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New sign at Ray and Linda Booker Flight Center

Learning to Fly: Students praise new Ray and Linda Booker OSU Flight Center

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Media Contact: Kirsi McDowell | Senior Communications Specialist | 405-744-9347 |

Aviation students this fall are already starting to appreciate their sparkling, spacious new home.

The College of Education and Human Sciences celebrated the grand opening of the state-of-the-art Ray and Linda Booker OSU Flight Center in February, and the building became fully operational during the spring semester. 

Students sit at Booker Flight Center conference table

The 11,600 square-foot building replaced Oklahoma State University Aviation’s outdated facilities and more than doubled the space available to students and flight instructors. Building highlights include 35 workstations for flight instructors, debriefing rooms where student pilots will receive feedback, a student lounge and locker room, an academic suite and flight simulation rooms. The orange-roofed facility is located southwest of Stillwater Regional Airport along North Airport Road.

“With this new flight center, we now have a home that matches the energy, passion and success of our students and faculty,” said Dr. Jon Pedersen, dean of OSU’s College of Education and Human Sciences.

The ASPIRE staff asked current aviation students about the new facility and how it is impacting their education and experience.


“The new Ray and Linda Booker Flight Center has totally changed the dynamic within OSU Aviation, and we feel valued within the university in an entirely new way. It provides countless enhancements to the student experience, including the common areas where students can chat and relax. There is plenty of space to sit down and talk with your peers and get to know others in the program. There is a safety benefit with this as well; in aviation we talk a lot about hangar flying, or discussing flying experiences, tips and things you have learned from experience with other pilots while on the ground. Having places to "hangar fly" is a major benefit of our new facility that will contribute to our continued safe training operations. Ultimately it is the people, not the building, that make the program what it is, and the Ray and Linda Booker Flight Center contributes to this. Having a beautiful, large new facility on display helps attract the best and brightest students from across the country to learn to fly at OSU.”

- Ryan Austin, Professional Pilot Student
Wichita, Kansas

“It might sound silly, but my favorite part of the new flight center is the roof. It's America's brightest orange, and every pilot flying inbound can see it. Whether students have had a long cross-country flight, are returning from a tough lesson, or they are beyond excited because they know they passed their checkride — It's a symbol of OSU pride and that we're back home. It’s the end of one step in a student's journey and the beginning of the next. We are making new traditions and stories here, and I'm looking forward to many more adventures and furthercontinuing my growth as a pilot.”

- Dana Friend, Professional Pilot Student

“I have loved using the new building throughout the summer. The common areas such as the kitchen/lounge, and the lobby with couches and TVs, are probably my favorite because they really help to create a sense of community by encouraging students to hang out before and after flights to meet other students. The biggest change is that every instructor now has their own desk cubicle. Before, multiple instructors had to share a desk area which sometimes made it difficult to schedule times for meetings. Now that every instructor has their own area, it creates ample time and space for completing flight planning, ground lessons and post-flight briefings.”

- Ethan Harris, Professional Pilot Student
Charlotte, North Carolina


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