Palm Springs, CA

The educational non-profit Palm Springs Air Museum (PSAM) announces a new program to address the ongoing shortage of qualified airline pilots.  According to Oliver Wyman’s Global Fleet & Maintenance-Repair-Overhaul Market Forecast for 2022-20232, the industry in North America is facing severe shortfalls among commercial airline pilots and aircraft mechanics. 2023 supply gaps for pilots are 18% and 14% for aviation mechanics. The outlook is that these deficits will grow through 2033.

To get young people interested in aviation, PSAM with the Palm Springs Chapter of Air & Space Forces Association, and the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, developed The Ronald M. Auen Learning Center and Atlantic Aviation FIRST FLIGHT EXPERIENCE. This program gives aspiring pilots ages 12 through 17 safety training and actual experience flying in a Cessna 182. Flights occur the first Saturday of the month October through July. Space is limited, and interested students with parental permission may contact david.mindel@icloud.com

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FLY COACHELLA VALLEY is a joint effort by PSAM and SoCal Pilot Center. Participants in FLY COACHELLA VALLEY have the opportunity to enroll in an FAA Part 141 accredited program at SoCal Pilot Center in Thermal, which will lead to a Commercial Pilot Certificate and open doors to a career in aviation. SoCal Pilot Center and affiliates offer Airline Career Programs in Europe and the USA, tailored to a strong academic backbone with the goal of developing executive skills early on during training. SoCal Pilot Center’s graduation rate was 96% in 2022.  One of the program’s major goals is to identify opportunities to invest in the success of all students, especially those with economic barriers.

With help from the local Air & Space Forces Association chapter, PSAM will provide at least 50 prospective Airline Career Candidates per year to the SoCal Pilot Center for screening. The program will also track students’ progress and eventual hiring by the aviation industry. This is only the first leg of a five-year program with measurable goals and outcomes. SoCal Pilot Center is the only FAA Part 141 certified Cessna Pilot training center within 60 miles of the Jacqueline Cochran Airport in Thermal

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