TSU aviation program wins the use of Cessna Skyhawk airplane

HOUSTON (October 22, 2018) – It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Actually, it’s a Cessna 172 Skyhawk – and, thanks to winning Cessna’s 2019 Top Hawk contest, Texas Southern University will soon add this popular aircraft to its fleet.

“Quite simply, the addition of a Skyhawk to aviation science and technology degree program gives our students a distinct advantage as they train to become pilots,” said Dr. Terence Fontaine, director of the program.

“This plane is the gold standard when it comes to pilot training, so we are thrilled to accept this unique award.”

Indeed, the Cessna 172 Skyhawk is an American four-seat, single-engine, high wing, fixed-wing aircraft made by the Cessna Aircraft Company. First flown in 1955, more of these planes have been built than any other aircraft. Measured by its longevity and popularity, the Cessna 172 is the most successful aircraft in history.

As part of its application for the Top Hawk contest, TSU submitted a short video that provided an overview of its aviation and pilot training program, and detailed how it would utilize the Skyhawk not only for training but also to market the program in greater Houston and the surrounding region.

The program will have use of the Skyhawk, which will be delivered in TSU maroon and gray colors, for nine months beginning in early Spring 2019.

African-American pilots only make up 2.7 percent of all pilots in the world, and Hispanic and Asian-American pilots are also underrepresented, which makes TSU’s program a critical source for the next generation of minority pilots and aviation professionals. Overall, there is a need for more than 100,000 pilots worldwide in the coming decade due to retirements and pilots leaving the field,

TSU is the only school in Texas that offers a combined bachelor of science degree in aviation science management and, beginning just three years ago, a bachelor of science degree as a professional pilot. For more about TSU’s aviation science and technology degree program, visit aviation.tsu.edu.