The School of Aviation Sciences announced four light-frame, multi-engine Piper Seminoles to the UVU air fleet at the start of this year as part of new focus for student-training on multi-engine aircraft.
The newly arrived aircraft were purchased and retrieved from the state of Florida and flown across the country to their new home at Provo Municipal Airport in UVU Hangar B. Regaled in a distinctive green and black design with a UVU Wolverine painted on the tail, the new aircraft draw looks wherever they go.
“The paint scheme is awesome,” said Alan Dennis, Chief Flight Instructor for the school, “pretty much everywhere we stopped people commented on the paint job.”
According to Mr. Dennis, the aircraft were originally intended to be painted in a red and orange color scheme to emphasize visibility and awareness to pilots as students were landing and taking off; however the red and orange scheme did not fit well with UVU colors. To counteract this issue, the current color scheme was organized by color blocks to maintain high visibility.
“Each section is organized to be only one color: the nose is painted all black, the body all white, and the tail black and white to distinctly make the plane more visible,” Dennis said. “The bold green lines help the plane look more distinct too.”.
The paint job isn’t the only great addition to the updated fleet at UVU. The Piper Seminole PA-44 model comes with a state-of-the-artair navigation system including a traffic awareness system known as ADS-B, which helps minimize the risk of mid-air collisions among aircraft and is an extremely important tool among the increasingly busy Provo Airport.
Members of the school hope that the new aircraft bring a renewed flow to the UVU aviation curriculum with greater student retention.
“The fleet structure and curriculum were not balanced throughout the new program. Years ago we did not really have great retention between each flight course,” said Dennis. “Typically only half of students would move onto the next course.”
The program, however, currently has really high retention—almost 100 percent.
The Piper Seminole is a returning aircraft to the fleet as well. According to the aviation school’s website, the Seminoles were originally flown in the early 2000’s but replaced by an all-Diamond aircraft fleet. The aircraft have received a welcome return.
“The aircraft is a tried and proven airframe with decades of experience in the flight training environment,” the website says.
Currently, UVU students are not able to fly the aircraft as only one plane has received approval from the FAA. The date of the remaining aircraft approval is delayed and unknown due to the federal government shutdown.