Archive for November, 2014

Aviation Maintenance Technology Program has impact on San Joaquin Valley College (SJVC) Students

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

 

SJVCFresno-Aircraft-Maintenance-instructor-Don-Dutra1

Aviation Maintenance  Technology Program has impact on San Joaquin Valley College SJVC Students

As an instructor for  San Joaquin Valley College’s (SJVC) Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program, Don Dutra has seen every type of student join his Powerplant class. Those eager faces fresh out of high school, career-change seekers, and close-to-retirement adventurers who are finally fulfilling a dream, stare back at him. Aviation Maintenance  Technology Program has impact on SJVC Students.

“We get some students with zero experience and those who have been in the job market for awhile,” says Mr. Dutra.

No matter what their work background or experience level, the AMT program will have a positive impact. “Even when a student has not really decided that this is the right course for them, it is important that they keep working toward completion; not giving up,” says Dutra. “Maybe for the first time, they learned to finish what they started and to become good at something.”

What seems to be an obstacle to their success, if overcome, “helps graduates to become good employees – no matter what the field – and good civilians,” as Dutra calls it. “Many happy parents and spouses are grateful they finished and look forward to the next chapter.”

And, then there is the ‘natural,’ that person who was born to fly…or keep things flying.

“That student is motivated by being around aircraft; seeing all the different aspects of aviation,” says Dutra, whose program is located at Fresno-Yosemite National airport where students can look out on the runway and see aircraft take off and land daily.

“They don’t get bored seeing that, and they know that one day they’re going to be turning wrenches on similar aircraft,” Don says.

Mr. Dutra’s Powerplant class provides instruction in all facets of aircraft engines. Students are up to their shoulders in huge engines of all imaginable aircraft in the campus’ expansive hangar.

Don describes his teaching style as more ‘coaching’ than professorial. “I like to let my students learn from their own mistakes and then briefly explain what went right and what went wrong,” he says. “A belly flop makes a better point and they retain the information long-term.”

Don Dutra spent some of his 23-years as a Navy jet mechanic teaching ‘mechanics school’ to Navy and Marine recruits. After separation from the military he decided to get the formal education necessary to continue a career as an educator.

He earned his A.S. and B.A. degrees while going to school at night and working full-time for SJVC. He took the FAA exam to get his Inspector Authorization license. Don’s experience allowed him to bypass additional training for the test. He passed on his first try.

“Airframe and Powerplant certified mechanics with an IA endorsement is about the highest honor mechanics can achieve in their career,” says Jason Alves, Academic Dean.

During these years of balancing work, school, homework and home-life with his wife, Mary, Don lived the spread-thin life many of his students experience today. He can tell them first-hand that the end result is worth it.

“I am the very first person in my family to ever earn a college degree,” he says having grown up in Fresno in a family of eleven. But, he had good role models. “My mom worked hard her whole life, and my dad was a junk man who spent his life buying and selling cars, which is where I got my interest in engines.”

Don wants to make sure that his students get every bit of life and career experience he has to give them.

“I want our students to walk away with something that serves them in long-term employment and, hopefully, happiness,” he says. “When they walk away with their license, we know they’ve accomplished what they came here for and we’ve done what we are supposed to do.”

Judging from a long line of grads that stop by the campus, the successes are self-evident. Their claims of “I couldn’t have done it without you,” and “I am amazed and surprised at how much we learn here and apply on the job,” reinforce Don’s confidence in what the AMT program provides.

Toward this end, Don likes to plant seeds of wisdom and offer a little inspiration that might help his students get there from here.

“I tell them that there will always be the stories about the pilot who saved the day or landed the plane safely,” he says. “But, what you never hear about is the mechanic. It’s the mechanic – you – who puts that plane in the air; and it’s only going to stay there if you do your job right.”

Don’s words make a nice landing.

For more information on San Joaquin Valley College / Fresno Aviation please click on the following link to inquire about becoming an Aviation Technician:

http://www.aviationschoolsonline.com/school-info/San-Joaquin-Valley-College-AMT-Program/1253/3032/F/2.php

PIA Instructor Receives Statewide Recognition

Monday, November 10th, 2014

PIA Vector Logo big- Plane

PIA Instructor Receives Statewide Recognition  

September 26, 2014 (Pittsburgh, PA) – The Aviation Council of Pennsylvania (ACP) recognized Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) Instructor Dave Koehler as the recipient of their 2014 Education Award. The award was bestowed on Koehler for his work with PIA’s courses on Aircraft Instruments and Controls. Koehler, a PIA graduate and 14 year veteran of the instructional staff, was grateful for the acknowledgment. “I’m honored and flattered to even be nominated,” Koehler said. “It’s quite humbling to be recognized for my efforts.” Koehler brings a wide range of experience to the classroom, including work as a maintenance controller and quality control management. He constantly updates his teaching materials to reflect the latest advancements in the field of aviation. Many of Koehler’s pupils affirm the ACP’s selection, describing him as enthusiastic, knowledgeable and passionate. Koehler appreciates watching his students grow during their time at PIA. “I enjoy attending graduation and seeing the changes my students have undergone since going through my class,” Koehler said. The ACP also selected Corey Staley, a student at the Hagerstown Branch Campus, for their Aviation Technology Scholarship. The ACP focuses on improving and promoting aviation in both the government and private sector while increasing public awareness of aviation and aerospace. PIA President John Graham III serves as a member of the ACP Board of Directors. About Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics The school was opened by Glenn Curtiss and Orville Wright in 1927 as Curtiss-Wright Flying Service, and became PIA in 1929. PIA offers “hands-on” training for traditional and non- traditional students in Aviation Maintenance and Aviation Electronics. The instructional staff combine real world experience with class room instruction for an outstanding education. PIA also provides a wide range of student services while the student is in school, and after graduation.  The Career Services Department works one on one with students to reach their employment goals. PIA is often the first stop for many employers looking for quality employees. PIA offers an Associate in Specialized Technology Degree at its West Mifflin, PA location and Diploma programs in Youngstown, OH, Hagerstown, MD, and Myrtle Beach, SC.  There is open enrollment through the year accompanied with admissions requirements.   

For more information on Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, Flight Schools, and Flight Instructor Jobs click: http://www.aviationschoolsonline.com/

Flying the Feathered Edge: The Bob Hoover Project

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

 

Watch the trailer of the amazing story of American aviation legend Bob Hoover!

“FLYING THE FEATHERED EDGE is a very special documentary film about aviation, innovation, ruggedness, precision, testing, excellence… and getting it right.

Machines alone could not have pushed the airplane forward. It took courage, and out of the box thinking. This film, about the authentic life of a dedicated American and our greatest living aviator, R.A. “Bob” Hoover, shows how by pushing the edge of the flight envelope, a handful of pilots enabled aviation to be safer for others — indefinitely.

WWII veteran and prisoner of war, Bob Hoover escaped Stalag Luft 1 and flew to safety by stealing an enemy aircraft. As an accomplished experimental test pilot, he participated in breaking the speed of sound and launching the world into the Jet Age. During his unrivaled international air show career, he performed for millions of spectators worldwide for over three decades.

The purpose of the film is to celebrate the spirit of the American fighter pilot, show the courage and the innovation that was essential to the birth of the jet age, and to enable the audience to relive incredible stories from a man born of simple beginnings in Tennessee who lived his dream of becoming the pilot he always wanted to be.

Filmmaker Kim Furst is an award winning director and editor of popular documentaries. Recent work includes Discovery Channel’s three part series ‘Rocket Challenge,” film editor of “One Six Right,” producer/director for AirshowBuzz’s “The Horsemen Cometh” about a formation aerobatics P-51 team, and producer of 5 hours of behind the scenes documentaries for “Mission Impossible 3,” for which she won the Golden Satellite Award, that industry’s highest award.”

Flying the Feathered Edge: The Bob Hoover Project links:
YouTube! http://www.youtube.com/thepilotspilot
Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/TheBobHooverP…
Twitter! http://twitter.com/FlyngFethrdEdge
Webs! http://www.thebobhooverproject.com