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Teacher Appreciation Day: Instructors that AIM Above and Beyond

Posted by on May 9, 2017

By Jul DeGeus

We’ve all had that one teacher. You know, the one that was so cool that we didn’t really consider them a teacher. I mean, yeah, we were learning from them, and all, but it didn’t feel like it was their “job” to teach us; they did it because they sincerely wanted to see us succeed. They wanted us to be who we wanted to be and would give us every tool they had at their disposal to help us to get there. We’ll never be able to thank that person properly, but in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day on May 9th, we’d like to thank some of our instructors who are making a difference in all that they do:

AIM Houston

“At AIM Houston, Mr. Michael Riccardelli has been instrumental with providing his skills and expertise to our students. He has especially been an important influence on our A&P Skill Competition Team, the Houston Hawks, who recently placed first at the PAMA Olympics and 2nd at the Aerospace Maintenance Competition in Orlando. His hard work and dedication to our students at AIM Houston is imperative in the success of our Skills Team and all our graduates. AIM Houston would like to thank Mr. Riccardelli and all the AIM Houston faculty for the hard work they do every day. Every one of you is truly appreciated.”

– Aaron Armendariz, Campus Executive Director, AIM Houston

AIM Orlando

“Mr. Robert McRight was selected as AIM Orlando’s Instructor of the Year 2017 due to his professionalism, dedication and attention-to-detail; He raises the bar for excellence.  His unselfish example exhibits him as a team player, which is always evident in his willingness to go above and beyond what is expected.  The students that Mr. McRight taught consistently rated his professional and caring teaching style among the best they had received.  The manner in which he conducts himself reflects total dedication to the mission of the school. He is most deserving of a job “well-done” recognition!”

-Jerry Moore, Campus Executive Director, AIM Orlando

AIM Kansas City

“Mr. Decker has been an instructor at AIM Kansas City for just over a year. In that short amount of time, he has had a great impact on the students. Mr. Decker once sat right where our students sat, as he is a graduate of AIM Kansas City. Mr. Decker creates a class environment that leads students into additional exploration of advanced subject matter above and beyond the standard curriculum. He won instructor of the year at AIM Kansas in his first year, and is always looking at ways to improve the campus. Keep up the great work Mr. Decker!”

-Adrian Rothrock, Campus Executive Director, AIM Kansas City

AIM Atlanta

“Tom Oriole is the resident “helicopter guy” and one of our finest instructors at AIM Atlanta. Having received his A&P license in 1972, Tom has worked all over the world including Nuevo Leon, Mexico and Jiangxi Province, China.  Tom joined the faculty at AIM Atlanta in September of 2012 and quickly became an invaluable asset to the school. Whether introducing new students to Aerodynamic Fundamentals in block 1 or showing a student in block 5 how to calculate sheet metal bend allowance, Tom exhibits the skill, patience, and natural ability to excel as an instructor. Tom has the respect of the students, the faculty and staff and we’re proud to acknowledge him on Teacher Appreciation Day.”

-Ben Sitton, Campus Executive Director, AIM Atlanta

AIM Indianapolis

“Mike Morgan was selected as the AIM Indianapolis instructor of the year for many reasons.  Mike has been instrumental in developing new training aids, such as the JT – 8 engine with functional thrust reverse and the Cabin-Atmosphere mock-up improvements.  Mike works on projects outside the bounds of normal class hours and is always successful in getting students involved with the extra projects.  Mike is an excellent instructor in the classroom and while students claim they are joking about switching shifts to ensure they have class with him, I think they are only half joking.  Mike is a mentor and role model for his students and co-workers.  We are proud to have Mike on staff at AIM Indy.”

-Andy Duncan, Campus Executive Director, AIM Indianapolis

AIM Manassas

“James Heaver has worked on 8 different aircraft fleet types, for 3 different Airlines and has been an instructor for the past 12 years. James has held many position in the aviation field, such as Airline General Maintenance Manual Instructor, Engine Run & Taxi Instructor and FAA FAR Part 147 Director of Education, which make him a well-rounded educator for our campus. In April of 2017, we honored James by choosing him as AIM Manassas’ “Instructor of the Year.” Thank you for all that you do!”

– Marion Dobbins, Campus Executive Director, AIM Manassas

The Houston Hawks Soar to Victory

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017

The Houston Hawks Soar to Victory

Written by: Jennifer Butler, Edited by: Jul DeGeus

It was a “welcome home” worthy of heroes as the Aviation Institute of Maintenance Houston Skills Team returned to their campus the Monday morning after the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) Olympics. Collecting 4 awards, including 1st place individual and 1st place overall, the team was met with a path of adoring students and proud faculty, whose cheers of support and pride echoed throughout the hangar.

The weekend of February 25th, the Houston Hawks flew to the Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas to take part in the PAMAs, rivaling against strong competitors such as: Texas State Technical College, TULSA Tech, Tarrant Community College, Letourneau University and even their sister campus, AIM Dallas.  Most of the opposing teams had worked together for several years and had multiple PAMA wins under their belts.  But this year was different; this year a technical school from Houston, Texas stepped up to the plate and challenged the winning streak of Tarrant County Community College and Letourneau University:

This year was and is Houston’s year.  The Hawks took 1st place Individual, 3rd place Individual, 1st place Overall Team and 2nd place for Operation C.H.A.O.S.  In my opinion it was a sweep.  This is a first for PAMA, AIM Houston is the only technical school that has ever won the PAMA Olympics.  The Houston Campus Instructors were very instrumental in prepping this team and it takes an awesome team to become a winning team.  This was a win for all of AIM!  – Mike Riccardelli, Houston Hawks Coach (2nd Place Operation C.H.A.O.S.)

It’s no surprise that an AIM school would win with such sweeping success.  The PAMA Olympics is an example of a remarkable opportunity encouraged by AIM Houston for students to network with members of the community and to grow as individuals and we’re so proud of AIM Houston’s Skills Team and all of our students that make great strides every day.  It takes each individual to make a campus strong.  We believe that all individuals are capable of great accomplishments and success.

The Houston Hawks showcased immeasurable pride with strength and determination.  This was a momentous occasion for such a talented group of future Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics.  But this success isn’t AIM Houston’s alone; this accomplishment is for all AIMs.  The Houston Hawks will attend the Aerospace Maintenance Competition, April 24-27 in Orlando, FL. The world is at our doorstep and together, AIM shall take the next adventure, one step at a time.

AIM Instructor Named NextGen 40 under 40 Aircraft Maintenance Professional

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015

karnuth1AIM-Virginia Beach’s David Karnuth was recently named one of AMT magazine’s NextGen 40 under 40 Aircraft Maintenance Professionals. The inaugural 2015 AMT Next Gen Awards showcase individuals in the industry that are going above and beyond their job descriptions and for their own accomplishments in what they bring to their companies and the industry. The Next Gen winners represent the total maintenance arena as they represent airline, general aviation, corporate aviation, military, MROs, rotorcraft, and education segments of the industry.


Click here to read more…AIM Instructor Named NextGen 40 under 40 Aircraft Maintenance Professional

AMD, AMH Participate in Southwest Region PAMA Olympics

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015

Southwest Region PAMA OlympicsThe 6th Annual Southwest Region FAR 147 PAMA Olympics was held March 28th and drew nine regional school participants. Tarrant County College once again played host to this year’s competition and welcomed teams from across the southwest, to include our own teams representing  AIM – Dallas and AIM – Houston.

Each team consisted of five ‘Olympians.’  Competition consisted of twelve 20‐minute labs, with judges scoring each contestant. They would move to their next lab. The contestants were given a five minute evaluation time, reading the next lab sheet without touching the equipment.

An annual favorite of coaches and students alike, Operation C.H.A.O.S. presented team coaches with a pile of miscellaneous parts and minimal tools, and were then challenged to design a specific assembly. The event, the brainchild of John Eslinger, is judged by a simple vote by team members.

The competition’s focus has always been to bring the various FAR 147 schools together to exchange ideas and allow the students to interact and network with other like-minded future aviation professionals.  And, of course, have a good time.

Congratulations to all the contestants!

AIM Schools Earn FAA Elite Diamond Award of Excellence

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015

faa_diamond_awardWe are pleased to announce that AIM Indianapolis (AMI) and AIM Chesapeake (AMN) are the recipients of the prestigious 2014 Diamond Award of Excellence from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Maintenance Technician Awards Program. This is the 11th award for AMI and AMN received their first award in 2007 and has earned numerous awards since then. The program began as a way for the FAA to encourage Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) and employers to participate aggressively in available initial and recurrent maintenance training. Through the AMT Awards Program, the FAA recognizes eligible Technicians and employers by issuing awards to those who receive or promote and foster initial and recurrent training.


Click here to read more…AIM Schools Earn FAA Elite Diamond Award of Excellence

The Advanced Guide to Aviation Maintenance Technician and AMTE Training

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014

The Advanced Guide to AMT and AMTE Training

The Advanced Guide to AMT and AMTE Training | AIM

Aircraft maintenance technicians (AMTs) are essential to the airline industry. AMTs are commonly referred to as A&Ps which is an abbreviation for Airframe and Powerplant technicians. They perform pivotal maintenance on aircraft and aircraft systems. AMTs also perform aircraft inspections as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They work at repair stations, in aircraft hangars and on airfields.


Click here to read more…The Advanced Guide to Aviation Maintenance Technician and AMTE Training