Florida Tech Adds Eight Piper Aircraft for Flight Training

$3.2M Purchase Reflects Investment in New Technology

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Eight 2025 Piper Pilot 100i aircraft equipped with the latest electronic avionics will be added to the fleet at FIT Aviation as Florida Tech continues to infuse new technology into its popular flight training programs.

The cockpit of the Pilot 100i.

The $3.2 million, future-facing acquisition, approved by the university’s Board of Trustees in January, will bring to nearly 40 the number of aircraft in the FIT Aviation fleet, almost all of them made by Vero Beach-based Piper Aircraft. Planes such as the 100i featuring all-glass avionics – think digital screens, not physical gauges and dials – will be used for instrument rating and commercial pilot training programs.

“At Florida Tech, we understand the power and promise of integrating the newest technology as a teaching tool. I am excited about how these new planes will enhance our already stellar flight programs and better prepare our students for success,” said President John Nicklow. “We also know technology doesn’t mean much if there aren’t dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors to help explain it, and our flight instructors and staff ensure that happens at the highest level.”

Jay Arcemont, deputy executive director at FIT Aviation, added, “The purchase is important because it reflects the level of commitment the university has for the remarkable changes happening on the flight line.”

Through this technological transition, Arcemont noted, the university will continue to utilize Piper aircraft for its programs.

This addition to the FIT Aviation fleet comes after an October 2022 announcement that a grant from the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust, a longtime university supporter, would fund the acquisition of several Piper Warrior aircraft used for private pilot training.

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