Fighting Irish take flight

first_imgStudents 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.”last_img read more

Scudamore rejects England theory

first_img England boss Roy Hodgson was furious when he discovered Manchester United’s trip to Liverpool and the first north London derby of the season had been scheduled for the weekend before the key World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, which take place at the beginning of September. Perceived Premier League intransigence on the matter was thrown in with the diminishing number of English players in the top flight as evidence Scudamore and his top clubs do not care about the national side. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has told the Football Association to look at itself before blaming him for England’s problems. Only around 30% of Premier League players are English, a far lower home-developed percentage than other major European footballing nations, meaning Three Lions boss Hodgson has a thankless task trying to guide his team to the biggest tournaments. But Scudamore is sick of being told the elite 20 clubs are responsible for England’s demise. “It is not the Premier League who ripped up the playing fields or didn’t put money into schools,” he said. “It is not my fault fewer young kids are kicking a ball around or that the country is not safe enough for seven, eight, nine year olds to go down to the park on their own as I did and play football until after dark. “We are putting on a competition the best players in the world want to play in. The population of England is only 60million and there are 212 countries playing this game. “We can put out a good team, just like Andy Murray can win Wimbledon and Justin Rose can win the US Open. “Good things do happen but they are not an automatic right. The idea an England team is going to be put together that will somehow beat the world is logically and mathematically implausible.” It is an argument Scudamore rejects, claiming the FA finds it too easy to blame others for England’s failings rather than looking at itself. “It seems to me that if England don’t win something it is someone else’s fault,” said Scudamore. “I have never, in my 15 years with the Premier League, said the competition’s success, or lack of, is someone else’s fault. “We have not won the World Cup since 1966. The Premier League didn’t start until 1992. What happened between 1966 and 1992? Whose fault was that? “Let’s run the reverse argument. “Where does that leave the people at the FA in terms of their accountability? “It frustrates me enormously because it is so palpably not true. It cannot be our fault on any level.” Whilst Scudamore has presided over the securing of astonishing TV revenue of £5.5billion for the three seasons that begin with the new campaign starting next month, the number of home-grown talents within England’s top flight has continued to dwindle at an alarming rate. Press Associationlast_img read more