ASU Polytechnic trains pilots of the future

Posted at 3:20 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 21:00:57-05

Aviation is everywhere so with “Night of the Open Door” on Friday night, essentially Arizona State University is saying to the community, "Come on in and check everything out that we offer.’"

It used to be an Air Force Base, then ASU East and now the Polytechnic Campus. Step through the doors and you’ll see into the future of flight.

ASU is attracting the next generation of pilots.

“I don't have to spend a lot of time in the library writing papers and doing that stuff. I get to spend the night in Long Beach, Vegas and San Diego.”

Tyler Faber is a senior at ASU and is training to become a pilot.

“Pilots tend to like to manipulate technology and we try to give them those opportunities as well.”

Marc O’Brien runs the aviation program and he told me that shortages in the industry mean promising prospects for those looking to spread their wings.

“They have made a pathway from graduation to American Airlines pretty seamless,” O’Brien said.

But then there are those who need to get those planes into the air.

Upperclassmen Jorge Rojas and Andrew Martz have to be ready for any scenario that instructor Verne Latham will throw at them in the air traffic control simulator.

“I can make the plane catch on fire, crash, rain, snow, sleet, hail, dogs on the taxi-way,” Latham told me.

“It's an exciting industry that’s always changing,” Martz said.

“ASU does the best job, I think, in the world,” Rojas told me.

You can be the judge for yourself as the Devils open the doors this Friday night at the Polytechnic Campus in East Mesa for the “Night of the Open Door” from 5 to 9 p.m.

You can visit the Downtown Phoenix ASU Campus from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday night as well. 

Then Saturday, three other ASU campuses will hold special Open Door Events. The West Campus and Thunderbird campus have free events from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. 

Or you can get a behind the scenes look at ASU’s space programs on the Tempe campus Saturday night from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.