Archive for January, 2015

Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians – Bureau of Labor Statistics

aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians image

Airframe mechanics can work on many aircraft electrical systems.
Quick Facts: Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians
2012 Median Pay $55,230 per year
$26.55 per hour
Entry-Level Education See How to Become One
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 138,900
Job Outlook, 2012-22 2% (Little or no change)
Employment Change, 2012-22 3,500

What Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians Do

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians repair and perform scheduled maintenance on aircraft. They also may perform aircraft inspections as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Work Environment

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians work in hangars, in repair stations, or on airfields. They must often meet strict deadlines to maintain flight schedules. The environment can be loud because of aircraft engines and equipment. Workers frequently bend, stoop, and reach from ladders and scaffolds. Most mechanics and technicians work full time; overtime and weekend work is common.

How to Become an Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanic or Technician

Most aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians learn their trade at an FAA-approved Aviation Maintenance Technician School. Others enter with a high school education or equivalent and are trained on the job. Some workers enter the occupation after receiving training in the military. Aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians are typically certified by the FAA.


In May 2012, the median annual wage for aircraft mechanics and service technicians was $55,210. The median annual wage for avionics technicians was $55,350 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. Job prospects will be best for mechanics who hold an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians,
on the Internet at (visited January 29, 2015).

Alpine Aviation Academy – Intro Flight

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Alpine Aviation Academy – Intro Flight 


A Intro Flight  at Alpine Aviation Academy really is your first flying lesson. This deal allows the purchaser a chance to literally discover firsthand what flying an aircraft is all about and puts you in the air with a FAA-Certified Flight Instructor for a REAL FLYING LESSON! You’ll actually sit in the pilot’s seat and learn to fly. You’ll have your hands on the controls and experience what flying a helicopter or airplane is all about and more importantly, you’ll get to discover that flying is easier to learn than most people could imagine. This is also an opportunity for you to sit down with an actual pilot that has gone through the flight training process and answer any questions that you might have.

A Intro Flight makes the perfect gift for someone you wish to INSPIRE with that special one of a kind gift. The person that uses this certificate actually flies a REAL aircraft in the Pilot seat!!

Contact us today to schedule your Intro Flight in the helicopter, airplane, or both! Other than enjoying the rush and excitement an intro flight brings, making sure we can help answer all your questions is just as important! So please bring all your questions! Call for pricing as they may vary depending on specials and circumstances.

“UAV Pilot Training: 5 Things to consider”

Monday, January 26th, 2015

UAV Pilot Training

Five Things to consider

UAV pilot training is becoming an increasingly popular flight training option. Still in the early phases of development, the UAV industry is an exciting industry to follow, but one that is often difficult to understand and often breeds misconceptions. If you’re interested in UAVs and UAV pilot training, you should consider several things before starting your training.

UAV pilot training is all new

Modern UAVs are so much more than glorified remote control planes. They are in a near constant state of development, with new models rapidly out pacing the capabilities of models of just a few years ago. Not to mention, the FAA has struggled to keep pace with regard to establishing a framework to govern UAV pilot certification. The end result is that UAV pilot training is all new and changes a lot. Those interested in UAV pilot training would do well to follow the FAA’s UAS Integration initiative (

UAV pilot training might not be available to you

Due in part to its newness, UAV pilot training isn’t yet widely available. New training providers are regularly starting courses in anticipation of the FAA developing a real UAS pilot certificate, but training is still likely to require a bit of travel on your part. Many of the best training providers are also heavily involved in UAV research in general, including several colleges an universities who recently sponsored test site proposals. As such, you might also need to be accepted to that college or university in general before being able to actually enroll in UAV pilot training.

Learning to fly UAVs isn’t any easier than regular flight training

The only real difference in flying a UAV and flying a more conventional aircraft is the location of the pilot. It is a common misconception that flying UAVs is some how less difficult than regular flying, but this is simply not accurate. If anything, flying a UAV is more difficult due to the lack of physical sensations of motion. In either case, learning to fly UAVs requires the same understanding of scientific and technical principles of flight as any flight training program.

UAV flight training is rapidly changing

As the FAA progresses through the process of integrating UAS into the National Airspace System, they continue to develop best practices and guidelines for training that will provide the basis for the UAV pilot certification process. While there are currently no UAV pilot certificates, it is only reasonable to expect at least a commercial certification to be developed and required in order to operate a UAV. Until such a time as that certification becomes available, it is likely there will be numerous changes and developments to cope with.

UAV pilot training is for the future

It is most important to understand that, unlike helicopter flight training for example, UAV pilot training is for the future. It is certainly not the distant future, but you can’t exactly walk out of a UAV pilot training program into a nice 9 to 5 job flying remotely-piloted aircraft. Please don’t let that stop you from pursuing UAV pilot training, but do be aware that you’re developing skills for the future in a fascinating and innovative career field.

UAV pilot training is experiencing rapid growth and provides the skills of the future. Blended with a current flight training program for more conventional aircraft, you are not only setting the stage for an exciting career today, but you will provide the basis for a very exciting and lucrative future career that will be not only exceptionally interesting but very rewarding.

GI Bill: Education for Veterans Including Careers in Aviation!

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits:

If you are interested in a career in aviation and you are a Veteran, now is the time to take advantage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill to further your education! The PostGI Bill Careers in Aviation 9/11 GI Bill was put into effect in 2008 to provide education benefits for Veterans who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001. The VA-administered program provides benefits that are tiered based on the number of days served on active duty.  For approved members, the Post-9/11 GI Bill provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally payable for 15 years following your release from active duty and can include:

  • Up to 100% Tuition and Fee Coverage
  • A Monthly Living (Housing) Stipend
  • Up to $1000 a year for Books and Supplies
  • A One Time Relocation Allowance
  • The Option to Transfer Benefits to Family MembersPost 9/11 GI Bill Benefit Chart

Types of Training Covered:

The following educational benefits are approved under the Post 9/11 GI Bill:

  • College degree programs including Associate, Bachelor, and advanced degree programs
  • Vocational/Technical Training including non-college degree programs
  • On-the-job/Apprenticeship Training
  • Licensing & Certification Training
  • National Testing Programs such as SAT, CLEP, AP, etc
  • Flight Training
  • Correspondence Training
  • Entrepreneurship Training
  • Work-study programs

In conjunction with the Post 9/11 GI Bill, there is the Yellow Ribbon Program, which can add additional financial help to the GI Bill benefits for qualifying Veterans. You can also transfer your benefits to your spouse or dependents! Take advantage of this great opportunity you have earned by serving your country. Once the VA has received your application they will determine your eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill and you will be on your way to a new career…. possibly in AVIATION!

To apply for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits: VA Form 22-1990.

More info:

VA Post 9/11 GI Benefits:

Yellow Ribbon Program:

Flight Training under the GI Bill:

How you can become a professional career pilot

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

How you can become a professional career pilot

aircraft sales aircraft maintenance aerial videography

World needs pilots! Record growth leads to record need Half a million pilots needed globally.

CNN – Feb 13, 2014 – “Released in August 2013, the Boeing Pilot and Technical Market Outlook for 2013-2032 forecasts nearly half a million new commercial airline pilots will be needed to fly all the new airplanes entering the world fleet over the next 20 years.”

ROTOR F/X is presenting a series of seminars to show you how you can become a professional career pilot in the airlines, corporate business and charter or helicopters and enter the exciting and rewarding world of aviation.

If you have ever dreamed of being a pilot and making it your career be sure to come and hear first hand from experienced pilots and instructors what is in store for you.
The seminars and presentations will cover:

  • All aspects of training and ratings from private pilot through ATP (Airline Transport Pilot)
  • Earning a two or four year university degree in aviation along with your flight training
  • Financing options for flight training
  • Financing options for university degree programs including special low interest government backed student loans
  • Job opportunities in all fields, now and in the near future
  • How you can have a guaranteed job working with us

Do not miss this opportunity to change your life and learn how to enter the fascinating and exciting world of flight.

Also included in the experience will be:

  • Aircraft displays – both airplane and helicopter
  • Aviation literature and films
  • Free 6 month subscription to “Flight Training Magazine” for all registered attendees
  • Flight tours and demonstration lessons both days at a special discount
  • Job opportunities in all fields, now and in the near future
  • FREE first lesson voucher for all signees on seminar dates

RECENT ARTICLES on “Pilot Shortage”

World needs pilots! Record growth leads to record need


Pilot Shortage Looms, Boeing Report Says


Aircraft Dispatcher History: An Evolution

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015


Aircraft Dispatcher History: An Evolution

Posted by  on Dec 8, 2014

Dispatchers serve as one of the most crucial component to the entire airline operation. Aircraft dispatchers are licensed airmen, certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Dispatchers must undergo extensive testing and training to earn this highly sought after certificate, and must pass both an extensive oral examination and the comprehensive written Aircraft Dispatcher test. These tests are equivalent to the Air Transport Pilot (ATP) written and oral examinations that airline pilots take as part of their licensing procedure. They are, in essence, pilots on the ground, and are as legally liable for the aircraft as is the pilot in the cockpit.

But how much do you really know about the history of the Aircraft Dispatcher? Here’s a short quiz to test your knowledge.

1) The first aircraft dispatchers were likely employees of:

a. The military
b. The Post Office
c. The airlines
d. The Treasury Department
e. None of the above

2) Early airline pilots knew exactly how to get to their destination.


3) Aircraft dispatchers were created for what reason?

a. Safety
b. Cost control
c. Congressional mandate
d. Navigational aid
e. All the above

4) Aircraft dispatchers and ‘flight followers’ are the same thing.


Back in the heady days of the 1920s, when people began to see airplanes as something more than an amusement, but as a viable way to cheaply move people and cargo around the country, it was as lawless as the Wild West. There were little to no federal regulations mandating policies and procedures for these emerging air carriers.

It was the norm for a pilot to just load up his aircraft with cargo, mail and passengers and take off. No flight plans, no weather information, nothing. In most instances, the pilot had a vague direction of his destination and pointed the nose of the craft in that general direction and, literally, winged it. They would use landmarks, a compass, and perhaps even the stars along the route to guide them.

An early dispatcherIt was fortuitous that the US Postal Service was beginning to establish radio stations along air transportation routes. The Air Mail Act of 1925 authorized the Post Office Department to contract with airlines to carry the mail, and these stations were built to aid those pilots by providing weather information and navigational assistance. Since most aircraft had only the most rudimentary of communications systems, they were not able to take advantage of these radio stations to their fullest benefit.

As you might imagine, the safety record for the industry was atrocious in those years. The loss of aircraft, lives and cargo (especially the US mail), due to mountains, changing weather, and power lines motivated Congress to pass the Civil Aeronautics Act in 1938. This legislation laid down strict regulations to ensure that all air carriers operated in as safe a manner as possible. The Act created an operational control structure, consisting of a system of checks and balances, which, when complied with, produced the highest level of safety possible for commercial airplane operations. It also created a new airman certification, that of an aircraft dispatcher.

The role of an aircraft dispatcher is important and complex. They are the ground-based eyes and ears for the pilot in the air. As stated earlier, regulations stemming from the CAA hold both the pilot and the dispatcher as being equally responsible for the safety of the flight. Working jointly with the pilot, the dispatcher draws up a flight plan that will allow the aircraft to arrive at its destination safely and as cost-efficiently as possible. They follow the developing weather along the route as well as at the final destination. They ensure the aircraft has all the provisions (fuel, food, etc.) needed to make the flight safely. They also track the flight to ensure it remains on course per the flight plan, keeping all ground support personnel aware of its progress.

Modern dispatcherOne point to remember: flight followers are not aircraft dispatchers. These two terms are not interchangeable, even though the flight follower can perform many of the same duties as that of a dispatcher. The most glaring difference is one of legality. Flight followers do not require certification, are not held responsible for the safety of the aircraft, nor do they have a say on if the flight has been validated for take-off. That responsibility rests with the dispatcher and the pilot, known as ‘Co-Authority Dispatch’.

The Aviation Institute of Maintenance is proud to offer an FAA-approved Aircraft Dispatcher Certification Program at its Orlando, FL facilities that exceeds the minimum hours required to meet the training objectives. The course prepares Aircraft Dispatcher students to take the FAA written, oral, and practical exams leading to issuance of an Aircraft Dispatcher license. Upon successful completion of the course, the student will have the background necessary to earn a FAA Aircraft Dispatcher Certificate.

As this certificate is highly recognized and powerful, those who possess it have the opportunity to apply for positions not only as Flight Dispatchers, but also as airline Crew Schedulers, Crew Planners, Navigation Data-base Specialists, Meteorology Assistants, Airport Flight Operations Agents, Ramp Control Tower Agents, and many other flight operations positions.

To learn more about this program, visit our Aircraft Dispatcher Program site, or visit our AIM-Orlando campus page to ask an admissions counselor for more information.

Tip of the hat goes to the Airline Dispatchers Federation for the image and historical content.

Quiz Answers:
1 – The Post Office
2 – False
3 – All the above
4 – False

Disclaimer – Aviation Institute of Maintenance makes no claim, warranty or guarantee as to actual employability or earning potential to current, past or future students and graduates of any career training program we offer. The Aviation Institute of Maintenance website is published for informational purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained within; however, no warranty of accuracy is made. No contractual rights, either expressed or implied, are created by its content. The printed Aviation Institute of Maintenance catalog remains the official publication of Aviation Institute of Maintenance. The Aviation Institute of Maintenance website links to other websites outside the domain. These links are provided as a convenience and do not constitute an endorsement. Aviation Institute of Maintenance exercises no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, information that resides on servers outside the domain.

Seven winter weather flying tips

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Home / Tips and technique / Seven winter weather flying tips

Seven winter weather flying tips

C172 snow cockpit

As the season transitions from fall to winter and the temperature is consistently below freezing, unique challenges are presented to pilots. Flight training doesn’t need to stop in the winter though; in fact the colder months provide some great opportunities to expand your knowledge on weather and aircraft operations in less than ideal conditions. There are other benefits too, including improved aircraft performance and nearly unlimited visibility on clear days.

Here are some winter weather tips to consider as the temperature gets colder:

  1. Always carry winter weather gear – This first tip may seem like common sense, but I can’t stress enough the importance of carrying cold weather gear when the temperature gets below freezing. Most modern training airplanes provide a comfortable, warm cabin up in the air, even as the temperature approaches 0° F outside. This can cause a false sense of security and lead you into thinking that you may not need the extra clothing layers, gloves, hats, etc. But you have to always be prepared for an emergency landing, which could leave you in cold conditions for hours or even days. And the most important piece of cold weather gear? A cell phone of course.
  2. Don’t rule out frost after you land – Most flight schools and aircraft owners are very conscious about frost forming on the airplane when left out on clear nights when the temperature is close to or below freezing. If your flight needs to get out early in the morning, the airplane should be hangared overnight and pulled out just before departure. There’s another time when frost can sneak up on you though, causing a delay if you’re not prepared. Let’s say you takeoff just before sunrise and head to another airport not too far away to visit the airport diner. When you come back to your airplane 30 – 60 minutes later, there’s a good chance you’ll find a fresh layer of frost on the wings and tail.
  3. Practice takeoffs and landings on contaminated runways – Just because the runway at your airport has residual snow or slick spots doesn’t mean you have to cancel your flight lesson. In fact, ask any Alaskan bush pilot and they’ll probably tell you that landing on snow-covered runways is the norm rather than the exception in the winter. After a winter storm passes you’ll want to wait for the airport maintenance crew to clear the majority of snow from the runway. Then determine the braking action from the published NOTAM or from airport officials, which will be described as Good, Fair, Poor or Nil. If you and your instructor determine runway and braking conditions are suitable, continue on with your lesson. You’ll quickly learn the importance of speed control on final approach and how to make real-world use of the soft-field takeoff and landing techniques. Just be sure to taxi at slower than normal speeds and keep an eye on the wings when maneuvering near tall snow banks.
  4. Review cold weather procedures for your aircraft – There’s probably a good chance you haven’t reviewed your aircraft’s cold weather normal and emergency procedures since last year (unless you had an FAA pilot checkride over the summer). I like to make it a habit each fall to pull out the POH for each aircraft I fly and review cold weather starting limitations, normal procedures and emergency checklists pertinent to cold weather ops. You should commit to memory temperature and battery limitations, starter duty cycle limits and the first few items in the checklist for an engine fire during start.
  5. Recognize aircraft and engine limitations in cold weather – When the temperature is below freezing you’ll want to be more cautious about how you operate the aircraft engine. A good procedure is to avoid making sudden power changes as temperatures drop below 20°F and below. This means staying away from maneuvers like touch-n-gos, simulated engine failures and stall recoveries when the temperature is that cold.
  6. Call ahead for cold-weather airport services – This last tip is one to remember during your entire flying career. If you’re making a cross-country to another airport in the winter months and need some type of service from the FBO, call ahead first to verify it will be available. Don’t assume that because a particular FBO is at a large airport that they will have hangar space, engine pre-heat or other cold-weather service instantly available to you.
  7. Make reports about the conditions you experience – In my flying experience the best weather reports don’t come from the National Weather Service, but rather from the pilots currently in the air and reporting the weather conditions they’re experiencing. These pilot reports (PIREPs) will provide you with actual temperatures aloft, cloud coverage and tops, and turbulence and icing reports, all packed into just a few lines of data. As an instrument pilot in the winter, I pay close attention to the icing reports (or lack thereof) to help determine cruise altitudes and where there might be moisture-free air between cloud layers. Make it a point to contribute to the system and relay your flight conditions to ATC when time permits. And don’t get in the habit of only making PIREPs when you experience unfavorable conditions — some of the most useful PIREPs are the ones describing flight above the cloud layers in smooth air.

Aerostar snow

Airline Industry Leaders Gather at Embry-Riddle to Discuss Pilot Shortage

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Airline Industry Leaders Gather at Embry-Riddle to Discuss Pilot Shortage

James Roddey
Wed Jan 14, 2015 at 09:00 AM

ERAU Pilots

Embry-Riddle Airline Transport Pilot Certification grads Ethan Connor and Chin-Hsuan Hung

Representatives from the White House, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), major U.S. airlines, including Delta, American, Southwest, United and JetBlue, and many regional carriers met at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus Jan.13 for a two-day Pilot Supply and Demand Summit.

Boeing has forecast a need in North America over the next two decades for 88,000 new commercial pilots. Stringent new FAA safety training rules to qualify first officers and the looming demand for new pilots is creating the need for comprehensive solutions from the airline industry, regulators and educators to address the potential professional pilot shortage.

“We were asked by the airline industry to convene a summit composed of airline representatives, federal officials and industry leaders to discuss the critical issue of pilot supply,” said Dr. Tim Brady, Dean of the College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle. “Despite a national debate on both sides of the pilot supply issue, the regional airlines are already feeling the effect. The shortage of qualified pilots has already begun to impact them deeply.”

Pilot Supply and Demand Summit discussions include new FAA flight training standards, manufacturing demands and forecasts, regional and legacy airline pilot attrition and hiring demands and how aviation universities like Embry-Riddle can support the industry.

For more information on the Pilot Supply and Demand Summit, contact Dr. Tim Brady @ (386) 226-6849. 

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 70 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle), and find expert videos at

Media Contact

James Roddey

Communications & Media Relations Manager, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Office: (386) 226-6198