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Full text of "The Civil Aeronautics Administration civilian pilot training program (the C.A.A. course) / by Lawrence J. Hodgins, Jr."

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(I tie O.A. A. Course) 

Tau Beta Pi Ttieaie 


Lawrenoa J. tiodgins Jr. 


- fi'opeword - 

Triis papsr will attempt to ^iva, without ^oin§ into too 
much istail, a brisf but oompiebs explanation of the main features of 
the orgaaization and oonlust of the Civilian Pilot Training Program 
whioh is being carried on at tiie present time by th3 Civil Aeronautics 
AiiDinistration of tna united States Departtusnt of Gommsroe. Ihis pro- 
gram is designed, primarily, to provide a large number of civilians 
with the necessary flying training to enable them to be available imme- 
diately for duty as pilots in the military services of the Onited States 
in any time of eaaergenoy. ihs pilot training is being offered at a 
very minimum of cost to many people, mostly students at colleges and 
universities, at the present time. This Oivilian Pilot Iraining Program 
is oertaluly one of the most important phases of the national defense 
preparation program and should be of vital interest to nearly everyone. 


. The G.A. A. Course 

With the worii in its present state of turmoil, three letters 
of tiie alphabet have beoome Qationally itnowa and in a few short months 
have beoocoe letters of ^reab slRQifioanoe, i'hese letters are O.A.4. 
These three letters have beoome extremely ivell known to students of many 
oolleges and other eiuoationai institutions all over the nation. The 
letters tberaseives stani for OiviJ. Asronautios Ainiinisfcration. This is 
a branch of the United States Department of Gommeros and is also some- 
times oallei the Civil Aeronautics Authority. 

The familiar use noted above of the letters C.A.A, is that in 
whioh they are used in the terra "O.A.A. Course". This expression refers 
to the Civilian Pilot Training prograoi jvhioh is bein^ oarrisd on by the 
Civil Aeronautics Authority. 

/^hen fflillions of dollars v/ere nnaie available by Congress, for 
a national defense preoaration program, it was immediately deemed advis- 
able, in view of the rising use of the airplane as a maior military 
faotor, to devote a portion of fchess funds to trie development of enough 
well trained pilots to fulfill any future' needs of the country for pilots 
for an expanding air force. As a result, in addition to granting huge 
sums of money to the Ariov and )>iavy to further oarry out their aviation 
training programs, tne Civil aeronautics Administration was ordered to 
start a oivilian pilot training program whioh is entirely separate from 
either military service. Ct is this orogram of pilot training whioh is 
now 30 commonly reterrea co as tne O.A.A. Course and it is with this 
program of civilian pilot training that this paper deals. 

The first thing which it was necessary to do was to determine 

ttie oest means of carrying out this program. It was finally decided to 
select various colleges, universities, technological institutions, 
teachers' colleges, and junior colleges which would sponsor this program 
in co-operation with the governaDent. The Administrator of Oivii Aero- 
nautics enters into a contract with these institutions which calls for 
the ground traioiag of a iefinite nuoiber of students In conjunction with 
flight training to be given them. The Administrator at th3 same time 
enters into a contract with a selected flight instruction contractor 
for the actual ilignt training, 

Elach of the chosen institutions is assigned its own definite 
quota of students, not to exceed fifty in number, to be trained, fhe 
airport where the flight instruction is to be carried on is a selected 
one which must be within a certain distance of the sponsoring school. 
If the pilot quota is not filled by students of the Institution, the 
training may be offered to persons not enrolled in the school who are 
considered qualified for such training. The applicants must be citizens 
of the United States between the ages of nineteen (19) and twenty-six 
(26) years of age, and must pass a rigid ohysical examination given by 
a Givil Aeronautics I^jsdical ilxaminer. Those enrolled in the sponsoring 
institution must meet certain sohoiastlc requirements. Perhaps the most 
important requirement of all is that the applicants must pledge them- 
selves to apply for further flight training in the military service of 
the United States, 

The flight instruction oontractor must also meet certain 
requirements. These consist mainly of providing an acceptable airport 
and the required numbar of planes and qualified pilots for his assigned 
quota of students. 


Ttie trainiag program itself is divided into two main sections; 
the Private (Preliminary) Course, Qoliegiafce Phase, and the Sestricted 
Commeroial (Secondary) Course, Only outstanding students who have suc- 
cessfully completed the Preliminary Course are eligible for the Second- 
ary Course. The completion of the latter course will lead to consider- 
ation for further training in the United States military service. 

The Preliminary Course is divided into two parts; the seventy- 
two (73) hour tJfound course ani tns tnirty-fivs (35) to fifty (50) hour 
flight instruction course, fhe ground ooucse is in turn divided into 
two parts; the forty-eignt (4d) nours of classroom instruction in Vleteor- 
ology and i^avigafcion provided by the sponsoring Institution and twenty- 
four (34) hours oi classroom instruction in Aircraft Operation ani Civil 
Air Regulations given by the flight instruction contractor, i'his has 
proven very satisfactory since one institution can supply what may be 
termed the theory and the flight instructor can at the same time inte- 
grate those courses which have to do with iligat maneuvers and aircraft 
servicing into the actual flight training of each trainee. 

The actual flight training for the Primary course consists of 
about 21 hours of dual ins true tion ani 14 Hours of solo flying. I'he 
student is qualified for and is allo/^ed to undertake solo flight after 
eight (8) hours of dual instruction. The flying is dons in i certified 
aircraft of not less than 50 ri.P. These planes. In the case of most of 
the airports engaged in this program, are the well known sport plane the 
Piper "Cub", which are light planes with engines ranging from 50 ti.P. to 
75 H.P. and with an average cruising spaed of approximately 70 iV/.P.H, and 
top speed of 90 Vl.P.H. During the Preliminary Course the student pilot 
talces up and masters such things as taxiing, tate-offs, figure-eights. 


landingB, and ottisr simple maneuvsrs, 'iihen this oourse is compiated the 
student pilot will racsive his Private Pilot Certificate, 

Tha Ssoondary oourse is divided into two parts also; trie one 
hundred twenty-six aour ground course, which is to be givan jointly 
by the participatiing Insuitution and the ilight instruction contractor, 
and a forty to fifty hour flight course which is aiven b.y the flignt 
instruction contractor, i'ne contracts entered into and the conduct of 
this course is so essentially the same as that of the Primary Oourse 
that the differences are neoligiole. 

The ground course is quite a bit more thorough than that of 
the Primary Course, such subjects as Powerplants, Aerodynamics, Air- 
craft, and Navigation being taken up. ine actual flight course is very 
much more advanced than that of the Preliminary Course. The planes 
which are used are much more powerful than those of the Frimary Course, 
These planes used for the Secondary Course have up to 235 Fi.P. and of 
course, are much faster and maneaverabls, ihe type quite frequently used 
is the 5'airchild M-62A which is a low winged sport and training plane 

with the required tandem seating. The Secondary flight course is a com- 
plete review of the Primary course and in addition the student learns 
and praotioes all forms of taKe-offs, stalls, spins, loops, and other 
maneuvers. The length of the Secondary Course gives the pilots much 
practice and a great deal of solo flying so Gnat the pilots turned out 
are exceptionally well trained. At the conclusion of this oourse the 
student is given a flight test by a Civil Aeronautics inspector and if 
passed will receive his Restricted Commercial Pilot Certificate, 

Each student tailing either of the courses must have and is 
provided with complete insurance coverage before the course is started. 


Phis insuranoe iociudes public iiabiiity aad property damage coverage 
in addition to life insurancs and cnedical payment insurance on the 
trainee bimself. 

As for the problem oi who will pay for all the training and 
flying being done, the method of financing is the following, S'or the 
Primary Course the sponsoring institution may charge a fee which will 
not exceed $10 which does not include the cost of the life insuracice or 
the Civil Aeronautics physioai ex.amination. The cost of these last two 
items must be borne oy the trainee, i'ne Administrator of Civil Aero- 
nautics pays the institution ^20 for each trainee who completes the 
ground course. The flight instruction contractor is paid $325 for each 
student who completes the flight training and $10 for each one who com- 
pletes the flight contractor's portion of the ground course. 

The payments for the Secondary Course are the same except that 
the sponsoring institution receives $50 for each trainee completing the 
ground course and the flight instruction contractor receives $750 for 
each trainee who completes the course in a plane of 125 to 174 H.P. or 
$800 for a trainee who completes the flight instruction in a plane of 
175 to 225 H.P. 

One benefit of this course which makes it even more appeal- 
ing to the prospective trainees is that after both the Primary Course 
and the Secondary Course have baen completed the student pilot is eli- 
gible to oegin flight training at the Army training base, Randolph 
Field, "The rtest Ir^oiot of toe Air", if he applies for and is accepted 
for such training, without being required to pass through the first 
three months of preliminary training which are ordinarily required by 
the regular Army Training Program, 


Since the iaauguration of the first civilian pilot train- 
ing courae in the fall of 1939 this program of the Oivil Aeronautics 
Administration has been e-xpaniing constantly. It is now bsing carried 
on at mors tnan 450 schools ail over the country and since its iacep- 
tion more than 21,000 pilots have been trained and 15,000 are in the 
process of being trained during the present teriE, 

The program and its method of presentation have been highly 
successful and the results most gratifying to all concerned. Beyond 
all doubt every citizen of the United states will agree that this 
Civilian Pilot Training Program has been and will continue to be a 
most suoessfui and most important step in the adequate preparation of 
our country for times of either peace of war, No one can deny that 
this program will certainly aid the constantly forward progress and 
increase the chances of suoess of both this nation and its citizens. 



Tae uivilian Pilot Training Program 1940-41 
Restrioted. Oommercial (Saoondary) Course, Fall Ssssion 
Oepartmsnt of Oominsrce, Civil Aaronautics Administration 
Washington, D.C. 
Bulletin rS6Q 

The Civilian Pilot Training Program 

Private (Preliminary) Course, Collegiate Phase 

Departffisnt o£ Goimiisroe, Civil Aeronautics Administration 

'/Washington, D.C. 

Bulletin 1^333 

Personal Interview with 

Prof, J.iii, Younger, Coordinator of Civil Pilot Training 

University of Maryland 

College Paric, Md,