Charleston Regional Accelerated Flight Training and Simulation, also known as CRAFT Flight Training and Simulation, announced it has received its Provisional Part 141 Training approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) becoming only the second school in South Carolina, and the only school in Charleston and the Lowcountry Region approved by the FAA to offer Part 141 courses for flight training.
“We are proud, delighted and thrilled to earn our Provisional Part 141 Status,” said Amanda Aldea, co-owner of CRAFT Flight School. Mrs. Aldea runs the school along with her husband, Jay Aldea and their partner Barry Emerson. She continued, “Organizing and leading our flight school through the FAA accreditation process has been a substantial and serious undertaking. But it’s a goal we’ve been working toward ever since we bought CRAFT in 2019. It feels really good.”
“Now that we can offer both Part 141 and Part 61 training, it means we can offer more flexibility to our students. We can cater to both career-minded pilots who are training or retraining on new equipment and the weekend hobbyist who is looking to challenge themselves,” Aldea explained.
141 Certification Key to New CRAFT-CSI Program
The new FAA designation was a necessary step for the school to offer South Carolina’s first college aeronautics program through Charleston Southern University (CSU). CSU will begin to offer the Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics (Professional Pilot) program in the fall of 2021.
Students enrolled in the new program next fall will be able to choose between three main tracks: commercial, military or missionary aviation.
“There has always been a strong relationship between South Carolina’s economy and the aviation sector. I’m for any initiative that helps the community learn about and enjoy aviation,” said Terry Connorton, President – South Carolina Aviation Association (SCAA). “What CRAFT is doing will help promote aviation as a viable career path, especially with younger people. This is really key to meeting the need for pilots in the industry.”
Expanded Training Meets Growing Demand For Pilots
As passenger flight demand rebounds from Covid-19, the aviation industry is still hungry for qualified pilots. While the pandemic alleviated the pilot shortage almost overnight in 2020, a recent study by the global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman predicts the pilot shortage will return by 2022. The study estimates there will be a nearly 60,000-pilot shortfall.
The root cause of the pilot shortage varies by region, the study concluded. “In the U.S., it’s an aging workforce facing mandatory retirement, fewer pilots exiting the military, and barriers to entry, including the cost of training,” the report noted.
What Is FAA Part 141 Approval?
Part 141 schools are specifically approved by the FAA to teach certain courses in a structured and organized way. The purpose of Part 141 is to ensure the highest level of student training possible. These courses may be taught on a rigid schedule and at a faster pace, allowing students to complete the full program in as little as 12 months with reduced minimum hours required.
Why Choose One Kind of Flight Training Over Another?
Part 61 Training:
- Flexible schedule
- Customized training program
- Minimum of 40 hours for Private Pilot Certificate
- Minimum of 250 hours for Commercial Pilot License
- Often more expensive
Part 141 Training:
- Rigid timetable
- Structured training curriculum
- Minimum of 35 hours for Private Pilot Certificate
- Minimum of 190 hours for Commercial Pilot License
- Cost-effective for students who train consistently
By year’s end, service members, veterans, and their families will be able to use GI Bill funding to cover the costs associated with getting an education or training. Assistance with tuition, paying for flight time, books, fees, and supplies. This assistance is only available to students who enroll in a Part 141 flight school.
Fewer Hours To Flight
The main advantage to training at an accredited Part 141 flight school is that dedicated students can progress quickly. Under Part 141, students can gain certificates with fewer hours in the airplane.
A Stable Curriculum
Part 141 flight schools have a strictly defined training environment. These flight programs are typically created for the career-minded pilot and offer a curriculum geared toward professionals. While both Part 61 and Part 141 are policed by same FAA standards, a Part 141 environment can operate more efficiently while training pilots toward a specific career path.
The FAA reviews Part 141 curriculum on a regular basis, checking for consistency, continuity and acceptable flight training practices.
Earning The 141 Designation
According to the FAA, a Part 141 school must operate with a certain degree of continuity and quality. When a student completes one stage, they must pass a stage check before moving on to the next. Ground and flight training instructors must follow the same approved syllabus and same training standards, which makes learning from different instructors easy.
Second, Part 141 schools must maintain satisfactory performance rates. Without the FAA checking in on them constantly, Part 61 instructors aren’t always penalized for being sub-par. A high failure rate, for example, may go unnoticed. In a Part 141 environment, however, poor instruction is taken seriously and reviewed by the FAA to ensure a proper training environment.