Aircraft Painting

What do you do when you get a lemon or an abandoned Navy air field? Build a big new paint hangar, teach people to paint, and sell lemonade.

“We pair them up with our experienced aircraft painters,” Friese says, “because there is no substitute for one-on-one training. The students perform many tasks from sanding, to sealing, to masking, to equipment setup and takedown, to painting small areas of the airplane. For major paint shoots, the students shadow our painters and observe the teamwork and precision that is required to make a large paint shoot successful.”

Morrison and Friese say that they want to help FSCJ staff develop a “holistic” program that would closely match the actual painting process as it takes place in the paint bay. After the first class both suggested enhancements such as more flexibility in the curriculum, starting hangar work earlier in the program, and extending the internship.

It is obvious that this initiative is a work in progress and a great aviation success story in the making. The charter members: Flightstar, Associated Painters Inc., Jacksonville Aviation Authority, and Florida State College at Jacksonville are totally committed to building an Aviation Center of Excellence that can provide unique, world-class MRO services, education, and training to meet the work force needs of our industry. AMT


Charles Chandler is an A&P based in Michigan. He received his training from the Spartan College of Aeronautics.

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