School of the Week: Davis Aerospace Technical High School

Where students learn ‘the sky is the limit’

Davis Aerospace Technical High School offers a one-of-a-kind learning experience that engages students in a rigorous college preparatory academic curriculum coupled with a remarkable technical education program that prepares students for careers in aviation, aerospace, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The only program of its type in the entire State of Michigan, students learn to maintenance and fly Cessna aircrafts—yes fly! And they can earn their Private Pilot license prior to graduation.

The school partners with Delta Air lines, Western Michigan University, College of Aviation, Tuskegee Airmen, Detroit City Airport and other business/community organizations.  

Something You Didn’t Know…

Davis Aerospace was the only school-based program to host this year’s Michigan Aviation Association Michigan Air Tour on September 21, 2012.

In recognition of the remarkable aviation programs that Davis Aerospace offers, the school was selected as the starting point of the 2012 Michigan Air Tour. Nearly 30 pilots from across the state and Canada landed personal aircrafts on the grounds of Davis Aerospace.  The tour also held stops in Marshall, Adrian, Battle Creek, Cadillac and Alpena.

A presentation was held honoring the Davis Aerospace Flight Training Program for being only one of a few flight programs available to public school students in the United States that allows students who successfully complete all flight-training requirements to achieve their Private Pilot license prior to graduation.  The students also provided school tours to the visiting pilots of the MAA.

Click here to view a short video clip of the presentation.

“This is not only one of the gems of Detroit, but also of the entire country,” said Bob Shafer, Michigan Aviation Association President. “I don’t know of any other high school programs in the state of Michigan that offer a pilot’s license to high school students. As you can see, this school isn’t just producing our pilots of tomorrow, it’s producing great people.”

The ‘Gem of Detroit’

Davis Aerospace originated as the “Aero Mechanics” school in 1946, an institution to help veterans returning from WWII get civilian certification to maintain civil aircraft. Later, renamed for the famous Tuskegee Airman, Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the school has continued that tradition with an FAA approved Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technician School curriculum.

The program is one of only a handful of flight programs available to public school students in the United States that has an approved FAA curriculum coupled with an in-house fleet of aircraft that are owned, operated, and serviced by its students and staff.

And, the school’s graduation rate is 96 percent.

In the 1980s, a Private Pilot flight curriculum became available to high school students. Graduates of Davis Aerospace can leave high school with an Airframe or Powerplant Mechanic License and a Private Pilot License. Areas of concentration include Federal Aviation Regulations, Aerodynamics, Flight Planning, Radio Communications, Basic weather theory and Aircraft Performance/Weight & Balance.

 Some Offerings:

Advanced Placement classes, Dual Enrollment, World Languages (Spanish/Chinese), Accelerated Reading/Math, Afterschool Learning Center/Extended Day, Aviation Maintenance Training, Flight Training, JROTC, Mentoring Programs, Robotics, Women in Aviation Club, High Flyer’s Aviation Club, Student Council, National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Journalism, Knitting Club, Varsity Basketball (Boys/Girls), Cheerleading, JROTC Drill/Step Team, Top Flight Readers Book Club, Career Counseling and Career Placement.

If you would like your school featured, send submissions to with the subject line “School of the Week candidate.”

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