Frank H Ayers

Professor of Aeronautical Science
Aeronautical Science Department
Daytona College of Aviation
Daytona Beach campus

Office Hours

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Areas of Expertise

Organizational Leadership, Change Management, Aviation,

Dr. Frank Ayers has returned to his position (as of 1 July, 2019) as a tenured Professor of Aeronautical Science at the Daytona Beach Campus. He is an active pilot and holds both the ATP and CFI ratings. He is an experienced aviation safety professional as well as a lifelong professional aviator. He, and his wife Debbie, are the proud owners of a beautiful 1976 Cessna Cardinal. Dr. Ayers joined the university in the year 2,000 as an assistant professor, after a 26 year career in the US Air Force.  

For the last ten years (September 2009 to June 2019)  he was privileged to serve as the 7th Chancellor and serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Prescott Arizona campus, of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.  As chancellor, he oversees a full range of academic, operational and professional activities, and sets strategic direction in academics, business operations, enrollment management, academic support, financial aid and student life. His other responsibilities include leadership at the University Cabinet level, philanthropic initiatives and external relationships with government and industry.  Dr. Ayers is a professor of aeronautical science.

During his tenure, the Western Campus of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, has experienced simultaneous growth in the quantity and quality of all aspects of academic and co-curricular life. The campus has increased enrollments by over 50 percent in the last five years while increasing entering student academic profiles, first year retention, diversity and four and six year graduation rates significantly. With the addition of nine new academic programs, seven intercollegiate sports, the nation’s first and only College of Security and Intelligence, and the recently created School of Business, the campus has matured into a premier Aerospace and STEM university.  With the unwavering support of the University Board of Trustees, the Prescott campus has been transformed by several new academic, athletic, and residence life facilities.

Previously, Dr. Ayers was chairman of the flight training department at the University's Daytona Beach, Florida Campus. In that position, he managed a staff of 250 personnel, training more than 1,000 students annually, and flying more than 70,000 flight hours per year. Prior to joining Embry-Riddle, Ayers was in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years, serving as a B-52 instructor pilot, commander of a B-52 Training Squadron, Support Group Commander and Chief of Joint Military Education Policy at the Pentagon, among other assignments. He earned an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, with type ratings in the Boeing 757 and 767, and is a certified flight instructor. Ayers has logged more than 6,500 flight hours in a wide variety of aircraft types.

Dr. Ayers received a B.A. in History from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle and an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University. He is a graduate of the Harvard University, Senior Leaders in Government course and the University of Southern California, Aircraft Accident Investigation Course. 

Dr. Ayers is an elected member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Council of Presidents and is President of the Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) Board of Electors. 

Dr. Ayers is the 2013 inductee in the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Aviation Hall of Fame, for notable achievement in the fields of aerospace and aviation. Additionally, he was named the recipient of the University Aviation Association's 2005 Frank E. Sorenson Award, for "the professional educator who has made substantial contributions to the field of aviation research and scholarship."

 Dr. Ayers has been married to his wife Debbie for over 43 years and they have two married sons, Mike (Stacey) and Clif (Stephanie) , and three wonderful grandchildren. 


  • Ed.D. - Doctor of Education in Adult Education, Nova Southeastern University
  • M. - Master in Aviation Management, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

  • CFI - Certified Flight Instructor
  • ATP - Airline Transport Pilot

  • AS 321: Commercial Pilot Operations
  • DAV 712: Aviation Safety Management Sys

ASC 101 Student Success
AS 230/232 Instruments
AS 330 Transcontinental Flight Navigation
AS 452 Electronic Navigation
AS 460 International Flight Operations
MSA 652 Continuing Educations Role in Aviation (Course monitor)
MSA 602 Air Transportation System (Course Monitor)
MSA 611 Aircraft Sytems Safety

Ayers, F. (2009). Student Perception of the Validity and Reliability
Of University Flight Training Assessment, submitted to the Collegiate
Aviation Review (CAR) a juried publication of the University Aviation
Association

Ayers, F. (2008). A Study of Student Perception of the Validity and Reliability
In University Flight Training Assessment, (Doctoral Dissertation),
NOVA Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Ayers, F. (2006) The Application of Scenario Based Recurrent Training to
Teach Single Pilot Resource Management (SRM) under the FAA
Industry Training Standards (FITS) Program. Journal of
Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research, 15(2), 13-26

Ayers, F., (2004). Single Pilot FITS, COPA uses scenarios to improve pilot
Decision-making. NAFI Mentor, 6 (10), 8-10

Ayers, F. & Connolly T., (2003). Teaching FITS, New Training Program
Addresses Next-Generation GA Aircraft. NAFI Mentor, 5(10), 10-13

Ayers, F. (2002). A Day in the Life, Woman Pilot Magazine, 10, 16-19

Ayers, F. (1996). Mission Type Orders and Joint Air Employment Doctrine.
(Available from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA
17013-5050)

Ayers, F. & Gravatt, B. (1988). The Fireman, Twelve O Clock High
Revisited. Aerospace Historian, 35, 20-25

Technical Reports

Summers, M., Ayers, F., Connolly, T. and Robertson, C. (2007) Managing
risk through scenario based training, single pilot resource management,
and learner centered grading, http://www.faa.gov/education
_research/training/fits/

Ayers, F., Summers, M., and Connolly, T. (2005). Scenario Based Training
Course Developers Guide: A Guide for training providers, Fixed
Base Operators, and Aircraft manufacturers,
http://www.faa.gov/education _research/training/fits/


Ayers, F., Robertson, C, & Connolly, T. (2004), FITS Private Instrument Generic Syllabus for technically Advanced Aircraft, Version 1.0, http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/fits/, (Located under the generic button)

Ayers, F., Robertson, C, & Connolly, T. (2004), FITS Piston Technically Advanced Aircraft Recurrent Training Syllabus and Standards, Version 1.0, http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/fits/, (Located under the generic button)

Ayers, F., Robertson, C, & Connolly, T. (2003), FITS Master Instructor Syllabus TAA Scenario Based Instructor Guide, Version 1.0, http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/fits/, (Located under the generic button)

Ayers, F., Robertson, C, & Connolly, T. (2003), FAA Industry Training Standards (FITS) Scenario-Based Transition Syllabus and Standards For Technically Advanced Piston Aircraft, http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/fits/ (Located under the generic button)

Fiduccia, P., Wright, B., Ayers, F., Edberg, J., Foster, L., Henry, M., et al. (2003).General Aviation Technically Advanced Aircraft FAA-Industry, Safety Study, Final Report.http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/fits/ (Located under the
whats new button)



Formal Presentations

Ayers, F. (26 March, 2009) Making the Business Case for ADS-B
In Your Organization. Invited to present at the Aviation Week
Management Forum on ADS-B & Next Gen Air Traffic Modernization,
Washington, DC


Ayers, F. (4 June, 2008). A Study of Student Perception of the Validity and Reliability
In University Flight Training Assessment, a paper presented to the FAA
Center for General Aviation Research (CGAR) Spring Conference,
Anchorage, AK

Ayers, F. (20 March, 2008). Maximizing Use of Simulation in Ab Initio Education,
Panel address delivered to the National Training Aircraft Symposium,
Daytona Beach, FL

Ayers, F. (19 March, 2008). Working Together as Flight Training Teams,
Panel Charge delivered to the National Training Aircraft Symposium,
Daytona Beach, FL

Ayers, F. (28 June, 2006). Learner Centered Grading, presented to the FAA
Center for General Aviation Research (CGAR) Spring Conference,
Prescott, AZ

Ayers, F. and Connolly, T. (8 October, 2004). The FITS Project Approach to Flight Training, University Aviation Association Fall Education Conference, Toronto Canada

Ayers, F. and Wright, B.. (4-7 November, 2003) Joint Training Standards Development for New Technology General Aviation Aircraft-FAA/Industry Training Standards, Federal Aviation Administration Centers of Excellence, 3rd Joint Annual Meeting, Daytona Beach, FL.

Ayers F., Connolly, T., & Dubuque, D., FAA Industry Training Standards, (11-12 June 2003), Federal Aviation Administration, General Aviation Center of Excellence, 2nd Annual Meeting, Anchorage, AL.

Industry/ University Presentations

Ayers, F. (23 August, 2004). 'Using Guided Discussion and Learner Centered Education in the College Classroom' Invited presenter at the ERAU Faculty Teaching and Learning Seminars. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fl.

Ayers, F., and Wright, B., (July, 2003) FAA Industry Standards,), Tent Forum, Experimental Aircraft Association Annual Fly-Inn, Oshkosh WI

Ayers, F. (Jan , 2002). Personal Leadership Style, Matching Your Skills to the People and the Task. Invited presenter 4th Annual Student leadership Conference, Embry Riddle University, Daytona Beach, Fl

Ayers, F. (Jan , 2001). Leadership In Large Organizations. Invited presenter 3rd Annual Student leadership Conference, Embry Riddle University, Daytona Beach, Fl


Flight Experience and Ratings

Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) with type ratings in the Boeing 757 and 767,
Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
Commercial Pilot, Single Engine Land,

Over 6,500 flight hours in the following aircraft B 757, B-52, T-37, T-38, KC 135, C-47, and a wide variety of light single engine aircraft

Prior Life/Work Experience

Graduate, Harvard University Senior Leaders in Government Course

Graduate, University of Southern California, Aircraft Accident Investigation Course

Colonel (Retired) United States Air Force
Chief of Joint Military Education, The Pentagon
Commander, 37th Support Group, Lackland Air Force Base Texas
Commander, 329th Combat Crew Training Squadron (B-52), Castle Air Force Base California
Commander, Camp Phillips, Guantanamo Bay Naval Base Cuba


Member - Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education (appointed by Governor Doug Ducey) 2018-2022

Member,National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Council of Presidents - 2015-2019

President - Yavapai County Hospital Board of Electors, 2011-present


Dr.Ayers is the Principal Investigator for the FAA Industry Training Standards (FITS) program. He is the lead researcher and project manager of a one million dollar, three and one half year grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. Professor Ayers supervises eight researchers at two separate institutions plus two graduate assistants. He coordinates the efforts of the FAA, four major general aviation manufacturers, and three major universities.

Dr. Ayers was an invited member of the FAA Technically Advanced Aircraft Safety Study. The final report of this group of industry, government, and academic experts identified root causes and interventions for a string of 13 accidents over a two-year period in the Cirrus and Lancair aircraft. The recommendations of this study endorsed the FITS training philosophy and execution and provided valuable insight for the FITS team.

President, Flagler, Palm Coast High School, School Advisory Committee, 2001-2002
Lay Leader, Palm Coast United Methodist Church, 2002-2003
Board Member , Sonrise Walk to Emmaus Community, Ormond Beach, FL
Musician, Dr. Rick Martorano 18 piece Jazz Band, 2002-2003


Dr. Ayers is the 2013 inductee in the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Aviation Hall of Fame, for notable achievement in the fields of aerospace and aviation. Additionally, he was named the recipient of the University Aviation Association's 2005 Frank E. Sorenson Award, for "the professional educator who has made substantial contributions to the field of aviation research and scholarship."


National Award Winner: Professor Ayers is the recipient of the 2005 University Aviation Association (UAA) Frank E. Sorenson Award. This national award is presented for research and publication excellence and was presented at the UAA National Convention in September of 2005.

National Recognition: Professor Ayers is included in the eighth and ninth editions of 'Who's Who Among America's Teacher's, published in September of 2004. He was nominated by a former student and formally accepted in June of 2004.

University Wide Award Nominee/Recipient: Professor Ayers is the winner of the 2004 Outstanding Faculty Award, Presented April the 7th 2004 at the '2004 Student Activities Awards Ceremony'. Presented to the single outstanding faculty member at the Daytona Beach campus who 'has provided outstanding support of an organization.'

Outstanding Aeronautical Science Faculty Member Award, 2001-2002 (awarded second year in the department)

FITS recognized as the Center of Excellence (COE) as the General Aviation Research 'Success Story' at the 3rd Annual COE Conference from over 30 ongoing research efforts