Turbine Technology

Turbine Engine Training

Take advantage of the payoff training offers

By Joe Escobar

August 2004

There is a saying in this industry: 'Training doesn't cost ' it pays.' Some would say the saying was invented by training companies to justify the cost of training. But experience has shown that the saying is quite true. Training pays through increased knowledge, more efficient troubleshooting and maintenance, and less mistakes. For mechanics who choose to take training courses in order to maximize their career choice, the initial cost could cost some money, but the payoff can be big over time. Better paying jobs and a better chance of moving up the career ladder are direct results of obtaining training. We will take a look at some of the training that is out there for those mechanics working on turbine engines.

Pratt & Whitney Canada
Since 1968, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) has offered customer training on its engines. The company offers training at its facility in St-Hubert, Quebec, as well as locations throughout the world. In addition, it can work with customers to provide on-site training at the customer's facility.

So, how much do the training courses at Pratt & Whitney Canada cost? Nothing. Its training courses are tuition-free. All you have to do is pay for your transportation as well as room and board. Not too bad a deal. Class bookings are offered on a first come, first serve basis. Operators of P&WC engines are allowed to send one student per course. In addition, another student may enroll as a standby. If the class is not full five days prior to the course, then the standby will be notified and given a spot in the class.

In addition to its free training courses, P&WC also offers training material for purchase. This includes training manuals, training videos, computer-assisted training (CAT) CD-ROMs, and computer-based training (CBT) CD-ROM material. Revision service is not provided for the training material. These materials can be a good way to supplement training received at the facility.

Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney's Customer Training Centers (CTC), located in East Hartford, Connecticut, and Beijing, China, offer training on their engines. As with P&WC, Pratt & Whitney offers training courses in its training center as well as having the ability to facilitate training at a customer's facility. Its curriculum blends classroom instruction using electronic media delivery with the hands-on experience to give the best learning experience for its customers.

CTC provides commercial and military training courses and training materials. Courses range from 20-day heavy engine maintenance training courses, to student-paced computer-based training sessions. The company also offers two-hour Interactive Distance Learning sessions connecting its facility to a customer 10 hours away.

Rolls-Royce offers technical training on all its engines. It offers customers technical training against a backdrop of current service operations, maintenance practices, and trouble-shooting procedures. Rolls-Royce does this through its two customer training centers '' one located in Derby, England, and a second located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Course prices vary. You can log on to www.rolls-royce.com to view course schedules, prices and availability.

Honeywell Aerospace Training Solutions provides training on all Honeywell engines. The company offers a limited number of training classes and limited enrollments in classes at no cost to qualified customers. In addition, specialized/customized classes as well as other selected training classes are available on a cost basis. The company also offers limited maintenance training courses at the customer's site upon special request. To view course availability, you can log on to its web site at www.honeywelltraining.com. Detailed information as to the category and cost of these classes may be obtained by contacting Honeywell Aerospace Training Solutions, Customer Training Services at (602) 365-2833.

Training companies
Of course, don't forget the training companies that provide training on aircraft: FlightSafety International, CAE Simuflite, or Alteon. I have had the fortune of seeing several new products by FlightSafety and Simuflite that are making the learning experience more interactive. These new computer-based courses give mechanics the ability to manipulate controls in the cockpit, view different areas of the engine and aircraft, and see results of different inputs without having to step foot in an aircraft. There is definitely an advantage to learning how to spot engine malfunctions and react appropriately without having to do it on a multimillion dollar aircraft itself.

Aircraft manufacturers
An additional resource for training is the aircraft manufacturers. Many manufacturers offer training on the engine systems on their aircraft. Although these may not necessarily get as in-depth as an engine manufacturer training class does, it offers the opportunity to learn the systems and their interaction to other systems of the aircraft. Some manufacturers work closely with training companies to provide training on site.

In the end, you must decide what is best for you. Will specific engine training benefit you or will systems training be the ticket. Making a few calls and doing a little research can go a long way in ensuring you get the most out of your training dollars. In the long run, whatever training choice you make will prove beneficial. It will help you on the way to maximizing your career choices.

Additional ReSources
CAE Simuflite
(800) 527-2463

FlightSafety International
(800) 291-0679

Honeywell Aerospace Training Solutions
(602) 365-2833

Pratt & Whitney
United States: (800) 565-0140
International: (860) 565-0140

Pratt & Whitney Canada
(450) 468-7774

Rolls-Royce Customer Training
(317) 230-2586

About the Author

Joe Escobar