Oscar and his boys strike a pose for their family photo.
By Jessica Weney & Jul DeGeus
Thanksgiving is a time of reflection; what we have, what we want and even what we’ve lost. Here at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM), we witness gratefulness daily through the hard work and effort our students and staff exhibit. Gestures of gratitude can so easily go unrecognized when you’ve got your eye on the prize, as so many of our scholars do.
But what is behind this drive? What makes ‘the daily grind’ worth all the effort to our students? Jessica Weney, Student Services Coordinator of AIM Philadelphia, was curious to find out. So, like any inquisitive mind, Jessica sought out for answers by interviewing Oscar Polanco, Diane Pettiford, Luis Zayas, and Teresa Williamson, students at AIM.
Teresa and siblings gather to support one another.
Who/What are you most thankful for?
Oscar: My kids are my daily motivation. I want to give them the best life I can give to them, so they do not have to live with struggles I did. I am thankful every day for the health and happiness that both my family and I have.
Diane: I am thankful every day for my family. I would not be able to achieve what I am right now without their motivation and support.
Luis: I am thankful for God and the path he put me on to get me here. I am so, so thankful for my family for supporting me with my decisions and motivating me to do the best I can.
Teresa: I am thankful every day for life as a whole. I’m thankful for my parents for making me the best person I can be, teaching me that sky’s the limit, and to reach for my goals.
Diane’s children snuggled up together.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Oscar: My favorite traditions is getting together with my family from all over the country. Catching up over dinner and cocktails, reminiscing, and learning what new exciting things are to come for my family.
Diane: Last minute shopping trips with my sister and knowing what the looks will be on my kids’ faces when they get their gifts is priceless.
Luis: I love getting together with family, reminiscing, and showing love and support for one another.
Teresa: Being that my parents are deceased, the holidays are rough for me and my siblings. My brothers and sisters and I all go to mass together because it was something we used to do with our parents on the eve of the holidays. We also have a small dinner just the 4 of us.
Luis and his family geared up for game day.
And there you have it. Jessica found out that you can find the reason behind anyone’s drive, if you just take the time. Like Luis’s lifelong dream of becoming an Aviation Maintenance Technician or Diane’s daily performance, showing her children she is a strong, positive and encouraging role model. You’ll see Teresa living each day out emulating her parents and honoring their memory or Oscar showing his children the rewards of hard work and the bond of family. And finally, Jessica, whose determination and curiosity actually reflects her affection and devotion towards every student who walks into her office.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at AIM.
Training Tomorrow’s Aircraft Mechanics
A Growing Need for Aircraft Maintenance Training
According to the 2016 Boeing Current Market Outlook, the aviation industry will need 679,000 new aviation maintenance technicians as it continues toward the year 2035. There are currently not enough technicians to meet this need, creating a skills gap for the industry. So let’s stop for a moment and ask ourselves “What are we doing about this?”
Training Aircraft Mechanics with Apprentice Programs
What if a proactive approach, such as an apprenticeship program, was taken to allow students a first-hand opportunity to learn a new aspect of the field in which they work? This would provide vital experience for future aviation mechanics, while helping the facilities keep up with their work loads. The Aviation Institute of Maintenance believes in this approach and is prepared to give its students the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.
An example of such an opportunity is the apprenticeship program between Aviation Institute of Maintenance and a fully-operational WWI and WWII aircraft restoration facility called The Fighter Factory, located at the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, VA. This program was recently featured in Aviation Maintenance Technology’s monthly magazine. The Fighter Factory’s apprenticeship program gives select students a real hands-on understanding of building, restoring and maintaining these historic and iconic aircraft. The Fighter Factory has realized that to keep these warbirds in flying condition it needs skilled aircraft mechanics to service and maintain them to meet FAA standards. This apprenticeship program gives students a forum to put their knowledge to the ultimate test.
This is what the aviation maintenance industry needs; more hands-on training which would lead to more qualified aircraft technicians to meet a growing industry’s demand.
Prep for your Drone pilot Certification with Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training Courses
New UAS Certification Requirements Announced by FAA
Earlier this year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced new regulations, via their Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule (Part 107), making it safer for businesses to operate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), by applying the FAA aircraft registration requirements. These new regulations went into effect in August 2016. Commercial drone pilots will now be required to pass the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge test.
The FAA reported, the UAS industry estimates the rule could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.
Preparing for Certification: UAS Training Courses Now Available
In response to the new testing requirements, the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) has launched an Unmanned Aircraft System UAS training program for two of its locations; Chesapeake and Manassas, Virginia. The program consists of two separate two-day training courses, which are currently being offered on selected weekends. Individuals have the option of registering for a single course, or both courses together.
The first of these training courses serves as an introduction to unmanned aircraft systems and will teach students aerodynamic theory, principles of flight, flight restrictions, obstacle clearing, as well as the roles and responsibilities for unmanned aircraft systems.
The second of these courses provides a deeper operational understanding on unmanned aircraft systems, including unique flight properties and performance, calculating weight and balance, performing basic and advanced flight maneuvers and actions, and responses to common emergency scenarios.
These UAS training courses will prepare students to take the FAA UAS aeronautical knowledge test, or recurrent test for former military UAS operators, which would allow them to obtain their operator certificate from the FAA. Test fees are included in the cost of the training and can be taken right on campus. For more information on course dates, contact Brian Yeck (email@example.com) for Manassas training and Rosetta CiConta (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Chesapeake.