Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Aviation Technicians Ensure Plane Safety

Without aviation technicians, planes would be unsafe. These Aviation Technicians , who specialize in avionics, test, maintain, and produce aviation electronics that include jet engines, navigation systems, weather radar systems, flight pattern systems, radio communication devices and flight-control circuitry. The installation of electronics devices, their calibration, and their testing are all critical to the success of any aviation endeavour. Many avionics technicians specialize in one area of expertise, such as microcircuit television microscopy, oscilloscope review or computerized guidance systems.

Avionics technicians are employed across the country, primarily at major airports. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the field will grow by 10 percent by 2016, about the average for all occupations.

At Centennial College, those who are interested in this field can attend the aviation technician program, where they will be trained in skills from basic electronics to sophisticated avionic systems used in modern aircraft. There is an admissions process for entry into the program that requires those who are interested to have completed at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or General Education Development or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. They must also have completed the compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent and Math 11M or U or 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent.

What can students expect from the Centennial College aviation technician program? First and foremost, there is a strong hands-on component by way of time spent in a facility that is equipped with the latest modern tools currently being used in the industry. This facility is housed in on Ashtonbee Campus, the largest transportation centre in the province. The hands-on portion of the aviation technician training is rounded out by maintenance servicing practices and procedures.

In addition to outstanding facilities are seasoned teachers, guest speakers and panelists who come in to share their personal stories and lecture about industry-related topics. This occurs in a variety of courses such as: Piston Engines and Propellers (student learn about piston engines, including construction, characteristics, components, accessories, lubrication, ignition systems and operation fundamentals), Theory of Flight (students master principles of flight, including atmosphere, aircraft aerodynamics/control and stability and high-speed flight), Avionics Installation Practices (students study basic avionics installation practices through lectures and with hands-on practice of both VHF Communication and VHF Navigation systems), and many others.

Designed to prepare students as Aviation Technicians, the Aviation Technician – Avionics Maintenance program is both approved by Transit Canada and certified by the Canadian Aviation Maintenance Council. Due to the serious nature of a career in aviation, students must achieve a minimum C grade in all courses to graduate. Please note that Transport Canada accreditation requires both a minimum B grade in every course and an absentee rate of less than five per cent of the total program hours. Graduates who meet attendance requirements, project completion requirements, and attain 70 per cent in each course, are granted up to 18 months credit towards their Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s licence (E rating).

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