Marshall OKs buying 3 planes for planned aviation program

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Marshall University has approved the purchase of three airplanes for its planned aviation degree program.

The Marshall Board of Governors on Thursday gave the go-ahead for the purchase of two $500,000 airplanes for student training that have parachutes for use in an emergency, along with a $175,000 plane with cable controls used for teaching spin maneuvers, the university said in a news release.

The university also plans to buy additional start-up equipment, including simulators.

Private grant funding in part made the purchases possible, including a $1.5 million donation from the Charleston-based Maier Foundation.

Marshall plans to offer two new degrees in aviation sciences to train commercial airplane and helicopter pilots at its South Charleston campus. Charleston’s Yeager Airport also will host classes and will include a new hangar for Marshall’s aircraft and classrooms.

In November, Marshall and Mountwest Community and Technical College agreed to offer a joint associate degree program for aviation maintenance technicians.

Marshall President Jerome A. Gilbert said in the statement the programs “will provide outstanding opportunities for students and be a catalyst for economic growth in our state and region.”

The board also approved naming the aviation school in honor of Marshall alumnus and board member Bill Noe.

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at