Burton scholarships help four students at Kansas State Polytechnic put their dreams in flight

By Kimberly Bird

Four professional pilot students have been selected to receive the 2017-2018 Connor Burton scholarship, from top left: Mychal Akers, Junction City; Nahuel Bugosen, Kansas City, Missouri; Chad Frerichs, Aledo, Texas; and Michael Edwards, Dallas, Texas.

Four Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus students have received a significant boost to their dream of being professional pilots with the help of $10,000 scholarships from the Connor Burton Aviation fund.

The newest Burton scholars, all in Kansas State Polytechnic’s professional pilot program, are Mychal Akers, Junction City; Nahuel Bugosen, Kansas City, Missouri; Chad Frerichs, Aledo, Texas; and Michael Edwards, Dallas, Texas. Their scholarships are split between their junior and senior years and help pay for flying time or books and tuition, enabling the students to earn their flight certificates more quickly.

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American Airlines Flight Education Grant boosts Kansas State Polytechnic aviation education outreach efforts

By Beth Drescher

Ben Jaffee, left, senior assistant chief flight instructor, and Kirsten Zoller, training and event coordinator, accept a $25,000 grant from American Airlines on behalf of Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus.

Thanks to a $25,000 grant from American Airlines, plans are taking off on the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus to help more secondary students learn what it’s like to be an airplane pilot.

The grant, designed to increase enrollment in Kansas State Polytechnic’s professional pilot degree program, will fund construction of a mobile aircraft simulator lab, support short introductory flights for prospective pilot students and sponsor middle and high school student scholarships to the campus’s aviation youth Discover Programs.

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Sky’s the limit for Kansas State Polytechnic student and his dream of flying


Jacob Cowart, center, with, from left, Daniel Orpin, Federal Aviation Administration; Laura Cowart, Cowart’s mother; and Jim Crisp, Federal Aviation Administration. All played an integral part in the approval process of a hand control installation in a Kansas State Polytechnic airplane, making it possible for Cowart to learn how to fly and earn his degree.

By Kimberly Bird

When Kansas State University Polytechnic student Jacob Cowart was 12 years old, he went to a flight camp where he was able to take the controls and fly. After that, he was hooked on flying.

But the process of piloting an airplane is not easy for Cowart, who has been wheelchair-bound most of his life. Airplanes are not typically equipped with the necessary equipment to allow for operation via hand control, which attaches to the rudder pedals in the airplane and provides the pilot the ability to maneuver and control the aircraft rudder and brakes. According to Federal Aviation Administration rules, installing a hand control to operate an aircraft is a major alteration, which requires careful overview and inspection by an aviation safety inspector with the agency and can include test flights as well.

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Kansas State Polytechnic students visit Washington, D.C. to learn aviation policymaking

By Julee Cobb

Kansas State Polytechnic students enrolled in an aviation legislation course visit the U.S. Senate during a recent trip to Washington, D.C. From left: Frederic Peters, professor Troy Brockway, Logan Welch, Skylar Caldwell, Maxamillyan Badgett, Keegan Swanson, Christopher Pennington, Jerad Jaros, Evan Fowler, Josh White and Joshua Rigsby. Not pictured: Megan Laubhan.

Students from Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus received a unique learning opportunity during winter intersession when they traded in their classroom for the United States capital.

Eleven students enrolled in an aviation legislation course at Kansas State Polytechnic visited Washington, D.C. Jan. 2-5 to experience how aviation policy is made. The students, who range from three different degree options – professional pilot, airport management and technology management – attended the University Aviation Association’s Aviation Policy Seminar where they studied a variety of current industry challenges, met with aviation professionals and lawmakers, and networked with students from other colleges and universities.

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Kansas State Polytechnic Flight Team selects new captain

By Julee Cobb

Maddie Perry, junior in professional pilot, Wichita, has been selected as captain of the Kansas State Polytechnic Flight Team.

The flight team on the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus has a brand-new leader.

Maddie Perry, Wichita, junior in professional pilot, was selected to serve as team captain at the recent annual officer elections. She is currently the only woman on the Kansas State Polytechnic Flight Team, which is comprised of 25 members ranging from freshmen to seniors. As the team’s leader, Perry will be in charge of fundraising, managing community outreach events, such as their youth aviation summer programs, and preparing members for regional and national collegiate competitions.

“It is such an honor to be chosen captain of the flight team by my peers because it demonstrates to me that they respect my ideas and vision for the team and trust that I will be a responsible and motivating leader,” Perry said. “I promise to work hard every day so that I meet their expectations. I hope to use my position to encourage other female students to get involved in flight team as well as be a good example for young girls in the field of aviation.”

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Kansas State Polytechnic offering aircraft certification courses for industry professionals

By Julee Cobb

Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus is expanding its offerings in aviation to provide much-needed education for professionals in the field of aircraft certification.

Kansas State Polytechnic is launching a professional development program centered on the understanding and application of Federal Aviation Administration regulations and processes used in aircraft type and production certification. The courses will be taught as a combination of online and in person, with instruction beginning in January 2018 for the first offering. After completion, which can be achieved in one year, students will receive a certificate from Kansas State Polytechnic’s professional education and outreach office and have the opportunity to earn a total of 180 professional development hours.
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Unmanned aircraft systems senior lands back-to-back internships with NASA

By Julee Cobb

Kendy Edmonds, senior in UAS flight and operations and UAS design and integration, Valley Falls, is interning with NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, during the fall 2017 semester. This is Edmonds’ second internship with the space exploration entity.

Kendy Edmonds, a senior at the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus, is expanding her collegiate experience to include back-to-back internships with the nation’s best-known entity for space exploration.

Edmonds, Valley Falls, who is double majoring in unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, flight and operations and UAS design and integration, was selected for a fall internship at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, after completing a summer stint at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. She is using her aviation background to help NASA with mission planning, procedural development and components testing, all in an effort to integrate UAS into the National Airspace System, or NAS.

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K-State Polytechnic to be part of Kansas Air Tour

Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus is to be part of the 2017 Fly Kansas Air Tour. It takes off from Wellington on Thursday, September 28, for a three-day, 10-city celebration of Kansas aviation. This year’s tour is presented by the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education and the Kansas Department of Transportation and will promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education as well as highlight the benefits of local airports in Kansas.

Stop by the local airports listed below to visit K-State Polytechnic and see planes up close and talk to pilots to learn about the role of aviation in Kansas.

The tour is scheduled to visit the following airports:



  • 8 a.m.             Aircraft Arrival
  • 10:30 a.m.     Departure


  • 12:30 p.m.     Aircraft Arrival
  • 2:30 p.m.       Departure

Dodge City

  • 3:30 p.m.        Aircraft Arrival
  • 4:30 p.m.        Departure


  • 5:30 p.m.        Aircraft Arrival



  • 10:00 a.m.     Departure


  • 11:00 a.m.     Aircraft Arrival
  • 1:00 p.m.        Departure


  • 2:15 p.m.        Aircraft Arrival
  • 4:00 p.m.        Departure

New Century

  • 4:30 p.m.        Aircraft Arrival


 New Century

  • 9:30 a.m.       Departure


  • 10:30 a.m.     Aircraft Arrival
  • 12:30 p.m.     Departure


  • 1 p.m.             Aircraft Arrival
  • 3 p.m.             Departure


  • 4 p.m.             Aircraft Arrival

Gross receives Kansas State Polytechnic’s 2017 Marchbanks award

by Kimberly Bird and Julee Cobb

Bill Gross, professor of aviation, is the recipient of Kansas State Polytechnic’s 2017 Marchbanks Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence.

Bill Gross, Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus aviation professor who has received certification as a master flight instructor, has been named the 2017 Marchbanks Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence recipient.

The award was established more than 30 years ago to commemorate a faculty member’s commitment in the classroom, service to students and overall merit as a teacher.

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Airport management, UAS students place second in national airport design competition

By Julee Cobb

Airport management and unmanned aircraft systems students at the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus performed a proof of concept at the Kit Carson County Airport as part of their research proposal, “Airport Imagery and Geospatial Data Collection Through the Use of UAS,” which placed second in the Airport Cooperative Research Program’s national University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs. From left to right: Daniel Melia, Kit Carson County Airport manager; Hsin Huang, senior in airport management; Preston Renfro, May 2017 bachelor’s graduate in unmanned aircraft systems; Ian Bonsall, May 2017 bachelor’s graduate in airport management; Trevor Witt, data analyst in the Applied Aviation Research Center; David Burchfield, UAS teaching assistant professor and degree option coordinator; Chris Senn, UAS teaching assistant professor; and Elliot Rogers, May 2017 bachelor’s graduate in airport management.

Airport management and unmanned aircraft systems students from the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus are receiving national recognition for their interdisciplinary research on a current airport industry challenge.

The Airport Cooperative Research Program, which is managed by the Transportation Research Board and sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration, has selected the team of Kansas State Polytechnic students as second place winners in its annual University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs. The five students submitted a project examining an alternative to typical aerial data collection methods at airports titled, “Airport Imagery and Geospatial Data Collection Through the Use of UAS.”

The contest, now in its 11th year, invites collegiate students from across the country to propose innovative designs and practical solutions to various airport issues facing the industry today. All of the proposals, which do not have to originate from an aviation-related degree program, were entered into one of four categories in the competition — Airport Operation and Maintenance, Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions, Airport Environmental Interactions, and Airport Management and Planning — and awards went to the top three schools of each group. Kansas State Polytechnic took second in the Airport Operation and Maintenance category behind Tufts University.

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