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Ivy Tech & Sweet Aviation Partner To Offer New Flight Training Program

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne and Sweet Aviation are working together to offer a new Professional Flight Associate of Applied Science degree beginning fall 2020. The program will combine 32 credit hours of Ivy Tech classroom time with 200+ hours of flight training through Sweet Aviation. The Professional Flight program will prepare students for a career in the cockpit, focusing on the knowledge and skills aviators and industry professionals need to be successful.

"With career opportunities in aviation at an all-time high, our partnership with Ivy Tech will allow students to pursue and achieve the aviation degree and certifications they need at a respected institute with access to Sweet Aviation’s experienced and professional certified flight instructors and premier fleet of aircraft," says Joel Pierce, General Manager and Chief Flight Instructor at Sweet Aviation.

This is only the second program of its kind at any Ivy Tech campus, though the Fort Wayne campus has offered Aviation Maintenance Technology since 2007. The training is meant to give students the education and flight times needed to fully prepare them for a career in aviation in two years. After graduation, students will be ready to work as Single Engine Land rated commercial pilots, making approximately $35/hour. Graduates will also have the opportunity to transfer credits to an aviation management bachelor’s program at a four-year university.

“Sweet Aviation is partnering with Ivy Tech to provide a needed program: professional flight,” says Darrel Kesler, dean of the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Applied Science. “Estimates for the number of pilots required to sustain America’s air travel needs are staggering. Sweet Aviation’s generous offer makes it possible for Ivy Tech Fort Wayne to provide this program to northeast Indiana.”

There will be a limited number of seats available for this program, and prospective students will need to successfully pass medical examinations and background checks before gaining admittance. Financial aid may not cover the entire cost of the program. Interested individuals should contact Michael Clouse at or 260-481-2257 ext. 4563. Registration for fall classes at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne opens March 16.

Sweet Aviation is an air charter, flight training, aircraft rental, and aircraft maintenance company based at Smith Field Airport in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Sweet Aviation is owned by helicopter pilot and aviation enthusiast Chuck Surack, who also founded and owns Sweetwater, the world’s leading music technology and instrument retailer. Sweet Aviation features a diverse and modern fleet of airplanes and helicopters, holds FAA Part 141 and Part 61 flight training certification as well as Part 135 charter certification, and is a certified Diamond and Cirrus Aircraft Service Center and Cirrus Training Center. To learn more about air charters, flight training, aircraft rentals, or aircraft maintenance, please visit or contact Joel Pierce, General Manager, via phone (260-267-5505) or email (joel).

Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.