Students fascinated by game day flyovers will have a chance to get an inside look at what it takes to fly next semester. The Notre Dame Pilot Initiative, an academic program intended to teach students about the fundamentals of flight, will return this spring. The three-credit course, Principles of Flight, is specifically designed to help aspirant pilots pass the written portion of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) private pilot certification test. Jay Burns, a cadet captain in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) and certified ground instructor, is leading the effort to bring back the course. He said the class will use much of the same material that helped him pass the FAA test. “I learned to fly from this material when I was still a sophomore in high school, and it certainly helped me pass my FAA written exam to get my private pilot certificate,” Burns said. “I felt that I was more advanced because I’ve had a better background and a deeper understanding of the different concepts that you deal with in aviation.” Burns said he would incorporate additional material used by Joe Friel, a former Air Force ROTC student who led the class the last time it was offered. Friel, now a program manager at Avidyne, the leading provider of cockpit instrumentation for small aircrafts, said he and Newcamp developed the curriculum to offer students an insight into the practical application of flight concepts. “We tried to bring material that was appropriate, but that was in-depth enough to give students a real appreciation for the concepts,” Friel said. “More than just memorizing for the tests, we wanted them to really understand what was making the plan fly.” When the initiative began, Friel said primarily AFROTC students were interested. The second semester, however, he was surprised by a drastic change in class makeup. “We taught some that did want to be pilots and some that didn’t,” Friel said. “One girl that signed up for our course was an artist who drew some of the materials that we used, and who had signed up for the class because she had family members who flew and she wanted more of an appreciation of flying.” Colonel Andrew Cernicky, a professor of Aerospace Studies, a U.S. Air Force pilot and a graduate of Notre Dame’s ROTC program, will co-lead the course with Burns. Cernicky said he was excited when Burns approached him with his plans for revitalizing the initiative, both because he took the course as an undergraduate and because it offered an opportunity to expose students to the fundamentals of flight for the first time. “This class should demystify the process of flying and make it completely understandable,” Cernicky said. “You don’t need to be a scientist or mathematician to take this course, anyone at ND can take it that has an interest in understanding how aircraft fly.” Mary Hession, a sophomore in Notre Dame’s Air Force ROTC, said she is glad the course is designed to be accessible to those without previous experience. As a Russian major, she said the course would be a good introduction to a more technical area of study. “All of the technical majors have more of the background knowledge that corresponds to understanding flying, so this class will help me by giving me that knowledge,” she said. Jordan Hoover, another AFROTC sophomore, said he is taking the class to get exposure to material he may later see in the Air Force’s pilot training. “I’m fairly sure that I want to be a pilot,” Hoover said. “[The course] will give me the experience to know for sure that’s what I want to do, and I’ll have seen the material that I would encounter in pilot training.” Now retired Colonel Mike Zenk, who oversaw the program when it was under Friel’s leadership, said the original class material included many of the elements taught at ground school. Students learned the basics of aerodynamics, FAA rules about airspaces, airport and flight operations, communications with ground crews, safety precautions and pilot navigation skills. “The biggest benefit [of the class] is taking that first step towards actually being able to fly an airplane,” Zenk said. “To help spark that interest or to take their first step towards a dream that they have is the best reason to take the class.”
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WRBI Area Girls High School Basketball Scores.Saturday (12-14)East Central 58 Batesville 35Rushville 53 Greensburg 33Connersville 56 Lawrenceburg 50Trimble County 41 Switzerland County 36Cancelled: South Ripley at Franklin County.Milan at Edinburgh.
Wisconsin junior defenseman Ryan McDonagh and the Badgers struggled in Mankato last season dropping both games.[/media-credit]Following a disappointing opening weekend where the Wisconsin men’s hockey team earned just one point, the Badgers turn their attention to WCHA Conference foe Minnesota State, their first road test of the 2009 season.The challenge that awaits in Mankato, Minn., this weekend is one that head coach Mike Eaves and his team is looking forward to.“This is the exact type of game that we need to play to establish who we want to be,” Eaves said. “We’re going to a tough environment, and I expect this group to play well and bounce back.”In order to do so, the Wisconsin hockey team is going to need to do something they have rarely done — beat the Mavericks on their home ice. In fact, not one player on the current roster has tasted victory in Mankato — a fact the team is well aware of.“They were talking about it,” Eaves said. “They all know.”Part of what makes a series in Mankato so tough is the atmosphere that is created when the Mavericks take the ice, and Eaves knows the hostile environment can play a role in the outcome of games.“It is a building where the crowd is right on top of you,” Eaves said. “They play hard, and if you want to go in there and get points, you’re going to have to take it away from them.”Minnesota State lost its first two games to open the 2009 season to Minnesota Duluth, but UW has plenty of respect for a team that has historically given them trouble.Junior captain Ryan McDonagh has experienced the frustration caused by an aggressive Minnesota State team, but he is excited about the opportunity the team has in front of it.“You want to forget about those tough games we have had up there, but we understand it is going to be a tough series,” McDonagh said. “It will definitely be a good test for us.”Derek Stepan, a sophomore forward for UW who has developed into one of the team’s top playmakers, is prepared to play the particular type of hockey that will potentially earn key points this weekend.“They play real tough, and you’ve got to go in there and really outwork them,” Stepan said. “We need to get back to playing gritty hockey.”The Badgers have moved past last weekend’s opening series against Colorado College, but McDonagh has stressed the importance of learning from the mistakes early in the season.“It is just the first two games, but we want to learn from those mistakes,” McDonagh said. “I thought we had a good week of practice, and we are excited to get on the road and try to get the job done.”Senior captain Blake Geoffrion was welcomed back to practice this week and is set to play Friday night. With his return, Geoffrion should improve a power play unit that struggled in the opening weekend.“[Geoffrion] is pretty integral and he knows a lot of the intricacies of making that unit click at a high rate,” Eaves said.After going 0-for-9 on the power play without Geoffrion in the lineup (the one goal scored with the extra man was netted by Geoffrion before his injury), Stepan and his teammates know that UW’s performance with the man advantage needs to be better.“We just looked off,” he said. “We just need to connect the dots and play as a group of five.”The power play unit will look to get rolling this weekend, while UW’s goaltenders look to display their merit in a tough road environment. Eaves will start Brett Bennett over Scott Gudmundson in game one of the series, but it remains to be seen whether or not that will change for game two.Regardless of who is in the net this weekend, Stepan made it clear that this team has two capable options to chose from.“Both goaltenders are really solid, and we feel confident with either of them in the net,” he said. “We have no worries with whoever is back there.”The Badgers will attempt to earn their first win of the season on the road this Friday but Stepan and the rest of the Badgers are just looking forward to hitting the ice after a frustrating opening weekend.“We have got to get rid of that bad taste,” Stepan said. “This weekend is a good opportunity to do that.”