The Federal Aviation Administration was in Plymouth on Monday morning to present AlphaFlight with their Part 141 Pilot Schools certification at the Plymouth Municipal Airport.

The 141-certification process provides for interaction between the applicant and the FAA from initial inquiry to certificate issuance. The process ensures that programs, systems, and intended methods of compliance are thoroughly reviewed, evaluated, and tested.  There are 5 phases in the certification process, and it’s taken Alpha Flight just over a year to obtain their certification.

Part 141 pilot schools are required to use a structured training program and syllabus. Part 141 pilot schools may be able to provide a greater variety of training aids and require dedicated training facilities, flight instructor oversight, and FAA-approved course curricula. Colleges and universities, which may offer aviation degrees, often provide pilot training under part 141.

Dan Marohn and Ken Norris, both of Plymouth are co-owners and started AlphaFlight at the Plymouth Airport in 2018 and have worked continuously to grow the local business. 

Marohn explained the Part 141 Flight Schools as being certified by the FAA through a rigorous application and approval process which differentiates them from other places that provide training. Marohn said, “This certification allows us to, because it is very structured and organized under the auspices of the FAA, we can get a person to their certificate of rating in less time because it is so structured.”

This is the same certification that colleges operate their aviation programs under and this certification for AlphaFlight will allow them to partner with colleges and universities to be a flight training provider for them.  Currently AlphaFlight partners with Ivy Tech to offer high school students the chance to get college credits at the same time they are obtaining their high school credits.  It also allows AlphaFlight to accept veterans wanting to use their GI Bill.  They can accept those benefits here locally. 

AlphaFlight not only offers training to adults in the area, for the past three years they have offered a high school program with 10 schools in the Marshall County area.  This coming school year they are partnering with the South Bend Community School Corporation and will provide the same program.  The two high school programs will have 30 students at the Plymouth site and 14 at the South Bend site for this upcoming school year. 

AlphaFlight has also partnered with Culver Academies and for the second year is providing training for cadets at the Plymouth Airport.  In their first year, 2019 there were 64 participants.  Due to COVID there was no summer program in 2020 but this year the program is up and running with 50 students.   

AlphaFlight has seven aircraft at the Plymouth Airport, with 6-single engine aircraft being used by Culver Academies and one multi-engine plane that is used for multi-engine training.

Dan Marhon from AlphaFlight and Bill Sheeley from the Plymouth Municipal Airport will be our guest on Friday’s “What’s Your Opinion Show” about 9:45 a.m. to discuss the programs of AlphaFlight and the activities at the Plymouth Airport.