College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Marine aviator, ISU alum Dwight DeJong is new flight simulator instructor in Aerospace Engineering

Dwight DeJong
Dwight DeJong
Dwight DeJong

In the Marine Corps Dwight DeJong spent many hours training aviators in the fine points of flying military aircraft. In Iowa State’s Department of Aerospace Engineering he’ll be employing that experience teaching undergraduate students the basics of flying – without leaving Howe Hall.

DeJong has joined the department as director of the Flight Simulation Laboratory. He’ll be introducing students to techniques of flying fixed-wing aircraft with the use of six simulators.

Dwight DeJong with AV-8B Harrier on deck of USS Bataan
DeJong with his AV-8B Harrier on the deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan.

AER E 301, a pass-fail required course for graduation with a B.S. in AerE, is conducted in a series of four labs, each lasting for two hours. Students are exposed to a variety of learning objectives covering ground operations, takeoff and departure procedures, basic aircraft handling, navigation, aircraft stall and recovery, landing techniques and procedures, and checklist utilization. 

DeJong graduated from Iowa State’s industrial technology program in 1991. He worked as a facility environmental engineer for Frigidaire Corp. before joining the Marine Corps in 1994. He surpassed 2,000 flight hours on the AV-8B Harrier and 1,000 hours on the C-12 (King Air 250).

Dwight DeJong with flight simulator
DeJong will employ his many years of flight experience – along with six flight simulators in Howe Hall – to teach the basics of flying.

Seven years of DeJong’s military career were heavily involved with testing and evaluation of the design and development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as well as the stand-up of the first operational squadron for the United States Marine Corps and Department of Defense, VMFA 121 Marine Fighter Attack Squadron in Yuma, AZ. DeJong retired from the Marine Corps in 2014 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

He also serves as the F-35 simulation and subject matter expert for the Iowa Air National Guard at the Distributed Training Operations Center in Des Moines, IA.