviation student, you’ll also benefit from the rigor and quality of our Part 141 FAA-approved program. 

Students must complete the Associate of Science in Aviation as well as a minimum of 30 qualifying training hours, which will include additional courses outside of the degree requirements to qualify. If you meet all the requirements, you will receive the restricted ATP.

Need even more reasons? Parkland College primes you for success at a fraction of the cost of a four-year school. With small class sizes, you’re not just a number—you get one-on-one attention. Highly qualified instructors bring professional expertise and innovative teaching to the classroom.

Okay, just one more: Our proximity to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers the opportunity to transfer into some of the world’s best academic programs and other aviation opportunities with Lewis University, Western Michigan University, and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Want more information? Read on.

The Program/Curriculum

The Institute of Aviation has operated continuously since 1946 and has held examining authority continuously since 1950.

  • To obtain and hold onto our FAA pilot school certificate we have maintained a high graduate success rate for over 75 years. The flight training you receive at a Part-141 FAA-certificated flight school will be more rigorous but will prepare you better for an aviation career than flight training outside this environment.
  • We also hold examining authority, which means the FAA allows flight tests in our curriculum to substitute for certifying exams given by an FAA inspector or designated examiner. This attests to the high degree of confidence the FAA has with our program. Fun fact: the Institute of Aviation was the first flight school in the country to be granted examining authority over 70 years ago.

Our curriculum is rooted in a training philosophy which emphasizes fundamentals.

  • We emphasize attitude flying at all certificate levels. Attitude flying is a technique which optimizes a pilot’s ability to get the desired performance from an aircraft.
  • We emphasize proficiency in aircraft with both conventional flight instruments and electronic flight instrument displays. Our training fleet has a combination of both.
  • We emphasize hand flying without an autopilot. You will develop solid hand-flying skills in both visual and instrument conditions.
  • We emphasize navigation using pilotage and dead reckoning without electronic navigation systems. But you will also learn to use all features of GPS with WAAS navigation equipment.
  • Our curriculum includes 50 hours experience in complex aircraft (retractable landing gear and constant-speed propeller).
  • Our curriculum includes solo flight by reference to instruments, day and night, immediately after earning an instrument rating.

The Airport

Our Midwest location is advantageous even with fewer flying days per year than other pilot school locations.

  • You will experience a variety of weather conditions—both winter and summer, windy conditions, and instrument flight in actual clouds.
  • You will benefit from safety and efficiency provided by a control tower and a TRACON (radar facility) at Willard Airport (KCMI).
  • You will benefit from the efficiency of operating at a Class C airport with very little commercial traffic.
  • You will experience Land and Hold Short Operations and intersection departures.

The Community College

  • We serve students who have a wide range of academic preparation.
  • We strive to remain affordable while providing exceptional flight training and multiple degree options.

Ask These Questions when Comparing Flight Schools

  • Are you an FAA-certificated part 141 school?
  • Do you have examining authority for private, instrument, commercial single-engine, commercial multiengine, flight instructor airplane, and flight instructor instrument courses?
  • Does the airport have an operating control tower and radar facility (TRACON)?
  • Will I be trained in complex aircraft?
  • Can I expect to be hired as an instructor when I complete the program?

Ready, apply now!

Are You Interested in Being a Career Flight Instructor and Pilot School Leader?

We are looking for experienced pilots who want to be career educators to join our team!

Come work with us, apply today!