Monday, April 18, 2011

Centennial College’s Aviation Program Prepares You for the Workforce in Two Short Years

The aviation industry sees aircraft maintenance technicians servicing, repairing and inspecting airplanes for commercial airlines, private firms, and the military. Training can be obtained at Centennial College.

In order for a plane to be cleared for takeoff, it must be inspected to ensure that all parts are working and safety procedures have taken place. This involves aircraft maintenance technicians who service, repair, and inspect airplanes for commercial airlines, private firms and the military. These professionals must have knowledge of all parts of airplanes, including engines, propellers, landing gear, hydraulic equipment, radio and radar instruments, and bodies.

Crews that work at airports make quick repairs on planes that are scheduled to take off. Major repairs are handled at an airline’s overhaul base, where aircraft maintenance techs are usually more specialized. They may work on only one part of their companies’ planes, such as the engine or the landing gear. At smaller airports, airplane charter services, and general aviation repair shops, aviation technicians work on all parts of planes. Other aircraft mechanics work in plants where planes are manufactured. Sometimes they go on test flights to discover and correct any problems that new aircraft may have.

Before they can enter the field, professionals must attend an aviation program, such as Centennial College’s Aviation Technician – Aircraft Maintenance. The program’s credibility is ensured through its Transport Canada approval and Canadian Aviation Maintenance Council certification as a recognized aircraft maintenance training program. In order to attend, students must complete the application process, which includes being able to present, at minimum, an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or General Education Development or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Applicants must also possess compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent and Math 11M or U or 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent.

Taking two years to complete, this aviation program emphasizes the repair of a wide range of electrical and mechanical systems within an aircraft, including: hydraulics, fuels, environmental systems, engines, surface controls and undercarriage systems, and the aircraft’s frame and external skin. This occurs through courses such as: Safety and Human factors (prepares students with an awareness of the importance of workplace safety and the impact that human factors play in aircraft incidences); Aircraft Applied Mathematics (students will learn basic practical mathematical applications used by aircraft maintenance technicians in the industry, focusing primarily on aircraft weight and balance procedures); Hangar – Maintenance Practices (this lab course provides students with an introduction to the hangar environment, including basic aircraft maintenance tasks allowing students to start building and practicing the skill sets required in the aviation industry); and more. Woven into many of the courses is hands-on training that sees students working in labs fixing aircraft engines, performing flight-line activities as well as conducting aircraft and component inspections.

Before students can graduate from the aviation program, they must complete over 200 maintenance tasks. Also required for Aircraft Maintenance Technician graduation is a minimum C grade in all courses. 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.

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