Cessna Showcases Commitment to Future Pilot Development Through Top Hawk Program

Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, today announced it is showcasing two of the Top Hawk-branded Cessna Skyhawk aircraft at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture this week in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The featured aircraft are from Kansas State University and the University of North Dakota.

Launched earlier this year, the four Top Hawk partner schools – University of North Dakota, Kansas State University, Liberty University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University were provided full use of a branded Cessna Skyhawk 172 aircraft for the year. The universities are using the aircraft for flight training, recruiting and promotional activities across the United States. In addition, the company also dedicated two additional Skyhawks to a flight training initiative that offers a unique internship opportunity for the top student from each respective partner school. The students chosen for the internship have been supporting flight training as a part of the competition to be named “Top Hawk.”

“The Top Hawk program has far exceeded our expectations in its inaugural year,” said Doug May, vice president, Piston Aircraft. “Between the universities’ impressive Skyhawk utilization efforts and the solid performance of the Textron Aviation interns, Top Hawk is proving to be a successful tool in training the next generation of pilots and promoting general aviation across the country.”

2015 Top Hawk program highlights
On track to exceed 1,300 flight hours, the Top Hawk Skyhawks have been utilized for a variety of efforts.

  • All four Top Hawk partner schools participated in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s (NIFA) National Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) Competition in May where the University of North Dakota Team took second place.
  • University of North Dakota has taken its Skyhawk to five air shows and fly-ins, including the Women’s Air Race Classic in June. The university will be participating in the Fargo Air Show at the end of July.
  • Kansas State University has showcased its aircraft at several university events including an open house in Salina as well as the campus jobs fair. They also plan to participate in the Kansas City Air Show in August at the Wheeler Downtown Airport (KMKC).
  • Liberty University’s Cessna Skyhawk recently embarked on a 34-stop, 8,500-mile tour to 32 different flight schools across the U.S.
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University participated in several events with their Top Hawk Skyhawk to include AOPA Homecoming in June, the Women’s Air Race Classic, Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy camp in Atlanta, Georgia, and EAA Young Eagle events.

“Training the next generation of pilots remains critical to the success of business and general aviation, and Textron Aviation is committed to providing the resources to support that effort,” said May.

Source: Textron
Date: Jul 21, 2015