The Aviation Program at RCTC is soaring during the pandemic

RCTC's Aviation Program is taking off!

Posted: Feb 2, 2021 7:34 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - The pandemic has grounded many planes across the country and left thousands of pilots furloughed, but it's the opposite at Rochester Community and Technical College.

The Aviation Program at RCTC has only been around for two years and one year of that has been during a pandemic. Students and instructors had to shift to all online classes and the planes were grounded for 8 weeks. They've since been able to get back to it and now they're all caught up again. "We got back up and flying fairly quickly and were able to keep our students moving and safe," said Matt Bissonette, the Dean of Career and Technical Education. "We're moving forward now and we've had no issues, so it's been great to partner with them."

RCTC has a partnership with Great Planes Aviation to make this program possible. The president, Nick Fancher, said it's been great to see the students grow over the past couple years. "The students have done a great job at staying focused on doing their flying and continuing to progress and knowing that the opportunity is going to be there for them when they get done."

There are 21 students currently in the program. Two of them, Andrew Hegland and Kess Klouser, are part of the first graduating class. They explain while trying to navigate through the pandemic has been challenging, the instructors are making the process of learning to fly a breeze. "When we got the go ahead, we just made sure that we were careful with all of the mandates that were required of us, so we could keep going," said Hegland. "Cleaning the inside and outside of the planes, wearing the masks inside the planes as well and things like that." Klouser said, "we've been able to get like a lot more one on one time with the instructors. That's something that I know a lot of larger schools don't have," she explained. "But it's really helpful when we're trying to learn stuff. You know, when we have a question we can just go talk to them about it."

You don't need to have previous flight experience to enroll in the program at RCTC. They are currently working on the schedule for fall semester.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 490011

Reported Deaths: 6618
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1016821593
Ramsey43388811
Dakota36714394
Anoka33545392
Washington22247262
Stearns18847202
St. Louis14915265
Scott13445107
Wright12635116
Olmsted1187890
Sherburne879474
Carver790941
Clay696288
Rice678691
Blue Earth604435
Kandiyohi582274
Crow Wing523682
Chisago502945
Otter Tail487171
Benton451890
Winona419749
Mower411931
Douglas395068
Goodhue390169
Nobles387347
Polk345363
McLeod341950
Beltrami339151
Morrison328147
Itasca315346
Becker315143
Lyon314045
Isanti310056
Steele304311
Carlton300649
Freeborn287124
Pine283616
Nicollet263341
Todd250330
Brown249137
Le Sueur238620
Mille Lacs230047
Cass221424
Waseca211217
Meeker208534
Martin190829
Wabasha18733
Roseau181017
Hubbard161041
Houston158214
Dodge15464
Renville152940
Redwood147127
Fillmore14029
Pennington139816
Chippewa137035
Cottonwood136120
Wadena131520
Faribault125017
Aitkin119233
Sibley118310
Watonwan11838
Rock116314
Kanabec109120
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Murray9548
Jackson94710
Swift87818
Pope8185
Marshall78715
Stevens7478
Lake74318
Clearwater72014
Lac qui Parle68816
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62111
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Grant4928
Norman4808
Unassigned45368
Mahnomen4437
Kittson41121
Red Lake3615
Traverse3115
Lake of the Woods2231
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 337836

Reported Deaths: 5500
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk52116562
Linn19519317
Scott17180213
Black Hawk14973294
Woodbury13858214
Johnson1317875
Dubuque12452196
Dallas1023593
Pottawattamie9899146
Story965445
Warren515176
Clinton502884
Cerro Gordo501483
Webster495888
Sioux480469
Marshall465473
Des Moines428661
Muscatine426493
Buena Vista413337
Wapello4059110
Jasper388167
Plymouth369178
Lee354653
Marion341772
Jones285355
Henry279837
Bremer270655
Carroll266848
Crawford253435
Boone244830
Benton241554
Washington239247
Mahaska215846
Jackson210339
Dickinson204340
Tama203165
Kossuth198655
Delaware186340
Clay184525
Winneshiek183729
Fayette179535
Page178119
Buchanan178029
Wright174531
Hamilton173942
Cedar172923
Hardin170339
Harrison167870
Clayton160154
Butler159331
Mills148520
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146336
Lyon145741
Allamakee144948
Madison143318
Iowa140723
Hancock138030
Grundy132530
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129711
Cass129751
Jefferson128534
Appanoose123447
Louisa122644
Mitchell120740
Chickasaw119915
Union119331
Sac118818
Shelby117634
Emmet115440
Humboldt113925
Franklin109719
Guthrie109728
Palo Alto101721
Howard99722
Unassigned9790
Montgomery97036
Clarke95220
Keokuk92429
Monroe90028
Ida82132
Adair81630
Pocahontas80919
Davis76623
Monona76527
Greene73110
Lucas72321
Osceola68315
Worth6678
Taylor64112
Decatur5719
Fremont5619
Van Buren53818
Ringgold50720
Audubon4769
Wayne47521
Adams3194
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