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February 10, 2021 


Granbury ISD received approval for a regional program of study in Aviation from the Texas Education Agency.  As part of the career and technical education program, Aviation will have a full four-year sequence of courses beginning in the 2021-22 school year. 

“This is incredible news as we continue to prepare students for college, careers, and the military.  We are extremely excited to begin this program of study at Granbury High School,” commented CTE director Jimmy Dawson. “Not only will we be helping students become private pilots, but we will also be teaching students how to fly unmanned aerial vehicles or drones." 

New courses build upon the Eagle’s Nest Project, which started at GHS in 2016. The initiative proposed by now-Granbury Regional Airport manager Pat Stewart allowed a foundation to provide a complete airplane kit to the high school for assembly by students with local volunteer mentors overseeing the construction.  The first student-built airplane took flight in October 2017. 

“Eagle’s Nest has given us outstanding opportunities for our students to help build an airplane, and now it's time for us to take it to the next level with students learning how to fly,” stated Dawson. “Granbury is very fortunate to have a large aviation community that has been very supportive of students learning to fly.” 

Aviation mentors will continue helping aerospace engineering students build another RV-12 airplane.  In addition, some mentors will assist with flight instruction.  

“This new program of study reminds of us of the amazing learning opportunities that GISD students have through career and technical education,” commented GISD superintendent Dr. Jeremy Glenn.  “We know that these aviation courses will provide another unique pathway for students to pursue a rigorous program that could serve as their career option.” 

Course descriptions for the program of study include:  

  • Introduction to Aerospace and Aviation:  This foundational course includes advanced exploration in the areas of a professional pilot, aerospace engineering, and unmanned aircraft systems. Students will learn about the history of aviation, from Leonardo da Vinci’s ideas about a flight to the Wright brothers and the space race. Along the way, students will learn about the innovations and technological developments that have made today’s aviation and aerospace industries possible. The course includes engineering practices, the design process, aircraft structure, space vehicles past and present, and a look toward future space exploration. Students will also learn about the wide variety of exciting and rewarding careers available to them.
  • Introduction to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles:  This course prepare students for entry-level employment or continuing education in piloting UAV operations and instruct them in UAV flight navigation, industry laws and regulations, and safety regulations. Students are also exposed to mission planning procedures, environmental factors, and human factors involved in the UAV industry.
  • Aviation Ground School:  This course extends student interests in all aspects of aviation while preparing students to take the formal ground requisite exam for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FAA Airman Knowledge Test, which is required to obtain a private pilot’s license. The rigor of the course challenges students with complex aeronautical, engineering, weather, management, and judgment concepts. Rules, regulations, obligations, and commitments to discipline and focus are foundational throughout the course. The ability to grasp flight without actually flying a real aircraft extends well beyond the classroom as students learn navigation, weather science, attention to detail (mathematical fuel and load planning), health, and mental well-being related to flight planning and piloting aircraft.
  • Aerospace Engineering:  This course propels students' learning in the fundamentals of atmospheric and space flight. Students will explore the history and evolution of aviation and aerospace, the fundamental aircraft controls, the physics of flight, the aerodynamics of the airfoil, navigation, propulsion systems, GPS systems, materials/composites, frame design, orbital mechanics, space exploration, and more. Students work with Eagles Nest Project to build an RV12 airplane. Several field trips are associated with this class to investigate airplanes, airports, aviation industries, and expos around the area as an important part of the curriculum.
  • Practicum in Transportation Systems:  This course gives students supervised practical application of knowledge and skills in Aviation. Practicum experiences can occur in a variety of locations appropriate to the nature and level of experiences such as internships, mentorships, independent study, or laboratories. The practicum can be either school lab-based or worked based.

This regional program of study will initially be in place for four years through the 2024-25 school year before the district will need to submit an application extension 

Pictured is 2017 graduate Blake Steinmann in the first Eagle’s Nest plane during its inaugural flight.  Steinmann has since earned a degree from Baylor University and has been building time as a Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII) and Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI) in route to obtaining his Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate.