University To Be Back In The Air 1/16, Despite Christmas
Thanks to an outpouring
of aircraft offers from members of the Experimental Aircraft
Association, as well as flight schools, Cessna dealers, and others,
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Daytona Beach, FL
will be fully operational on January 16. That's a remarkable feat,
considering its training aircraft fleet was virtually wiped out by
destructive tornadoes that ripped though the ERAU campus on
On Thursday, December 28, EAA sent out a special alert to inform
its members of the disaster and ask for assistance in replacing the
school's training fleet through leasing and rental
"The response has been overwhelming," said Frank Ayers, Embry
Riddle flight department chairman. "The morning after the EAA
e-mail came out, I probably had 100 responses at 9 a.m., 50 of
which were from EAA members, and it was like that for two to three
days. We're just very glad to have EAA's help, and we were really
moved by that response.
"Because of the efforts of EAA as well as our friends from
Cessna, who went out to their Cessna Pilot Centers and their dealer
network, we're going to have a full fleet on the 16th, which is
downright nothing short of amazing."
Ayers (who is also an EAA member) said all 40 of the airplanes
that were destroyed are in the process of being replaced, with some
extra aircraft in reserve.
"We're getting airplanes from other flight schools, from
dealers, from EAA members, we have probably 9 or 10 individuals
making airplanes available to us," he said. "Thanks to all the EAA
members from us; we really appreciate the help."
Rick Larsen, EAA's vice
president of marketing and an Embry-Riddle alumnus, wasn't
surprised by the outpouring of support from EAA members to meet an
"It shows again what EAA and its members are all about," Larsen
said. "We at EAA headquarters simply made the need known to our
fellow members and they energized the response. EAA members
know schools such as Embry Riddle represent the future of aviation
and immediately stepped forward to assist."