AIM Blog

FAA Career Training

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

AIM Manassas Gets Visit from Vietnamese Embassy

Posted by on May 18, 2016

Vietnamese Deligation at AIM Manassas

It’s a long way to AIM Manassas from Vietnam, but well worth the travel; so said the delegation from the Vietnamese Embassy as they explored the campus of AIM Manassas back in February. Their purpose was simple; to find an appropriate facility to train their countrymen/women in fixing aircraft safely and effectively. John Allbright (Director of Education) and Jan Schoonmaker (Campus Executive Director) were the perfect hosts as they accompanied the guests around the campus pointing out the extensive handson equipment used in teaching students. Let us not forget the faculty, most of whom have over 20 years of field experience while also holding an A&P License. Near the lobby, next to the glowing AIM sign, the tour ended. The officials of Vietnam seemed pleased with the expertise and professionalism of the staff, faculty and curriculum taught. As the months go by our campus seems to become a magnet of diversity, brimming with chances to learn new cultures. This makes AIM Manassas a great place to study a vocation built on safely maintaining the globalization of travel as we know it today.

AIM has been approved by the United States Department of Immigration for the acceptance of international students. All international students must be fluent in English before they enroll. Applicants will be asked to furnish proof that they can read, write, and speak English fluently. International student applicants must meet the following requirement for admission to AIM. Students abroad who wish to study at our aviation maintenance school in the USA are encouraged to contact us through the student request form on this page. Additional information and instructions will be provided for you upon request. We have knowledgeable admissions representatives who may be able to answer questions about study, international student visa and travel in the USA.

Click here to learn more about international student opportunities!


AIM Manassas keeps busy at aviation career school

Posted by on Feb 21, 2013

How does Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Manassas keep busy?

Our WWI Sopwith Camel aircraft project participants have been very busy as they continue to work on the wing. Wooden ribs which help make the shape of the wing (fabric is attached to these) have been made and put in place. Detailed work has begun in making 50 nose and trailing edge ribs, and brace wires have been put in place which tie all the wooden parts together. The steel struts with a coat of primer have been inserted as well.

A picture of Thomas Sopwith hangs on the aviation career school hangar wall

Thomas Sopwith

Inspiration comes from image of Sopwith Camel posted on aviation career school hangar wall

Our inspiration!

Close up of aircraft plans on aviation career school table

Close up of aircraft plans

Another close up of the plans

Another close up of the plans

A wide angle shot of the plans on the aviation career school table

A wide angle shot of the plans

Brace Wires at AIM Manassas

Brace Wires

Center Wing Section at AIM Manassas

Center Wing Section

Wooden Ribs at AIM Manassas

Wooden Ribs

Steel Struts in aviation career school hangar

Leading edge of the wing be the wall at the aviation school
Leading edge of the wing.
the whole wing in the aviation career school hangar


Project Update for AIM Manassas Sopwith Camel

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012

Work on the project was affected by school delays and closing due to Hurricane Sandy. Project work this past week work has been slow, however, parts for the upper wing are on site and construction of the upper wing is nearly complete.

Aviation career school students build wings for Sopwith Camel

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012

Work continues on the upper wing for the WWI Sopwith Camel aircraft at this aviation career school in Manassas. Several spar boxes for the plane have been completed, painted and fitted. The metal struts are finally being attached where the wings of the Sopwith Camel join together. The student volunteers continue to work on finishing the clips.

AIM-Manassas instructors, Richard Lewis and Stuart Ehrlich, working on a spar box.

AIM-Manassas instructors, Richard Lewis and Stuart Ehrlich, working on a spar box.

Rear spar box for Sopwith Camel, blasted and painted.

Rear spar box, blasted and painted.

Sopwith Camel Upper wing frame with spar boxes, metal and wood struts.

Upper wing frame with spar boxes, metal and wood struts.

At the aviation career school the plans sit on the table

The Plans

Find out if you have what it takes to

get a career in aviation maintenance technology

Upper Wing Spar Box

Posted by on Oct 5, 2012

spar blueprints


Aviation Maintenance Technicians

working on the spar boxes

Close up of spar boxes

Close up of spar boxes


Can we paint, yet?

The aviation career school students at Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Manassas continued working on the spar boxes this week, concentrating on the upper wing spar box. Several have been blasted and are being prepped to be painted.