The Sowela Technical Community College has added four new aircraft to its aircraft maintenance program fleet. The Cessna Citation, Cessna 337, Cessna Skycatcher and Piper Arrow are among the new additions, bringing the school’s total fleet to 13.
The expanded fleet was purchased with a donation of $ 635,000 from an anonymous donor. William Mayo, dean of the School of Transportation and Applied Technology, said the donation was made with the intention of meeting the educational needs of the students.
“We had to look at other technological avenues. We had planes that we trained the students on, but they were very old. The most recent being a 2000 model … with these planes even though they are of age we ended up having improved avionics so that we could present to our students things that they had not worked on. previously.
The program should always keep up with advances in aviation technology, he added. The new planes will certainly achieve this goal.
“Things have changed. Take your car for example, if it’s a 2010 the GPS has changed now. And if it’s a 1990 it didn’t even have a GPS. We want to make sure we train our students on the latest equipment.
The mission of the Aviation Maintenance Technology program is to provide a hands-on learning environment and hands-on application of aircraft maintenance to future aircraft mechanics.
“When you look at the aviation business, it’s one of our most important areas in transportation,” Mayo said.
“This career is very important. It is a need and it will continue to be a need. For people who are good at what they do, who have the skills to be mechanics, and who are meticulous with what they work on, they are like a doctor. They are the doctors of the planes.
Students in the program train in three phases: general, airframe, and powertrain. The culmination of the program is either a technical degree or an associate’s degree in applied science, depending on the course.
All students will also be ready to take Airframe and Powerplant certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Aviation Maintenance Technology program currently welcomes students.
“We are back to what we might consider ‘closer to normal’. The students are on campus but we are still practicing state-required precautions, ”Mayo said.
For more information on the program visit www.sowela.edu/aviation-maintenance-technology or schedule a visit to the One Stop Center in Sowela.