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Flight Simulator And Classroom For High School Students Opens At South Bend International Airport

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE News

A new classroom at the South Bend International Airport was opened Monday for students in the South Bend Community School Corporation’s Aviation and Flight program. 

The new classroom is on the west side of the airport and features a flight simulator for students to learn how to fly.

Tony Brooks, the Vice Principal of the Career and Technical Education program, said this will attract more students which could ultimately help fill pilot shortages.

“There’s a big group of military personnel that were flying for years and years and now they’re at retirement age so there’s going to be this giant demand for students in this next generation to be in this career field.”

Brooks also said most aviation programs don’t have access to an international airport, like in South Bend.
“Because this is an international airport, it has so many different entities besides the traditional idea of aviation. There’s all these other things that are here that again, aren’t in your traditional small airport.”

He said having the classroom at the South Bend International Airport maximizes the learning opportunities for local students.

Credit Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE News
Flight simulator for students at the South Bend International Airport.

Nicholas Lotzenheiser is a junior at Riley High School. He said this program gives students a chance to explore aviation.

“Some students might just give it a shot, not knowing if they’re going to like it or not and then it could turn into a career for them.”

11th and 12th graders at any South Bend high school are eligible for the program. Students can use some of their hours from the flight simulator towards a pilot's license.

Students in the program learn about the variety of jobs within the aviation career field. Then they get a chance to use the flight simulator and eventually fly a real plane with an instructor.


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