Aspiring pilots in northern Indiana will have a new way to jumpstart their flight training beginning in August.


Hesston College Aviation in Hesston was granted FAA approval to establish a satellite pilot school at the Goshen Municipal Airport. The satellite location will be operated in a direct partnership venture with New Horizons Aviation, which is co-owned by a Hesston College Aviation alumnus and American Airlines captain, Roger Yoder.


“This initiative will authorize New Horizons Aviation to teach Hesston College Aviation’s FAA-approved Private Pilot certificate course to individuals interested in completing their FAA Private Pilot certificate before beginning Hesston’s associate or bachelor’s degree program on campus,” said Mike Baker, director of Hesston College Aviation.


Hesston College’s Aviation program has been a popular destination for student pilots from the Goshen and Elkhart areas for all of the program’s 49 years of existence, and many in more recent years started their early flight training with Yoder at New Horizons. The new partnership maximizes student benefits for what was already a strong connection between Hesston and New Horizons.


“As an alumnus who got my start at Hesston College and launched my now 40-year-career with Hesston College Aviation, I can attest to the high quality of the college and the aviation program,” Yoder said. “Hesston College graduates are well prepared for the challenges of life and careers because of the attention to growth of the whole person they receive at Hesston. You just don’t find that level of individual care at larger schools.”


Students enrolled in Hesston College Aviation’s Private Pilot Course with New Horizons will have the option of receiving up to seven hours of equivalent college credit or transfer credit for Hesston College’s Introduction to Aviation, Private Pilot I and Private Pilot II courses.


Hesston College offers both a two-year associate degree in aviation-professional pilot and four-year Bachelor of Science degree with a major in aviation-professional pilot. The program also operates a two-year associate degree for air traffic control. Hesston College Aviation is one of only two FAA-approved flight schools in the state of Kansas, and the only FAA-approved Collegiate Training Initiative programs for air traffic control in the state.


“All students participating in this venture will receive the identical ground and flight training as if they were attending the same course here in Hesston,” said Baker. “Students will have the benefit of understanding Hesston College Aviation’s training processes and procedures prior to their enrollment as a college freshman.”


Said Yoder: “I’m excited about the opportunity to teach the Hesston curriculum so students will not only get their private license but will be able to transition smoothly to Hesston’s courses already familiar with procedures, checklist usage and more.”