By Esperanza Poquiz & Jul DeGeus
When Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, were first introduced, they were commonly known as expensive toys that were used to race and fly for enjoyment. Agile and small enough to fit into tight spaces, operators quickly realized they could explore alternate ways to use drones to their advantage. And so, drones were quickly integrated into the workforce, providing assistance and efficiency to select industries. Here are a few:
- Photography –Using drones, photographers are able to get aerial photographs. This is an advantage as it allows the photographer to capture an image without disrupting the moment. These sky-high snapshots are a great way for beginners to set their portfolio apart from the rest. Whether it’s shooting for weddings, corporate events or just artistic curiosity, drone photography has become a popular request. Even real estate agencies look to drone operator photographers to shoot from above ground and to get a 360° view their properties.
- Company Inspections and Surveillance – A variety of different types of properties require maintenance and inspections on a on a daily basis. There are facilities that prove to be too dangerous to inspect manually, so instead of having an inspector assess the property, companies enlist the aid of drones to access the area. Additionally, drones enable companies, like wind farms or constructions sites, to survey the land for design.
- Films- Always wanted to be a part of filming a big blockbuster hit? Cinematography, like parts featured in movies such as Skyfall, Jurassic World and Captain America: Civil War, sometimes require shots to be filmed by drones. If Hollywood is not your scene but you still have a passions for filming, videographers use drones to capture events like weddings, documentaries and commercials.
- First Responders – Drones are supporting our community heroes by feeding rescuers live video streams that allow them to assess situations to come up with the safest plan before going into a hostile environment. First responders use drone operators to help locate people who are missing in an area that is too large to cover by foot, while fire fighters and police assign drones with the task of detecting people in danger and finding the safest path in life-threatening situations.
- Deliveries-Large companies, like Walmart, Amazon and Google, are testing out idea of using drone operators for delivery services. This feature could hasten the delivery process of online orders. Instead of waiting days for a package to arrive, the consumer could receive the package in hours.
- Drone Racing- What once started as a casual pastime, drone racing has become a popular tech sport. Drone operating teams enter competitions for cash prizes and companies have given the winners of these matches sponsorships and contracts to continue racing for money.
If this has sparked your interest check out our Unmanned Aircraft Systems course to help you get started towards your career!
The FAA’s specific rules for flying a drone for recreational purposes are simple to follow. You only need to register your UAV and know a few other restrictions to be on the right side of the law. However, more UAV owners today are seeking training even when they have no intention to pursue an aviation degree in the future. Here are reasons why:
UAV Rules Coming into Effect
The FAA small unmanned aircraft system rule came into effect on August 2016. According to MacLean Insurance Company, more proposed rules are expected to become effective in a few months’ time.
However, the UAS training being offered by AIM won’t get outdated anytime soon. Your training at AIM will prepare you to be certified by the FAA and will comply with regulations. You’ll have the benefit of knowing you are certified to fly your drone under all the regulations likely to be enforced in the near future.
Planning to get an insurance cover for your drone? Don’t be surprised if your insurer asks for your training certificate. At the moment, many insurer companies are lenient about the level of training you have before accepting to cover your drone. However, in the future it’s more likely that you won’t find drone insurance without the necessary level of training.
Lack of Training Content
Only few drone manufacturers sell manuals and instructions that can help you learn how to fly the UAV safely. The rest lack detailed instructions and might not cover all operational questions you may have. You don’t have to rely on these manuals to fly your UAV, fortunately. You can learn how to assemble parts and take care of your drone in case of any problems from a good training course.
Business Opportunities are rising
According to Droneguru.net, it’s possible to build a career with your UAV. In the advertising industry, for example, there are opportunities for someone willing to invest their time with a drone. From simply flying banners with promotional messages in high traffic areas to taking photographs for developing adverts, there’s a future in drone advertising. Other popular industries where you can take your UAV aerial footage work are filmmaking, construction and farming.
Pursue an UAV course and gain skills that will help you fly and take care of your drone with little hassle.
Campus open houses are the time to experience how it feels to attend a certain college. It’s also the time to ask important questions since campus staff is available to assist you. While the amount of questions you could ask is endless, we’ve compiled questions you don’t want to forget to get the answers to when visiting an open house:
- What is your process of admission?
This question helps you assess your chances of getting admitted into the college based on your qualification details.
- What are your educational requirements?
- What do I need to succeed while at this campus?
Get an idea of the personal principles and values you need to do well at the college. This question also helps you evaluate the general attitude of the campus towards education and non-academic issues.
- What is the total cost of my tuition?
This could be a broad question, so break it down into sections you consider most important to you. Ask about the tuition fees and the types of payment plans offered. And don’t stop there. Go on to read any financial guide the campus gives you to ensure that you are ready to handle all the financial obligations.
- Are tools and books included in tuition?
- Does the program you’re interested in require a uniform? If so, is it included in tuition?
- Are there any scholarship programs available?
- Do you have financial aid programs for your students?
Most schools do and it’s important that you find out so you have the opportunity to access a form of extra financial support.
Questions about the Campus Environment
- What is the overall campus environment like?
Learn the “vibe” of the campus and it surrounding facilities to make sure that it is an environment that you can adapt to and will be comfortable in for a long period of time.
- What kind of social activities does your campus participate in?
Find out what types of events are held at the campus, if any. This could be a way for you to meet new friends and also network to find a connection for your career down the line.
Adult Learners- Support Questions
With more responsibility comes more questions. You may be presented with a different set of obstacles that require you to seek out additional support to make your education possible.
- Do you aid in job placement assistance?
- What counseling and guidance services do you offer to students? Are these services accessible?
- Is tutoring available?
- Is there a Student Center?
- Do you offer child care or have services nearby?
- Transportation is key. Do you have a ride share program or provide transportation services for students who don’t have a vehicle?
- What can career services help me with?
Be sure you ask the questions that are most important to you when attending an open house. Make the most out of this opportunity to get the information you need to help decide if the institution is right for you!
Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s Jet Tech Summer Camp will provide participants a preview into the school’s FAA approved Aviation Maintenance Technician program.
By Brian Stauss
Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) will be offering a glimpse into the world of aircraft maintenance through its annual Jet Tech Summer Aviation Maintenance Camp at select campuses.
Camp participants will spend time in AIM’s hangars, classrooms, and labs, learning about the basics of aviation maintenance. Topics covered will include aircraft systems and powerplants, ground operations, safety wiring, physics of flight, and much more. This is the perfect opportunity for individuals who are interested in working with their hands. The camp will also provide a preview of the skills aviation maintenance technicians perform after obtaining their certification.
Camp dates and locations are as follows:
Atlanta metro – June 23; 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Houston – June 26 – 30 or July 31 – Aug. 4; 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
Indianapolis – June 19 – 23; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Kansas City – June 16 or July 7; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Philadelphia – July 31; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Here at AIM, we strive to educate today’s youth about the important field of aviation maintenance,” says Ben Sitton, Campus Executive Director at AIM’s Atlanta metro campus. “Our Jet Tech Summer Camp is an excellent opportunity to do just that…to expose young boys and girls to a potential career path that otherwise may not have ever crossed their minds.”
AIM’s Jet Tech Summer Camp is open to upcoming high school graduates and rising high school seniors. Individuals interested in enrolling into the camp should contact the appropriate campus.
Atlanta metro – (678) 377-5600
Houston – (713) 644-7777
Indianapolis – (317) 243-4519
Kansas City – (816) 753-9920
Philadelphia – (215) 676-7700
About Aviation Institute of Maintenance
Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast across the United States and headquarters located in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the FAA exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Oakland, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va. Learn more at: www.AviationMaintenance.edu.
By: Jennifer Butler Edited by: Jul DeGeus & James Clary
It’s no surprise that the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) Houston Campus Skills Team would represent AIM in a dynamic event celebrating Aviation Maintenance Technicians. The AIM Houston Hawks are comprised of a vibrant group of students that are driven, dedicated, and passionate about aviation maintenance. They have proven themselves individually; each member excels in a particular set of skills. But the unique dynamic that sets Hawks apart from other teams is their ability to recognize each other’s strengths and use those strengths to the teams overall advantage.
(Left to right) Coach Mike Riccardelli, Cordero Garcia, Brandon Daniel, Vijay Parsan, Fernando Viertons & Joshua Borel at AMC.
This team is comprised of seven students; seven students with a strong work ethic. Seven students who are organized and know how to set and accomplish goals. Seven future Aviation Maintenance Technicians that take pride in the career for which they are training for. Seven students who will one day become as valuable employees as they are students. When combined, they are an unstoppable team. They are AIM Houston’s epitome of success. They are the AIM Houston Hawks, 2017 Skills Team; Joshua Borel (Team Captain), Fernando Viertons, Vijay Parsan, Brandon Daniel, Cordero Garcia, Roberto Moreira (Alternate) and Christa Isenhower (Alternate).
When AIM Houston announced the need for the skills team, there were an overwhelming amount of students interested. To recruit those who were most qualified, the school held a competition. Brandon Daniel, one of the talented students who won a spot on the team, recollects, “What a spectacular and life changing experience! Although the 2017 AIM Houston Hawks Skills Team’s journey was truly amazing, it was not easy. We competed against each other for a spot on the team.”
Once assembled, the Hawks worked together to develop their talents as a team and as individuals. Focused with their eyes on the prize, they had one goal in mind: Prepare for and place at the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) Southwest Regional Olympics held in Ft. Worth, Texas. Team Captain, Josh Borell, set the standard for his team. “All of us went in with a job to do: bring home the gold.”
Joshua Borel (left) & Vijay Parsan at AMC.
The PAMA Southwest Regional Olympics introduced the AIM Houston Hawks to new challengers: AIM Dallas, Texas State Technical College, TULSA Tech, Tarrant Community College and Letourneau University. Many of the competing teams had worked together for several years and were veterans of the competition. Some of the teams even had multiple victories under their belts from a previous year at the PAMA Olympics. But this year was different; this year an aviation school from Houston, Texas stepped up to the plate and challenged the winning streak of Tarrant County Community College and Letourneau University. The results were in and AIM Houston Instructor and AIM Houston Hawks Coach, Mike Riccardelli, was elated with his team’s success:
The Hawks took 1st place individual, 3rd place individual, 1st place Overall Team and 2nd place for Operation C.H.A.O.S. This is a first for PAMA Southwest Regional 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!
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 PAMA Olympics. Collecting 4 awards, including 1st place individual and 1st place overall, the team was met with a path of adoring students and spirited faculty, whose cheers of support and pride echoed throughout the hangar.
“After months of practice, blood, sweat, and tears we completed our job. We proved that making deadlines, hard work, and dedication pays off,“ said Borel. Not only did AIM Houston show what commitment and team work look like, they reminded competitors not to underestimate passion and devotion as a motivator for success.
After the thrill and excitement upon their return hushed in the hangar, the Hawks has a message for their campus, as well as their sister schools. This honor wasn’t just theirs; they graciously dedicated this win to all AIM students and instructors. “Our team has the skills and motivation, but what sets them apart is their passion for aviation maintenance and their passion for success,” Aaron Armendariz, Campus Executive Director of AIM Houston, articulated with pride.
But the Hawk’s journey didn’t stop there.
(Left to right) Vijay Parson, Brandon Daniel, Joshua Borel & Fernando Viertons at AMC.
Shortly after the win at PAMA, Armendariz received a call with an invitation for the team to attend the Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) held in Orlando, Florida the week of April 24-27, 2017. Only this time, they were no longer the AIM Houston Skills Team. Representing all of AIM, the Hawks title graduated to the Aviation Institute of Maintenance Skills Team.
The date of the competition had finally arrived and, though the team was in Orlando, AIM Houston was steadfast with support. Time stood still as the entirety of students and staff gathered to anxiously watch the live feed of the AMC.
Questions plagued the campus community: Would they win? How would they do overall? What if they didn’t place? But regardless of the outcome, one thing the campus knew for sure was that the skills team would represent AIM with pride and give their all to succeed. Each day that passed students and staff could see the successfulness of the team; they knew this would be a close race and that the AIM skills team was one of the top contenders.
And then, the moment the campus and Skills team had been waiting for came: The announcement of the winners.
The room was silent as the AMC MC announced second place, overall. It was AIM! Second among all 22 schools that were competing, seventh of 56 teams competing and number one in the Schools Category for the Geared Turbo-Fan Engine Event. Hawk, Vijay Parsan, reminisces, “I enjoyed performing all the events as I knew in my heart that I was on the right path on building my future. Winning the cup, however, showed and proved to me that hard work and determination pays off immensely.”
(Left to right) Cordero Garcia, Fernando Viertons, Vijay Parsan, Joshua Borel & Brandon Daniel at AMC.
The Hawks triumph could not have been attained without the help of their coach, Mike Riccardelli, as well as countless faculty such as Brian Thompson, who rigorously helped prepare them for the different skills required for their success. “Being around the team is a reminder of “You get out of it, what you put into it.” They have their own bar, their own standard. And it is set very high,” Thompson boosts about the group.
As winners of the event, the AIM Houston Hawks received Pratt & Whitney scholarships totaling $16,000, Mechanix Certificates totaling $600 as well as Snap-On/Grypshon and Mechanix Wear for $800 of tools and equipment per team member. Team member Christa Isenhower left the event with the future on her mind: “This is an experience I will never forget and is a great start to a new career.”
Cordero Garcia (left) & Fernando Viertons at AMC.
The AMC competition was the experience of a lifetime for the AIM Houston Hawks. Roberto Moreira, Fernando Viertons and Cordero Garcia put into words the experience of the competition and their admiration of their team:
It has been both an honor and a blessing to be a part of the AIM Houston Maintenance Skills Team. I am so proud of each and every accomplishment the Hawks have achieved. From winning first place in the PAMA Olympics to having the second lowest time among schools at AMC, the team has really worked hard to get to this point. To see the amount of time, dedication and teamwork the guys had while they practiced was a sight to see. -Roberto Moreira
One of the things I learned in this amazing experience is that no matter the obstacles, be level minded, follow procedures and have fun. GO HAWKS! -Fernando Viertons
It was a wonderful opportunity to see all of the new technology and equipment being used in the field right now, as well as, being able to compete with some of the best in the profession. I look forward to going back and winning next year. -Cordero Garcia
This is a win for all the students who want to finish school and earn their certification. This is a win for all the individuals who need to be reminded that staying true to yourself and remaining loyal to something important truly pays off in the end.
AIM Houston is proud of this gifted group of individuals and we look forward to witnessing all their future success. Soar high, Hawks. You did it!
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:
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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