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The first week of classes at the University of Central Arkansas Aviation Academy



Conway, Arkansas – As they are ready to enter the pilot’s seat, University of Central Arkansas students are preparing by gazing up into the sky.

Officially, classes for their new aviation academy began this week. Students are practicing the abilities necessary to pass a written ground test for the first four weeks.

Aviation student Bobby Heffner stated that he has always had a fascination with aviation.

“As my wife said if it has an engine, and you can drive it, you’ve always been interested in how it works and you want to drive it,” Heffner said.

And fly it in this instance. Heffner stated that he is focused on the future.

“I would like to get all the certifications and licenses if possible,” he said.

Rhiannon Umfleet is pursuing her pilot’s license and her business degree.

“And then I’ll start flying an airplane. My heart just flutters thinking about it,” Umfleet said.

Central Flying Services has teamed with UCA Aviation Academy Director Brad Teague to instruct the students. Students can excel in a variety of ways because this curriculum is vocational.

“Students can go to school here if they choose or they can just learn how to fly,” Teague said.

The program was made possible in part by revisions to the regulations.

“The FAA, federal aviation administration, used to require a degree to be able to fly commercially for the commercial airlines, and they no longer do,” Teague said.

Over the next two years, the fifteen students in the program will work toward obtaining all of their licenses. Umfleet is prepared for departure.

“I realized I would love to be a corporate pilot, and I think I find my passion in this,” Umfleet said.

The Conway Regional Airport will host the pupils’ flight.

To learn more about the program and how to participate, go to


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