Introduction to Aircraft Flight Operations

Upcoming Course

Course description

Introduction to Aircraft Operations provides students, engineers, mechanics and other professionals with exposure to aircraft systems, flight testing, operations and piloting. The course is intended to be a stand-alone program focused on helping attendees understand the theory, regulations and practical methods of testing and operating aircraft. It can also be used as a pre-cursor to flight training for private pilot certification. Classroom discussions focus on aerodynamics, aircraft design, flight testing, certification and piloting skills. Students will receive a pilot logbook and 2.5 hours of instruction in the AATD flight simulator and 2.5 hours of instruction in Piper Cherokee or Cessna 172 aircraft with a certified flight instructor.

Instructional hours

  • 10 hours of classroom instruction (At UMKC Flight Simulator Laboratory, with Zoom Option)
  • 2.5 hours of simulator instruction per student (At UMKC Flight Simulator Laboratory)
  • 2.5 hours of aircraft flight instruction per student (At ATD Flight Systems at MKC Downtown Airport) 

Class fee


Register Now!

Additional hours of flight simulator rental available for $50/hour (simulator only) or $100/hour (simulator with certified flight instructor)

Flight Simulator Rental

Flight Simulator Rental with Instructor

Class schedule

  • Fall class: September to November, meet weekly on Monday afternoons.
  • Spring class: March to May, meet weekly on Monday afternoons.






Airflow, dynamic pressure, airfoils, angle of attack, camber, lift, drag, Bernoulli, and Newton


Wings and Tails

Wing span, chord, sweep, taper, twist, dihedral.  Wing-tail configurations, pitching moment, and center of gravity


Aircraft Design

Conceptual design, sizing, configuration, and requirements


Aircraft Structures

Wing spars, ribs, skins.  Control surfaces, fuselage, and landing gear


Propulsion System

Propellers, internal combustion engines, gas turbine engines, turbojets, turbofans, and gliders


Stability and Control

Longitudinal and lateral static stability, dynamic stability, modes, and maneuvering


Flight Testing

Flight test methods, flight cards, maneuvers, data analysis, and reporting


Aircraft Certification & Maintenance

Part 23 aircraft certification for certified aircraft.  Experimental amateur built requirement


Aircraft Types and Use Cases

Single engine, multi-engine, pressurized, turbine.  Private, commercial, air carrier, government, and research


Pilot Certification

Private, instrument, commercial, multi-engine, flight instructor, air transport pilot

Mode of delivery

  • In-person (online option for classroom instruction)


Plaster Center P305 – UMKC Flight Simulator Room

ATD Flight Systems - MKC Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport

Who should take this course

Engineers, scientists, educators, students, and other technically-minded professionals interested in understanding more about aircraft flight operations. The course can be used to satisfy curiosity, as continuing professional education, in support of employee roles, or as a precursor to flight training and earning an FAA Private Pilot Certificate. No requirements for successful completion of the course.

Included in this course

  • Slides and lecture materials
  • Digital copies of FAA reference materials
  • 2.5 hours use of UMKC flight simulator
  • 2.5 hours of aircraft rental from ATD
  • 5 hours of flight instruction with Certified Flight Instructor
  • Discount at ATD flight systems for continued learning

Benefits of course

This course is focused on providing a transition between the engineering thought process and the pilot training thought process. It helps attendees understand why airplane design engineers made specific design choices and provides a foundation for how aircraft achieve and maintain flight. The insight gained in this course will allow engineers to viscerally experience the vehicles they design.

Can't Make It to This Class? Request a Custom Class for Your Office

The Introduction to Flight Operations course can be customized to your organization's needs and can be scheduled at other times upon request and subject to instructor availability. Fee is dependent on location, duration and schedule, number of participants and materials needed.

Email for more information.

About the instructor

Mujahid Abdulrahim, PhD, CFI is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Science and Engineering at UMKC.  His research areas focus on novel aircraft design, flight control systems, and autonomous robotics.  Mujahid is a certified flight instructor with more than 1000 hours of flying experience in 30 different aircraft types. 

Mujahid earned BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida.  His graduate work focused on using biological inspiration to improve the agility and performance of micro air vehicles and included elements of aircraft design, fabrication, flight testing, data analysis, and control design. 

Mujahid regularly maintains and flies a Thorp S-18 experimental aircraft and has rented aircraft from more 20 different flight schools.  He teaches private and commercial students in single engine aircraft and is a commercial, multi-engine, instrument-rated pilot.  Mujahid teaches Aircraft Design and Flight and Road Vehicle Test Engineering courses at UMKC.