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An Aims Community College pilot exits an aircraft

General Aviation Pilot

Earn a General Aviation Associate Degree at Aims

Flying is a feeling like no other. Pilots often discuss how freeing it is to leave the ground and explore the sky. If you have ever dreamed of seeing the world from the cockpit of an airplane, an aviation associate degree from Aims Community College can help you achieve that goal. In fact, you can experience a solo flight in your first semester of classes. 

Develop the skills you need to pilot small aircraft, fly cargo, tow gliders or become a flight instructor with this general pilot degree. If you are interested in flying commercial airliners, Aims also offers a professional pilot degree.

In this degree program, you will earn certificates for private and commercial flight and instrument rating with the option to also earn a multi-engine rating certificate -- all in two years.

The Aims aviation associate degree program gives you access to:

  • A fleet of state-of-the-art aircraft to learn on, all built in or after 2017
  • Simulators that perfectly match the training aircraft, allowing for seamless transition
  • Educational standards that meet FAA Part 141 guidelines
  • One-on-one instruction from experienced pilots
  • Earn approximately 250 hours of flight time
"We want to see you go out and be a safe, confident and competent pilot. We know you’re ready when we feel comfortable relinquishing the keys and controls of the airplane to you."
--Alex Wernsman, Chief Flight Instructor

Turn Your Passion For Flight Into a Career As a Pilot

Aims Degree Video - Aviation - General Aviation
Learn the fundamentals of commercial small aircraft or multi-engine aircraft flight and build the communication and professional skills that will help you launch your career in aviation.

Alex Wernsman, chief flight instructor at Aims, describes the unique learning opportunities and state-of-the-art technology you’ll find in the aviation associate degree program at Aims.

Start With a Discovery Flight

Want to get a taste of what it’s like to fly an airplane? Take a discovery flight with Aims and experience what small-plane aviation is all about. For $45, you can spend 20 minutes in the air with an Aims instructor and find out if you’re ready to take your interest in aviation to the next level. Discovery flights are limited to one per person. 

To book a flight: 

  1. Contact the Aims Cashier's Office to arrange payment for the discovery flight at (970) 339-6349.
  2. Then call the Aims Flight Training Center at (970) 339-6355 to schedule your discovery flight.

Learn Practical Aviation & Professional Skills

Most dedicated students can build the skills and confidence to earn a private pilot’s license. As you learn in modern, highly realistic simulators, you’ll develop a wide range of skills that you can immediately apply to flying a real plane. These include hands-on control, muscle memory, familiarity with instruments and thinking clearly under pressure during flight. 

As you progress through the Aims aviation program you will also learn these skills required by the FAA:

  • Private flying by sight
  • Reading and reacting to flight instruments
  • Flying by instrument in adverse weather conditions
  • Operating small commercial aircraft

The FAA requires an 80% pass rate on written and practical exams for students of this program, which means that Aims is invested in your success. This associate of applied science degree also covers communication and professionalism courses that are valuable to any career.

Careers in General Aviation

Are you ready to join the elite club of people who fly for a living? Boeing estimates that the industry will need over 700,000 new pilots in the next two decades. Even with this shortage, aviation is a highly competitive field with exceptionally high standards. 

This aviation degree program involves rigorous one-on-one testing that develops your job interview skills. When you graduate from Aims you’ll have industry-ready skills from cutting-edge simulators and training flights. You’ll also gain the credibility that comes with a program that has produced excellent pilots for over 50 years. You might even decide to become a flight instructor at Aims like other faculty members who are Aims graduates.

Potential career pathways for pilots include opportunities in:

  • Aerial mapping, photography and surveying
  • Air taxi operations and air tours
  • Agricultural flying (i.e. crop dusting)
  • Flight instruction
  • Search and rescue