MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology aviation students will soon be “flying high” inside new, state of the art flight simulation equipment. The Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust is granting the university $670,000 to fund two Seminole Level 5 Flight Training Devices. Manufactured by Frasca International, Inc. in Urbana, Ill., the cost of each device—which simulates what it’s like to be in a cockpit—is $335,000, delivered and assembled.
“Thanks to the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust, our College of Aeronautics students will enjoy the benefits of advanced and efficient flight training equipment in the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research,” said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese. “This important gift only raises Florida Tech’s profile in the aviation education community.”
The university is continuing to add equipment and programs that are elevating its flight training reputation on an international scale, according to Winston Scott, dean of the College of Aeronautics and former astronaut.
“These two new flight training devices will be welcomed assets to our evolving educational offerings at the Buehler Center,” Scott said. “Equipment of this type is a tremendous educational resource for a number of reasons—particularly known for enhancing the hands-on flight training experience and improving safety outcomes.”
The gift to fund the flight training devices is the second major donation from the Buehler Trust to Florida Tech—the first helped fund the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at Florida Tech, located at Melbourne International Airport.
“Emil Buehler was a leader in providing unique educational opportunities and, in keeping with his interest, the Trustees of the Emil Buehler Trust felt that funding advanced flight training devices at Florida Tech is an opportunity for the Trust to again perpetuate Emil’s mission,” said George Weaver, Trustee of the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust.
The Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at Melbourne International Airport opened in February 2009. Construction of the 12,240-square-foot facility began in 2008 following a $1.5 million gift from the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust of Paramus, N.J. The center, valued at $5.1 million, consists of a main building and 17,600-square-foot hangar and is located on eight acres at the airport. It is the headquarters of F.I.T. Aviation and all Florida Tech flight operations.
Special features of the Buehler Center include separate rooms for flight simulation equipment and training, a student lounge and airfield viewing room, instructor pilot’s lounge, general aviation pilot’s lounge, conference and briefing rooms, a room for weather/flight planning and offices for general operations.