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Flight Training Enters New Age With Enhanced Curriculum at LIFT Academy

LIFT is among few institutions to earn FAA approval for proprietary digital flight training

LIFT Academy, a flight and maintenance training program in Indianapolis located at the Indianapolis International Airport, continues to modernize the aviation training sphere with its focus on bringing technology to the forefront of training its students and apprentices. This week at EAA Airventure, LIFT announced that its Flight Operations team received its second FAA approval on proprietary computer-based training for their instrument rating course. Earlier this spring, LIFT earned FAA approval on its first proprietary curriculum for its private pilot course.

“We have a vertically integrated training program which will undoubtedly assist students in their transition to the airline.” Tweet this

While LIFT students previously used off-the-shelf products, this new curriculum is customized to and aligned with LIFT’s airline-focused flight training and accelerated pace. Since its inception, LIFT has trained its students for airline readiness, and its pilots learn flows, callouts, manoeuvres and procedures that replicate the airlines beginning on day one in the program.

The digital, computer-based training takes traditional flight training a step further—creating an interactive experience for its students. The curriculum promotes individualized learning, enabling students to progress through the program while also retaining lessons from previous courses as they accelerate through their flight training.

Creating its own curriculum to match the airline training focus of LIFT has been a goal of its Flight Operations department since it began in 2018. In less than three years, the staff and flight instructors planned content, scripted lessons and prepared quizzes for full private pilot and instrument curricula as well as received FAA approval for its use in training its 300 students.

“We have a very talented group of instructors and a small-but-mighty staff who knocked this training development out of the park,” Ed Bagden, Associate Director of Flight Operations and Safety shared. “We put a lot of work in to make this a professional product that we’re already working on expanding to include commercial courseware by the end of the year.”

Last fall, LIFT also earned FAA approval for examining authority for its Part 141 flight training program, where designated, certificated instructors can conduct end-of-course evaluations in place of a checkride with a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE). This ensures that LIFT students will have timely completion of the testing event using LIFT’s onsite evaluators, and it also provides LIFT the opportunity to have a greater level of quality control over the entire testing process from student to student.

This accomplishment distinguishes LIFT from other flight schools in the U.S. as they join only a few other flight training institutions that have received approval from the FAA for examining authority. LIFT is the only flight school in Indiana with the examining authority from the FAA.

“Our new curricula and the examining authority enable us to have start-to-finish quality control for our students with our technology, our staff and our curriculum. With the support of Republic Airways, we have 45 years of airline pilot training experience behind us, and now we’re able to bring those successful techniques to the primary training environment,” Bagden added. “We have a vertically integrated training program which will undoubtedly assist students in their transition to the airline.”

If you’re interested in becoming an airline pilot and would like more information on flight training at LIFT Academy, please email or call the Admissions Office (317) 471-2200.

About LIFT Academy: Leadership In Flight Training (LIFT) Academy is a U.S.-based commercial aviation pilot training school, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. LIFT revolutionizes commercial aviation training, utilizing state-of-the-art, eco-friendly training technologies and systems to educate future aviators. Students receive instruction from experienced pilots, under FAA and industry standards, with the most advanced equipment and curriculum that combines flight, flight simulator, online and in-classroom training. LIFT Academy students train on a fleet of advanced aircraft and flight simulators produced by Diamond Aircraft Industries, including the DA40 single-engine and the DA42 twin-engine aircraft, as well as Diamond Flight Simulator Training Devices (FSTD) built to achieve the most realistic cockpit simulation environment. LIFT offers its graduates a direct pathway to a pilot career at Republic Airways and most recently established a strategic workforce development relationship with Cape Air where students can build flight hours as a pilot, operating Cape Air’s daily flights throughout the Midwest, Montana, Caribbean and the Northeast.

For more information, contact Director of Communications, Lauren Gaudion at (317) 471-2478 or


Director of Communications
Lauren Gaudion
(317) 471-2478

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