Virginia high school students learn to fly

Kyle Pettigrew attended the first session of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s Pathways Flight Academies at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

Partlow resident Kyle Pettigrew took to the skies this summer in the Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s Pathways Flight Academy. The Pathways Flight Academies immerse students in learning to fly while discovering the range of exciting aviation career opportunities. While participating in this two-week intensive residential academy at Liberty University, Kyle undertook both ground school and 10 hours of flight training. Kyle noted, “It helped secure a foothold in aviation and will continue my interest in a career of being a pilot.”

Kyle, an 11th grader at Caroline High School in Milford, was one of only 24 students selected from across the Commonwealth to attend one of four Pathways Flight Academy sessions. Students were chosen based on their academic record, their proven interest in science, technology, engineering and math, along with their passion for flight and career aspirations of becoming a pilot.

VSGC is pleased to partner with two Virginia flight training schools for this program: Liberty University in Lynchburg, and Averett University in Danville. Both universities have outstanding facilities for aviation education and flight training, and operate FAA-approved part 141 flight schools. Funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Pathways Flight Academy is a rigorous program in which students receive flight and ground school training at no cost to the student. The Virginia Department of Aviation is also a program partner.

The competitive application process for the Pathways Flight Academy is open to students statewide. Qualified applicants must be U.S. citizens, Virginia residents and age 16 by the start of the academy.

Applications for the summer 2020 Pathways Flight Academies will open in November. To learn more about this program and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s other program opportunities, visit; and

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