Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University plans to purchase four new Diamond DA42-VI aircraft in a move to replace a small percentage of its existing fleet. This reflects the school's continuous effort to advance aviation education in service to students by ensuring that its aircraft are updated on a regular basis.
“In keeping with Embry-Riddle's rigorous focus on aviation safety, the new aircraft for our fleet were selected following an exhaustive evaluation by a team of experts on our Prescott, Arizona campus,” explains president Dr P Barry Butler. “We are honoured to extend our successful, long-term relationships with Diamond Aircraft Industries, to provide our students with a highly effective and reliable training platform that will serve them well.”
Embry-Riddle's fleet, encompassing the Prescott and Daytona Beach, Florida residential campuses, currently includes more than 100 aircraft making its flight training operation the size of a small regional airline. Flight students complete more than 120,000 flight hours per year.
“A global pilot shortage and the promise of high-paying careers have resulted in high demand for our flight training programmes,” continues Butler. Across both campuses, total enrollment in the residential Aeronautical Science programmes leading to a bachelor's degree for professional pilots has increased about 25 per cent over the past three years, with nearly 2,000 students enrolled as of autumn 2018. Demand for the autumn 2019 semester is expected to reach more than 2,300 students, and this high demand is behind the major replenshment and likely expansion of the fleet.
“The Diamond DA42-VI aircraft offer superior high-altitude performance and are fully compliant with FAA ADS-B navigational requirements,” adds Prescott campus flight department chair professor Parker Northrup. “These aircraft offer full authority digital engine control and therefore will prepare Embry-Riddle students to fly with the most up-to-date technology."
Diamond Aircraft Industries chief executive officer Scott McFadzean concludes: “Diamond Aircraft is honoured to have Embry-Riddle select the Diamond DA42-VI for their Prescott campus. The school has been at the leading edge of aeronautical training for decades, and Diamond represents the leading edge of general aviation aircraft, with an all composite design, proprietary jet fuel piston engines and Garmin G1000 NXi glass cockpits. The partnership is a natural fit for both organisations.”