General aviation's perspective on maintenance training

General Aviation's Perspective on Maintenance Training The Impact of Technology By Fred Workley November 1998 Fred Workley is the president of Workley Aircraft and Maintenance Inc. in Manassas, VA. He is on the technical committees of...

The need for training in the general aviation sector is met by individual AMTs and employers through classes, on-the-job training, recurrent training, and aircraft type-specific training. More and more training applications are including computer-based instruction along with videos and audio-visual media for light aircraft. The modern technicians must be provided with training that reflects the current and future needs based on technology. Few companies are willing to take on the cost of basic training. Therefore, the technician schools must provide training that will ensure that new-hire technicians are productive in as short a time as possible. The schools will be increasingly pressured to provide immediately productive employees.

As I said earlier, the general aviation sector does a good job in developing individuals who possess the needed basic mechanical skills. To recap, I mentioned early in this discussion that there was some question as to whether or not there is an adequate supply of aircraft maintenance technicians. One of the pressing problems in the general aviation work force is getting the people to the location were the jobs exist. There is a growing sector of the industry that relies on temporary contract personnel who are skilled in the type of work to be accomplished.

Furthermore, there has been a recent realization that general aviation does offer an alternative to going off to the big city, by offering local employment with life-long opportunities at the hometown airport. The long-term challenge will be to keep general aviation aircraft maintenance technicians up to date and current while maintaining their traditional skills. Constantly learning the new technology applications to older aircraft will prolong the life of the old aircraft. Whether the aircraft are 50 years old or 5 months old — we have to 'keep em' flying.

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