Flight Training

Fast Facts:

  • FAA certified flight training is based at Vaiden Field, A-08 (10 miles from the MMI campus) and operated by Aeropro 
  • MMI owns three airplanes: two Cessna 172s (Skyhawk) and one Cessna 150
  • Extracurricular flight training takes place on afternoons and weekends
  • Ready Room includes a FAA certified Basic Flight Training Simulator


MMI Contact: COL Ryan Link, USAF (Ret) or 800-664-1842 (for college programs info, enrollment, etc.) 


Marion Military Institute partners with AeroPro LLC, a local FAA Part 141 flight training organization, to offer cadets an extracurricular FAA-sanctioned Flight Training Program, with several options depending on a cadet’s goal.  Cadets may earn up to a FAA commercial pilot’s license. The Flying Tigers learn to fly through a combination of FAA classroom ground school instruction, online learning, and a minimum number of hours of student and instructor in-flight training depending on which track option is selected.

Flight Training Program Options:

1-year Military Aviation Track.  This track is designed mainly for cadets in the Service Academy Program who will be going on to an academy after one year at MMI.  The minimum goal is to get the cadet through 15 flight hours, ground school, and successful solo flight. The intent of this program is to demonstrate the cadet’s flight aptitude which can be used by the receiving academy when determining selection for an aviation career field. This certification may preclude U.S. Air Force and Navy Initial Flight Screening requirements.  Cadets can continue to accumulate flight hours past solo.

2-year Civil Aviation Tracks:

Associate Degree Route.  This track is for cadets wanting to “fast track” to commercial pilot positions.  It is designed to allow cadets to achieve their commercial and instrument ratings in 2-years, graduate with their associate degree and then work with AeroPro, or another flight school, as a paid Certified Flight Instructor while accumulating the 1,500 hours required by commercial airlines.

Bachelor Degree Route.  This track is for 2-year cadets who wish to continue their commercial training at a 4-year school in order to earn a Bachelor Degree in Professional Flight, Aviation Management or other related aviation field.  It is designed to ensure that cadets complete their private pilot’s license (PPL) and instrument rating while at MMI.  Upon graduation from MMI, cadets transfer to their receiving 4-year program to complete their commercial rating and 1,500 hours required by commercial airlines.

Rotary Wing Route.  Beginning in the Spring Semester of 2024, MMI will expand our offerings to include the possibility of obtaining helicopter ratings.  This can be done under a 1- or 2-year track depending on how advanced the cadet wishes to go.


*Fees for flight instruction are in addition to the regular college tuition and fees and are charged directly to the student by AeroPro. 

**The MMI Foundation offers a variety of aviation-specific scholarships to assist in paying for flight hours after successful completion of ground school and first solo flight.


For those cadets who either already have their PPL, or are very close to this certification, there is plenty of follow-on aviation ratings available for you to work on while at MMI!

  • Fly for proficiency.  If you just want to keep your skills up, you can!
  • IFR (instrument) rating.  This is a pre-requisite for commercial and is recommended next step after your PPL.
  • Multi-Engine Rating
  • Commercial Rating
  • Rotary Wing.  We plan to start a rotary wing program in the Spring 2023 if that might interest you.

Flight Training Interest

For high school students interested in FAA certified flight training at Marion Military Institute.

Which aviation track are you most interested in?

Basic progression from zero hours to Private Pilot’s License:

  • Settling into the cadet routine and taking ground school to learn basic aerodynamics
  • Initial training flights to understand takeoff, climb, pitch and power
  • Many touch-and-go landings to get comfortable landing the plane
  • First Solo flight, “the loneliest 30 minutes of their lives,” consisting of three take offs and three full stop landings
  • Cross country flights (at least 150 miles, to three different airports)
  • Written and oral test with prepared flight plan, followed by check ride with examiner
  • PPL awarded based on check ride performance (turns, holding altitude, parameters, landings, takeoffs, etc.)