Answer to a UND Supporter's Comments Posted On Our Discussion Board

UND supporter:  Your assumption of earning a degree here [at UND] is "not worth it".  

Vivian:  Absolutely, I strongly feel earning an aviation degree at UND is a waste of hard earned money.  Yes a pilot needs a degree. But the degree should be something to fall back on if the pilot should loose his / her medical or decides for whatever reason aviation is not for him / her.   In other words, the degree should lead to a separate non-aviation related career.  This is also an excellent idea since it gives the pilot diversity – a quality most corporations and airlines cherish.

The pilot’s aviation experience also needs to be well rounded.  The pilot needs to fly a multitude of aircraft, and fly to as many destinations as possible.   These training opportunities while not available at UND make the pilot not only employable, but useful to the employer. 

On numerous occasions, I spoke to chief and line pilots from all types of aviation businesses.  While these businesses needed pilot, they did not want pilots trained at UND.  These chief pilots considered UND pilots not adequately trained for the rigors of the typical pilot job.

UND supporter: Summarize your accident statistics. The (Grand Forks) airport is the 10th busiest in the country do to our training and with the large numbers of student pilots (roughly 500 this year), you can expect that sometimes they are going to make mistakes.

Vivian: First, let's look at the statistics for the Grand Forks airport. Airports Council International, provides statistics on airports.  The question of how busy an airport is falls into a number of categories including number of passengers or traffic movement.  When considering an airport with a copious amounts of training we consider aircraft movement as opposed to number of passengers.  The following list ranks the world's 30  busiest airports in terms of traffic movement.  (Note: 25 of those 30 airports are in the United States) Grand Forks does not make the list.  Consequently, your claim Grand Forks is the 10th busiest airport is somewhat dubious. (But dubious claims are typical of UND as is the poor grammar and spelling of UND supporters).

Rank Airport Total Movements % Change
CHICAGO (ORD) 922 817 1.2
ATLANTA (ATL) 889 966 ( 0.1)
LOS ANGELES (LAX) 645 424 ( 12.6)
PHOENIX (PHX) 545 771 ( 1.4)
PARIS (CDG) 510 098 ( 2.5)
VAN NUYS (VNY) 498 477 9.1
LAS VEGAS (LAS) 496 845 0.6
DENVER (DEN) 494 834 2.2
Rank Airport Total Movements % Change
DETROIT (DTW) 490 885 ( 6.0)
CINCINNATI (HEBRON) (CVG) 486 501 25.6
LONDON (LHR) 466 554 0.6
PHILADELPHIA (PHL) 463 167 ( 0.8)
FRANKFURT/MAIN (FRA) 458 359 0.4
HOUSTON (IAH) 456 831 ( 3.0)
CHARLOTTE (CLT) 455 516 ( 1.2)
MIAMI (MIA) 446 235 ( 5.3)
ST LOUIS (STL) 437 117 ( 7.8)
PITTSBURGH (PIT) 424 974 ( 5.9)
Rank Airport Total Movements % Change
AMSTERDAM (AMS) 417 120 ( 3.5)
SALT LAKE CITY (SLC) 406 994 9.3
NEWARK (EWR) 405 562 ( 7.7)
MEMPHIS (MEM) 398 769 1.0
BOSTON (BOS) 392 079 ( 15.3)
PHOENIX (DVT) 389 570 14.6
TORONTO (YYZ) 383 189 ( 5.7)
SANFORD (SFB) 373 302 ( 6.1)
WASHINGTON (IAD) 372 636 ( 6.1)
OAKLAND (OAK) 371 988 ( 6.0)
Re: 2002 Traffic Movements Source: Airports Council International

 Graphically speaking

Map source: AOPA

UND supporter:  In addition we have the second largest enrollment for flight students in the country. As a result of our 500,000+ flight hours per year, you can expect some mishaps to occur. Given your number of "mishaps" and divide that by the number of flight hours on average since this school was created, you can determine that our ratio is approximately 1 mishap for ever 800,000 flight hour. Compare this to Embry Riddle (higher fatality rates) and Daniel Webster (An extremely small schoo). You can see the differences. My point, if you're going to bash UND, especially the Aerospace department, try to present the facts a little more uniformily and with a little more tact.

Vivian: I am trying to obtain the statistics on US Flight Schools at this time.  A preliminary review of US based flight schools, suggests both Flight Safety and Embry Riddle are larger than UND.  If these preliminary statistics are provable, the claim UND has the second largest enrollment for flight students in the country would be yet another false assertion.

UND supporter: Summarize your accident statistics

Vivian:  The aviation accident / incident statistics presented on this site are from the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), and the Federal Aviation Administration.  Reading each accident and incident raises questions about the quality of UND’s pilot instruction.  For instance, the suicide that took place in Rapid City when a UND pilot with a drinking problem crashed a UND airplane into the ground killing himself also raises questions about UND administrative competence.  Recall, I was attempting to study medicine at UND.  A student who was causing me a lot of problems (for instance, accusing me of cheating on an exam I was not supposed to take and never took) accused me of calling her an claiming I was going to commit suicide.  UND administrators immediately sprung to action.  They held a behavioral assessment without me being present and ultimately voted to “force me to fail”!  Incidentally, I was NEVER suicidal.  I was merely accused of being suicidal by someone who simply wanted to cause trouble.  If UND administrators had learned the warning signs of a truly suicidal individual, the tragic Rapid City incident may have been averted.

UND supporter: Do you realize that you can't have a COM SES and and ATP SMEL and the same time? If you get your ATP, this will apply towards towards your license in general, and NOT just towards a certain land or sea rating that you have acquired. In addition your lack of posting a "CFI" moniker behind the rest of your initials indicates another disturbing descrepancy as well.

Vivian:  Attached are images of my certificates and ratings.  As you can see, the FAA issued me a certificate with commercial privileges in a single-engine seaplane with ATP in a single-engine land airplane.

Click thumbnail to enlarge


Lastly, my demeanor towards UND is a product of how I was treated at UND.  If UND would bother to follow their own regulations, I would never give them bad press.  See UND - A Fraud in Medical Education for details.