Davis Senior High School sophomore, Max Franco, is using a flight simulator at the Lone Star Flight Museum.

Aldine ISD is now offering an Introduction to Aviation & Aerospace course to students in Grades 9-12.  The Aeronautics and Aviation elective is currently held at Davis Senior High School for students who have an interest in aviation. 

General Benjamin O. Davis

The new course is significant to Davis High School because of its namesake, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. was an American United States Air Force general and commander of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen. He was also the first African American general officer in the United States Air Force and the first African American to solo an airplane and earn a pilot certification in the U.S. Army Air Corps, predecessor of the U.S. Air Force.

The new course has come right on time. Due to a large population of retiring pilots and global growth in the industry, there is an increase in demand for pilots, airframe and powerplant mechanics, air traffic controllers, technicians and other careers in the industry. 

The electives will give students an opportunity to obtain a private pilot certification license and/or a remote pilot certification before graduation for free.  

Max Franco, Davis Senior High School sophomore, has plans of joining the Air Force after college and becoming a pilot. 

“I look forward to completing both my remote pilot and private pilot certifications,” Franco said. “There is more to aviation than just flying. So far I have learned that you really have to have a basic understanding of math to excel in this career.” 

The Remote Pilot Certification and Private Pilot Certification courses consist of ground school and hands-on training. During ground school, students will learn the basic rules and regulations. This work will help them pass the Federal Aviation Administration written exam and practical application. To complete the private pilot certification course, students will need a minimum of 40 hours of dual instruction in a single engine airplane with a certified flight instructor. 

Pictured from left to right, Davis Senior High School Principal Anthony Watkins, Chris S. “Chuck” Norris – Davis Senior High School Aviation Instructor, Franklin Higgins, Aldine ISD director of career and technical education, Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney, Myron Hulet, owner of Texas Flight, Gary Kruger, general manger of Texas Flight and Robert Thomas, Aldine ISD career and technical education program director.

Our partner flight school, Texas Flight at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in Spring, will help our students achieve all of their flight hours and hands-on training.  Texas Flight will provide the aircraft, Certified Flight Instructors and Federal Aviation Administration Testing Center for the private pilot students enrolled in the course. Texas Flight was named the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Best Flight School in 2017 and has been recognized for flight training excellence every year since! 

Chris S. “Chuck” Norris, aeronautics & aviation instructor and Max Franco, Davis Senior High School sophomore, participate in a mock pre-flight activity at the Lone Star Flight Museum.

“Flying is one of the best feelings in the world,” Xavier Samuels, United pilot, OBAP representative and Aldine ISD CTE Advisory Board member said. “The opportunities in the industry are limitless right now. The more that we can expose our students to STEM related fields, like aviation and aerospace, the more we can open their minds to their individual possibilities.”  

The school is also working closely with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) and  organizations that exist to promote aviation, such as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). 

According to Chris Norris, Davis High School aeronautics & aviation instructor, this course will allow students to learn about the various opportunities to start a career in the aviation industry.

“A mechanically inclined student interested in working with his or her hands might only consider a career as an auto mechanic,” Norris said. “They may not be aware of the high demand or salaries available to those who maintain and repair aircraft. A student interested in the medical field could start a career as a flight nurse or another aeromedical specialty. Aviation literally offers something for everyone!”

Opportunities For A Career In Aviation After High School:

  • Students with a UAV/drone license can apply for jobs in:
    • Aerial photography
    • Videography
    • Cartography surveying 
  • Students with their Private Pilot Certification can continue their training to gain additional experience and ratings to become an Airline or Commercial Pilot. 
  • Aerospace Engineers – Structural, Propulsion, Electrical, Human Factors Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians
  • Air Traffic Controllers
  • Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians
  • Airline, General Aviation & Military Pilots
    • Air Transport Pilots – Scheduled Carriers for Passenger & Cargo
    • General Aviation / Business Aviation including Charter
    • Agricultural Aviation
    • Military Aviation – Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard
    • Rotorcraft (Helicopters)
      • Passenger Transport
      • Air Ambulance
      • Law Enforcement
      • Search & Rescue
      • Combat Helicopters
  • Airframe & Powerplant mechanics

Check out photos of Davis High School Aviation Students at the Lone Star Flight Museum