PDP Adds Career Planning for Maintenance Career Development

Aug. 1, 2000

PDP Adds Career Planning for Maintenance Career Development

By Jay Evans

August 2000

Business aviation has never been better, so it's a great time to establish a career in business aviation maintenance. With great opportunities come great choices. Preparing for these great opportunities is the key to any successful career. With the need for maintenance personnel growing, individuals and flight departments need to plan for these eventualities. This planning can be done by the company and the individual. One way this can come together is through the National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) Professional Development Program (PDP), which includes the individual completing the course work and the company supporting PDP as a career development and succession tool.

Looking ahead

All of aviation is enjoying growth and economic development, but business aviation needs to embrace maintenance career development to ensure we have the right people in place for the future. FAA forecasts indicate general aviation operations to show a 2 percent increase every year for the next 12 years. The overall number of jets will go up by 7 percent as well. This calls for an increased need for highly qualified maintenance managers. With a shortage of maintenance personnel, every flight department faces challenges to maintain their operational tempo. Keeping good people is always tough, and competing for good people for the first time in a long time is another added maintenance challenge. A way for business aviation to continue to attract and hold good people is to offer career opportunities and advancement. Often, good people become frustrated with the lack of advancement or career development opportunities. This leads to job-hopping and a lot of career changes. By outlining a clear career path for the individual maintenance career, the opportunities may seem brighter.

Plotting your course

NBAA PDP offers a road map someone can follow to improve their chances for advancement and improve succession planning for the company. Courses offered in PDP are designed to improve the management potential of an employee. These courses include: Aircraft Selection & Retrofitting, Group Dynamics & Work Team Communications, Flight Department Customer Service, and Interpersonal Communication.

The course titled Aviation Safety and Security outlines procedures and ways of improving operations and creating a safety and security program. Examples include creating a safety committee within the company and logging potential incidents, incidents, and accidents to create a safety culture within the company. Another facet of this course is the creation of an accident response program. All of this can be learned while the individual gets professional development credits for taking PDP courses. The courses are offered primarily by distance education, so you take the course when your schedule best allows participation. By completing these credits, the person is demonstrating initiative and dedication and it is important for the company to recognize the initiative of that person. Now the company has identified professional development and career potential for the individual. Proper recognition can include identifying career path opportunities within the company. The company benefits from keeping a well-motivated employee, and the person benefits from company advancement. Another mutual benefit in the process is that a line of succession is created. People start to be able to plan their careers and see opportunities they are building for themselves and the company. Working through the process together provides mutual benefits for the employer and the employee.

NBAA PDP can fit into the overall management plan of finding good people to develop within one's own maintenance organization. By recruiting early and defining a clear career path that includes professional development, an individual can chart a full career in business aviation. Identifying motivated people who will take the extra effort to complete distance education courses like PDP can be what a maintenance department needs to "grow their own" managers. Defining a career path in corporate aviation may be a key way to keep good people where we need them.

Jay Evans (Joe A. Evans) is senior manager, Airmen and Commercial Services for the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). He is the project manager for the NBAA Professional Development Program (PDP). For further information on NBAA's Professional Development Program, contact Jay Evans at [email protected] or call (202) 783-9000.

Training Resources

Training is essential to advancement in any field, but with the dynamic state of the aviation industry, training is imperative to furthering one's career. More regulations, more standards, more parts, more planes, more, more, more . . . Aviation is ever-expanding, creating the need for boosting one's knowledge base to move ahead in the industry.

Gathering knowledge through continuing training lends itself to career development and advancement in several ways:

First, continuing training shows an employer or potential employer initiative, drive, and perseverance. These are qualities highly valued by an employer and honestly, not always easy to find.

Second, continuing training provides evidence to the fact that you care about the work you do. No one is going to work hard to master a skill or fine-tune a talent at something they do not care about. And, those that care about their jobs tend to do better at their jobs.

Third, continuing training shows that you are open to new experiences and new information. A boss may be more likely to promote you to a position you are not familiar with simply because he or she knows of your openness to try new things and your willingness and ability to learn.

Fourth, continuing training can help you feel better about yourself and generally more confident. The more a person knows, the more self-assured they are. Confidence can be a catalyst to better performance.

Continuing training can mean the difference between a successful aviation career and an average aviation job. The companies listed here offer training in a wide range of aviation specialties. Call one today to transform your job into your career.

Abaris Training Resources Inc.

5401 Congley Lane, Suite 49, Reno, NV 89511; (800) 638-8441, (775) 827-6568; www.abaris.com;

The industry leader in advanced composites training since 1983. Abaris Training offers 12 different courses in design, fabrication, and repair at their Reno, NV, and Griffin, GA, training facilities. All aspects of aerospace-related composite repair are taught with a hands-on emphasis. A Canadian DOT-approved training center. FAA inspector authorization refresher training course approval, on select classes. Introductory and advanced level courses offered. Customized worldwide on-site training available.


18006 Skypark Circle, Suite 210; Irvine, CA 92614; (949) 442-8830; www.aerolearn.com;

Aerolearn.com is a free online learning community for aviation maintenance professionals. We offer free self-paced courses on a wide range of subjects including technical, management, career development, and personal growth topics. The courses are provided by "instructors" from every segment of the aviation industry. Aerolearn.com is a subsidiary of Northrop Rice USA Inc. and Aeronautics Innovation Inc.

Aviation & Electronic Schools of America (AESA)

PO Box 1810, 201 S. Railroad St., Colfax, CA 95713-1810; (530) 346-6792; www.aesa.com; For over a decade, Aviation & Electronic Schools of America has been offering classes in aviation, telecommunications, electronics, and computer technology. A&P, IA, IA Renewal, FCC GROL, Radar Endorsement, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Access. Computer building and configuring. Get licensed/certified in the field of your choice today!

Baker's School of Aeronautics

1645-K Murfreesboro Rd., Nashville, TN 37217; (615) 361-6787, (800) 264-1787; Offers weekly classes for Inspection Authorization (IA) rating as well as two separate FAA-approved IA renewal courses.

Cochise College

4190 W. Hwy 80, Douglas, AZ 85607-6190; (520) 364-0229; www.coshise.org/aviation; Complete 147 AMT (A&P) - 15 months. Complete Avionics - 12 months. Complete 141 Flight program in both Douglas and Tucson. Certificate programs and Associate Degrees. Original training or "re-tooling/retraining." Individual attention. Check web site for special Western Undergraduate Exchange rates and program details. For the best - fast - come to Cochise College!

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

600 S. Clyde-Morris Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114; (904) 226-6397; Offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in aeronautical science, aerospace studies, engineering, aviation maintenance, avionics, computer science, and aviation business administration, available at both Daytona Beach, FL, and Prescott, AZ, locations. Distance learning programs are also available.

FlightSafety International

Corporate Headquarters, Marine Air Terminal, LaGuardia Airport, Flushing, NY 11371-1061; (718) 565-4100; FlightSafety.com;

As the authorized maintenance training organization for 18 aircraft manufacturers, FlightSafety offers more than 200 courses at 45 Learning Centers located throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada, and the Far East. Training is targeted to respond to the information management requirements of today's aircraft technician by focusing on decision-making skills and logical approaches to problem-solving. Contact Doug Bowen at (800) 291-0679 to receive a copy of the 2000 Schedule of Maintenance Courses.

Global Jet Services, Inc.

3 Grant Estate Dr., Suite 100, West Simsbury, CT 06092; (860) 651-6090; www.globaljetservices.com;

CL600/601/604 Challenger maintenance training. FAA- and Transport Canada-approved. Initial, electrical interface, refresher, and conversion courses.

Grey Owl Aviation Consultants, Inc.

Box 233, Onanole, MB R0J 1N0, Canada; (204) 848-7353; www.greyowl.com;

Grey Owl Aviation facilitates an interactive two-day human factors workshop for aviation technicians to create an awareness of the human factors that affect our judgement. This workshop provides safety nets to prevent errors. The workshops have been found to reduce technical-related incidents and provide a framework for better communication.

Guilford Technical Community College

260 North Regional Rd., Greensboro, NC 27409; (336) 665-9425; www.technet.gtcc.cc.nc.us/;

GTCC offers a full FAA-certified Airframe and Powerplant curriculum; A&P refresher courses (32 hours); Non-destructive Testing courses (Levels I & II) in eddy current, mag particle, liquid dye penetrant, and ultrasound; and IA refresher (8 hours). We also host EAA/SportAir weekend workshops on fabric covering, sheet metal, aircraft electrical, welding, and composites.

Heatcon Composite Systems

600 Andover Pk. E., Seattle, WA 98118; (206) 575-1333; www.heatcon.com;

Heatcon® Composite Systems continues to grow its customer base by providing a unique support and service methodology called the T.E.A.M. approach. Our customers find it convenient and cost-effective to obtain the very best in training, equipment, accessories, and materials for composite repairs from one source . . . the world leader.


2051 East Cerritos Ave., Suite 8A, Anaheim, CA 92806; (714) 956-2274; www.hellierndt.com;

Hellier is a leading provider of Level I, II, and III training in the major non-destructive testing methods. Other services provided are consulting and outside agency services including examinations for certification, audit, written practice, and procedure development. Facilities are located in Houston, TX, and Niantic, CT, as well as in Anaheim, CA. Hellier is also an authorized examination center for several nationally recognized certification programs.

Hobart Institute of Welding Technology

400 Trade Square East, Troy, OH 45373; (800) 332-9448; www.welding.org;

Whether it's skill career training or customized technical or specialized weld training with certification, the Hobart Institute offers from one week to nine months of proven techniques, your place or ours. We customize programs for the aerospace industry with the following metals: cobalt, Inconel, titanium, A286-stainless, hastalloy, etc.

North Central Institute (NCI)

168 Jack Miller Blvd., Clarksville, TN 37042; www.nci.edu;

Aviation Maintenance Technician training. Airframe and/or Powerplant training. FAR Part 147 and Part 65 available on a monthly basis. Placement available on completion.

Northrop Rice Aviation Institute of Technology

1155 S. Arbor Vitae St., Suite 115, Inglewood, CA 90301; (310) 568-8541; www.nrait.edu;

Northrop Rice Aviation Institute of Technology (NRAIT) offers accredited continuing education programs for aviation maintenance professionals. A&P certificate holders are awarded 60 quarter units towards AA, AAS, and BS degrees in aircraft maintenance engineering technology. NRAIT is a subsidiary of Northrop Rice USA Inc. and Aeronautics Innovation Inc.

Northrop Rice USA Inc.

8880 Telephone Rd., 2nd Floor, Houston, TX 77061; (713) 644-6616; www.nrusa.com;

Northrop Rice USA Inc. (NRUSA) is a worldwide aviation training provider. NRUSA and its subsidiaries (Northrop Rice Aviation Institute of Technology and Aerolearn.com) offer total education and training solutions including customized training programs, curriculum development, training equipment, web-based courses, and accredited degree programs.

Parks College of Engineering and Aviation

Department of Aerospace Technology, 3450 Lindell Blvd., PO Box 56907, St. Louis, MO 63156; (314) 977-8333;

The Aircraft Maintenance Engineering program combines the technical skills of an A&P with the engineering knowledge associated with the production, repair, and modification of aircraft and propulsion systems. The Aircraft Maintenance Management program provides the A&P with the skills required to manage the business side of aircraft maintenance departments.

Quality Testing Services

4003 Fee Fee Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63044; (888) 770-0607; www.qualitytesting.net;

Quality Testing Services offers Level I and Level II courses in liquid penetrant magnetic particle, ultrasonic, radiographic, and eddy current inspection. We can train, qualify, and certify your personnel to SNT-TC-IA, MIL-STD-410, and CP-189. QTS is an SNT-authorized exam center, and is approved to administer IRRSP and ACCP Level II and ASNT NDT Level III exams. We can accommodate you at your facilities or ours.

Rolls-Royce Indianapolis Customer Training

5501 W. 79th St., Indianapolis, IN 46268 or PO Box 420, Speed Code: O14, Indianapolis, IN 46206-0420; (317) 230-2586; www.Allison.com;

Classes focus on engine systems familiarization and maintenance procedures and are tailored to the customer's needs. Training courses teach students to understand all aspects of gas turbine theory, operation, and maintenance.

SimuFlite Training International

PO Box 619119, 2929 W. Airfield Dr., DFW Airport, TX 75261; (214) 693-7628, (800) 527-2463; www.simuflite.com;

SimuFlite's maintenance training program features A&P licensed, operationally experienced instructors and is FAA-approved for IA renewal. Technicians can train at SimuFlite's conveniently located Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport training center or on site at their own location. Programs include Citation, Falcon, Gulfstream, Hawker, King Air, Learjet, and Westwind.

Southern Illinois University

Department of Aviation Technologies, 635 Flightline Rd., MC 6816, Carbondale, IL 62901-6816; (618) 536-3371; www.siu.edu/~aviation/programs/maint/;

Offers a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Technologies designed for A&P technicians, with specializations in aircraft maintenance, helicopter maintenance, and aviation electronics. SICU also provides Bell Helicopter Textron-approved maintenance training for Bell 47 Field Maintenance and Overhaul, and Field Maintenance for Models 205A-1 and 214B. Training is also Transport Canada-approved.

Southwestern Illinois College

2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville, IL 62221; (618) 235-2700; www.southwestern.cc.il.us;

The college's aviation maintenance program offers one-year and two-year options with classes beginning every 10 weeks. Classes offer hands-on experience with airplanes, helicopters, and aircraft powerplants. Among subjects covered are theory of flight, basic physics, aircraft weight and balance, and federal aviation regulations.

Texas State Technical College

Aviation Maintenance Department, 3801 Campus Dr., Waco, TX 76705; (254) 867-4851; www.tstc.edu;

An FAA-approved A&P school, which also offers an Associate's degree in Applied Science, specialized training for sheet metal installers, and blueprint reading.

Textron Lycoming Piston Engine Service School

Williamsport Regional Airport, Williamsport, PA 17701; (570) 327-4775; www.lycoming.textron.com;

The Textron Lycoming Piston Engine Service School is a mechanic's refresher course on Textron Lycoming's current production piston aircraft engines covering: engine construction, theory of operation, engine servicing, inspection and troubleshooting of related components. Upon completion, the course may be used for qualification for the IA renewal program FAR 65.93(a)(4).


701 Fifth Ave., Suite 3600, Seattle, WA 98104; (206) 691-1300; www.trainingtek.com;

TrainingTek.com is an Internet-based provider offering a single source of access to all of the aviation industry's regulatory required training materials. We focus on exemplary web-based training with comprehensive record-keeping functions, and unparalleled customer service.

Zetec, Inc.

1370 NW Mall Street, Issaquah, WA 98027; (425) 392-5316; www.zetec.com;

NDE excellence worldwide. Trust the Zetec Training Center for state-of-the-art education in field-based eddy current training. After course completions using the most advanced technology, latest equipment, and highly skilled certified instructors, you'll be ready to address real-world eddy current testing problems.