New Director and New Flight Simulator for Aviation Department

By Alison Trautmann
News Editor

New changes abound in Marywood’s Aviation Management Department.  Mark George is the new director, and he brought many new changes to the Aviation Management Department.  The biggest change is the construction of a new flight simulator.

Mark George has been involved with aviation all of his life.  He was in the military and was a Pennsylvania state police pilot.  He flew both helicopters and airplanes and previously owned a helicopter and airplane flight school.  George even owns his own airport.  George also enjoys renovating old aircrafts and owns two old airplanes.  George said that “as the director I have many years of experience as well as thousands of hours of flight experience.”

This experience is evident as George holds an ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) in both multi-engine planes and helicopters, which is very rare and requires 1500 hours of flight time for each certification.  He holds a Bachelors of Applied Science and Engineering in Aviation Maintenance Technology and Aviation Flight Technology.  George is a certificated flight instructor for both single and multi-engine airplanes.  He also holds an inspection authorization which allows George to inspect workers who are manufacturing planes.  On top of all these other achievements, George is also a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) which means that he can issue licenses to students upon completion of their training.

The students at Marywood will leave the Aviation Management program with a degree that allows them to fly multi-engine airplanes.  Everything in aviation has to be certified.  George says that “you can’t just go out and work on a plane like you would your car.”  In order to assist students in achieving that degree, George had the idea of building a flight simulator.  He built the body of the simulator out of an aircraft that was damaged in an accident.  He wanted it to be a Crew Resources Management simulator but the main focus is to reduce the cost of flight certification for students who will enroll in the program.  Once the government certifies the simulator, students will be able to log 15-20 flight hours in it.  This will significantly cut the cost of training for the students.  George received a lot of help from people at Marywood.  They helped build the simulator as well as paint it with the Marywood colors.

George is very proud of the simulator. “It’s as real as it comes,” he said.  The visuals used in the simulator come from Microsoft but George’s friend, James Young, designed the weather and navigation panels.  The simulator is linked to the clock so, as the day progresses, the light in the simulator will change to mimic the actual light outside.  People in the simulator will hear the noises that one would actually hear inside an airplane.  The simulator is also designed so students will have to fly the plane based on the gages, which is what they would fly on in a real airplane.  Anyone with even a limited experience with airplanes cannot help but be impressed with this flight simulator.  The simulator is so complete that the only things missing are parts that require it to fly.