SUU Unveils 17 New Aircraft with Community Celebration

Published: September 20, 2017 | Read Time: 2 minutes

southern utah aviation programSouthern Utah University celebrates in high-flying fashion Sept. 30 with the unveiling of 17 new aircraft. The event offers the community an opportunity to view new airplanes and helicopters, participate in flight simulation experiences, and enjoy a live music concert at the hangar.  

SUU’s fleet of new red aircraft includes 10 Cirrus SR20 airplanes, and seven new helicopters purchased for the university’s Professional Pilot Aviation Program. The event titled Red Sky Rally will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30 at the Cedar City Regional Airport from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Featuring indie-rock band Van Lady Love of Provo, the concert at the hangar begins at 8:30 p.m. 

“This group of newly purchased fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft will help us accomplish our core values of safety first, quality instruction, and training in advanced and relevant aircraft,” said David Dyches, Professional Pilot Aviation Program deputy executive director. “Both the Cirrus and Robinson aircraft prepare students to seamlessly progress from flight training to employer operated aircraft.”

Cirrus SR20 fixed-wing aircraft are the only factory-designed training aircraft with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute Systems (CAPS). Deploying a parachute from the aircraft’s mainframe if the aircraft experiences trouble, CAPS is designed to lower passengers to safety. Additionally, the planes have other safety features and advanced avionics that provide maximum protection to students and instructors. Robinson R-44 rotor-wing aircraft also offer advanced avionics and radar tracking mechanisms that are industry leading designs. 

cirrus planes aviation fly across countryAccording to SUU President Scott Wyatt, “The addition of the Cirrus aircraft will elevate our program by offering the most advanced and safest training available in the world.”

Red Sky Rally attendees can enter a drawing for the chance to get behind the controls of a flight simulator. The first 300 attendees to complete their “Earn Your Wings” passports will receive an SUU balsa wood airplane kit take-home gift. SUU students with a student ID can qualify to enter a drawing for helicopter flyovers at the SUU vs. Cal Poly Homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 7. 

The free concert at the hangar features Van Lady Love of Provo. Winner of the New Music Seminar #1 Artist on the Verge Award in 2014, Van Lady Love has since opened for Blink 182 and Train, among others. Events, prizes, paper airplane contest and concert at the hangar are open to the public, free of charge. 

Red Sky Rally is presented by the SUU Professional Pilot Aviation Program and the Office of Community & Academic Enrichment. For more information, contact (435) 865-8255, or email

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