Students Excel in Summer Flight Program

Students in Utah State University’s summer flight program are more than halfway finished with their private pilot’s licenses. The summer flight program is an intensive, nine-week course that allows students with no flight experience to earn their private pilot’s licenses and six college credits. This summer, 11 students from across the nation are enrolled in the program.

Although the program is open to all students, it is specifically designed to give incoming freshmen a head start.
“It just puts me ahead of the game,” said Grant Dunkelman (top left), a student from Garderville, Nev., in the summer program. “If I keep on track with my flying, I’ll be finished before my junior year.”  
Students began ground school classes on June 9 and were flying by June 16. Dunkelman along with Pimissa Zunguze (bottom right), a summer student from Salt Lake City, Utah, were assigned to fly with instructor Matt Moriarty.
 “The best part is just watching the progress,” Moriarty said. “From where they started to where they’ll finish.”
Although the course is only nine weeks long, Dunkelman and Zunguze say it is very time consuming.
“We normally get to the airport around 7 a.m., do all of our preflight and weight and balance, and take off around 8:30,” Zunguze said. “After flying, we have a break until 2:30, then we’re in class until 4:30.”    
The demanding schedule does have its rewards, both Dunkelman and Zunguze were able to complete their first solo flights by July 1.
“Soloing was awesome,” Dunkelman said. “I could see my friends with their instructors and it was just me by myself.”
According to Moriarty, the accelerated program gives students a thorough understanding of the airplane and flight procedures.
“Since there is less time between flights, students are able to retain more of what they’ve learned,” Moriarty said. “It’s just more efficient all around.” 
Moriarty also said the weather is benefit of the summer program.
“There are more days to fly,” he said.  “So far, almost everyday has been good.”
On Friday, Dunkelman completed his first night flight, landing at Salt Lake International Airport.

“I’m really looking forward to more solos and cross-country flights,” Dunkelman said.
For more information about the summer program, visit


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