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Ribault High To Start Pilot-Training Program

Tammra McCauley

Duval County School Board members have unanimously approved an airplane pilot-training program. Tuesday night the board okayed spending $120,000 to hire veteran pilot William Charlton as a consultant to help lay the groundwork for an Aviation Career Academy at Ribault High School.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says Charlton’s duties will begin with recruiting an instructor that has the “expertise and long-term commitment to the school.” Vitti says the next step for Charlton will be to coordinate with the district and the instructor to develop a curriculum.

Vitti says Charlton will also work with Jacksonville University, which has agreed to help with instruction and share its flight simulator with the high-school students.

School board member Paula Wright said, “In many ways, this type of partnership for our students will lead them into jobs, directly from high school perhaps. And it will certainly help us in our mission of taking kids and connecting them to college and/or career.”

The goal is for students who go through the Aviation Career Academy to graduate with college credits and a pilot’s license. The program is scheduled to start next year.

Photo Credit: Photo# 1394 by Tammra McCauley is used under CC BY 2.0.