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.
United Airlines Visits AIM Orlando
We have been visited recently by a lot of large companies in the aviation industry. Some of which include United, Delta, PSA Airlines, Express Jet and many more! Not only do these companies actively look for potential students for internships, they also see our grads as “premium” candidates for upcoming careers in the industry.
On Thursday, May 26, 2016, Mr. Dave Shotsberger, The Southeast Regional manager of Technical Operations with United Airlines was at AIM Orlando to speak with all current students (Day & Evening), and graduates. Mr. Shotsberger talked to the students about what United, a premium employer, expects when recruiting for their A & P technicians. Subjects such as the importance of good attendance (no deficiencies), the attainment of the A & P certification, exceptional grades and enthusiasm with mechanical work, as well as overall mechanical aptitude were discussed when he talked about the qualities they look for in an A & P mechanic to hire. He also stressed the little things such as how important wearing your badge every day is, looking and acting professional, and showing a United recruiter that a student/grad is a “premium” candidate.
Mr. Shotsberger also shared that United is rolling out amazing job opportunities for A & P mechanics with United: 400-500 A & P job opportunities for those with their A & P certification with no required experience! What an awesome day to hear from the insides of United Airlines’ technical operations! Thanks Mr. Shotsberger and United Airlines, for 2 awesome presentations to our students and graduates!
During the month of June, AIM Houston hosted a presentation from one of the regional airports at Hobby. Express Jet’s, Keith Browles (Lead A & P Mechanic) for the Shreveport, LA location, met with our current students, alumni and prospective students to demonstrate what a day in the life of an A & P Mechanic looks like in the real world. Browles discussed Human Factors and how important they are in order for an airport to run safely and under compliance with OSHA. He also informed the audience about how Express Jet is a regional airline and explained the difference between regional and a major airline.
This visit was an excellent opportunity to motivate our current students to get their A & P certification and to take the initiative needed to become a premium career candidate. The graduates that attended had the opportunity to speak with Browles, who is the recruiter for several Express Jet locations, and submit their resumes.
AIM Houston is committed to supporting students on their path to becoming successful graduates by providing opportunities for growth and knowledge. We would like to extend a big thank you to Express Jet for their contributions to this mission.
AIM Houston Students Visit United Airlines Facility
The Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) launched a free online course in Human Factors for aviation professionals, students, and enthusiasts around the globe. Understanding that 80% of all aviation-related incidents and injury occur because of human error, oversight, fatigue, and other human-related factors, AIM intends to combat such incidents by offering widespread instruction and guidance on minimizing risk. The school encourages students, professionals, and volunteers to enroll in this free continuing education course by visiting www.Aviation.edu.
Register for the free Human Factors Course Now!
In addition to the free Human Factors course, AIM has also made available an advanced online professional certification course entitled, “Minimizing the Risk of Incident and Injury due to Human Factors.” This certification course provides an in-depth understanding of the twelve most common human-related risk factors for aviation incidents, known as the “dirty dozen.” This course draws from the material in the introductory curriculum and allows the trainee to apply their knowledge and experience to numerous scenario-based situations in order to become more aware of accidents, why they happen, and how to avoid them. The instructor-led certification process carries a cost of $49 and awards graduates a certification from Aviation Institute of Maintenance.
Dr. Joel English, Vice President of Operations at AIM and author of Plugged In: Succeeding as an Online Learner, states that both the free introductory course and the full certification course are examples of innovative technologies and strong online teaching methods. “Our certification course doesn’t have the anonymous feel of a ‘MOOC,’ where the trainee wades through streams of information with no interaction. It’s situation based, there’s interaction with the instructor, and the assessments draw directly from the scenarios that the video lectures discuss.” The courses feature high definition video instruction, interaction with others in the course, and examples from authentic experiences that help the aviation professional think critically about safety in the workplace. English states, “AIM has always dedicated our instruction to awareness of the possibility for accidents or injury, and we found no reason to keep this innovative coursework to ourselves, when professionals around the industry could benefit.”
Aviation Institute of Maintenance is the United States’ largest family of aviation maintenance schools, with headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va. Students learn the skills necessary to become successful in one of the world’s fastest growing industries, aviation maintenance and the free Human Factors course and certification are examples of the school’s passion and commitment to the aviation industry. To see why Human Factors are important in the avionics industry, review the Role of Human Factors in the FAA.
Learn more at: www.Aviation.edu.