The FAA explores the future of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or drones, and the possible need for Drone Maintenance Technicians.
By Jul DeGeus
For obvious reasons, we at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance are highly anticipating the celebration of Aviation Maintenance Technician Day on May 24th.
On May 24th in 1868, Charles Edward Taylor was born on a farm in Cerro Gordo, Illinois. He would one day work on engines for the infamous Wright Brothers and become known as the first aviation maintenance technician. (1)
In the latest issue of the Federal Aviation Administration Safety Briefing, assistant editor Jennifer Caron transports you back to the early 1900’s, when the three “crazy” men attempted to make a solid object fly; something that is normal to us today. She then snaps us back into to the present with one genius question: “… you’re an AMT, watching in amazement as drones become increasingly popular. Are YOU the next Charlie Taylor — for drones?” (2)
She’s got a great point- what is the potential outlook for the UAS industry and UAS maintenance technicians? Caron explains the background, demand and the promising opportunities:
The job potential and growth is real, and most believe the UAS industry will grow exponentially. Just consider companies that look to use drones for package delivery. Theoretically, they will need thousands of UAS to meet delivery deadlines not only in the U.S., but around the world…The possibilities are vast. As more and more companies identify and create the need for UAS, the need for UAS technicians will flourish as well. (2)
AIM’s Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems training is a way for individuals to learn more about this evolving industry. It’s a two-day course offered at our Manassas, VA, Chesapeake VA, Atlanta – Metro GA, Dallas – Metro TX, Oakland CA, and Philadelphia PA campuses.
This article, “Drone Maintenance Technician: Aviation Job of the Future?”, is a must read for those interested in UAS, as well as forward thinkers and innovators. Click here to read the article by Jennifer Caron, found on page 33.
- Taylor, B. (n.d.). Charles E. Taylor: The Man Aviation History Almost Forgot. Retrieved from https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/phl/local_more/media/CT%20Hist.pdf
- Caron, J. (2017, May & June). Drone Maintenance Technician: Aviation Job of the Future.FAA Safety Briefing, 33-34. doi:https://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/2017/media/MayJun2017.pdf
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
Kansas City – June 16 or July 7; 10 a.m. to 2 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
Kansas City – (816) 753-9920
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.
A Spotlight on AIM Atlanta’s Day Coordinator, Christopher Kraft.
By Diana Hammond, Edited by Jul DeGeus
Christopher Kraft is the Day Coordinator at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance located in the Atlanta Metro area of Georgia. He started his career with AIM over ten years ago and since has become a prominent and supportive figure on campus. From supervising, hiring and training instructors to ensuring compliance with the FAA, Kraft is vital to making sure the operation of the AMT program runs smoothly. Like so many, Kraft has a colorful and exciting past that most are unfamiliar with. A life woven with tales of aviation, adventure and his passion for history, Kraft was fortunate enough to find himself involved in some historic events.
From a young age, Kraft knew he wanted to work in aviation. At age 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and worked hard as a “deckie” for three years until he was able to train and become an aircraft specialist. The first helicopter flight that Mr. Kraft ever took was in a Sikorsky HH-52A, while stationed in Port Huron, Michigan. Little did he know how big of an impact this would have on his life. Kraft instantaneously became entranced with helicopters and the way the aircraft could perform life-saving auto rotations during that first ride. After he finished his training in Port Huron, Kraft was stationed at the Detroit Coast Guard Station. The Detroit unit was the last unit in the Coast Guard with active Sikorsky HH-52As in their fleet. Kraft held the position of crew chief, or flight mechanic, for the unit that covered an area of over 400 miles from Saginaw, Michigan to Buffalo, New York.
Kraft (far right) pictured with friends after his first helicopter flight.
Throughout the late 1980s, the Sikorsky HH-52As began to be decommissioned, dwindling their numbers. In 1989, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum contracted the Coast Guard with requests to fly a Sikorsky HH-52A from Elizabeth City, North Carolina to preserve the aircraft in the museum’s collection. Based off of Kraft’s intimate experience and extensive knowledge of the helicopter, he was chosen to be part of the groundbreaking maintenance and delivery mission.
A few years later, Kraft was transferred from the Detroit Coast Guard Base to the Brooklyn Coast Guard Air Station at Floyd Bennett Field. The Brooklyn Coast Guard Air Station was, at the time, the oldest working search and rescue unit in the world. While with the Brooklyn Coast Guard Unit, Kraft delivered yet another Sikorsky HH-52A to an infamous museum; this time, he performed the maintenance and delivery of a Sikorsky HH-52A to the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Complex on the Hudson River.
In 1994, the Brooklyn Coast Guard Air Station was decommissioned and Kraft, along with his crew, found an original rescue hoist designed by Igor Sikorsky, the founder of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and pioneer in helicopter design and manufacturing. (1)Additionally, they found a guestbook that had been signed by historic figures including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, to name a few. These two items were sent to find a home, alongside the Sikorsky HH-52A at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum collection. To the public, the Sikorsky HH-52A helicopter, the rescue hoist, and the memorabilia at the Smithsonian are historical artifacts, to be gazed upon, read about and passed by. But to Kraft these were, and will always be, pieces of living history that defined significant moments in his life.
Kraft is a veteran of many search and rescue missions that were performed on Sikorsky HH-52As. The Sikorsky HH-52As are credited with saving over 40,000 lives while in commission. “As far as maintenance goes, it would take up to eight hours of maintenance to fix a helicopter that had landed in the water. After rescuing a person, and delivering them home safely, my mission was to take care of the Sikorsky that made it all possible,” Kraft reminisces.
Helicopters have become one of the most indispensable aircrafts in the world, with their efficiency in performing life-saving tasks. Christopher Kraft, of the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, is a fine example of someone who has fulfilled the dream of Igor Sikorsky in helicopter rescue and maintenance. Thank you, Mr. Kraft, for passing on your legacy and passion to our students at AIM Atlanta on a daily basis.
1Recognizing Igor I. Sikorsky, a National Aviation Pioneer, H. RES. 331, 108th Cong. (2003-2004).
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.