Friday, July 6, 2012

Aviation Program Offers Focus on Practical Experience

Obtaining hands-on practice in an aviation program is essential, as many employers are seeking graduates who are comfortable with a variety of duties directly upon being hired. At Centennial College, the Aviation Technician – Avionics Maintenance offering is facilitated out of Ashtonbee campus to meet the needs of Toronto’s sizeable aviation community. As such, the aviation program has an aerospace with modern equipment reflecting the current trends in the industry. The campus includes a fully functional aircraft hangar, licensed by Transport Canada, complete with a “fleet” of 10 aircraft, which are used as training aids by the aviation program students.

Those interested in applying for this aviation program are required to have completed an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or General Education Development or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. In addition, they must 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.

The focus of this particular aviation program is on the aircraft’s various electronic systems: electrical power distribution and control, navigation, flight instrumentation, communication and radar. Faculty members who have experience and technical expertise teach these topics as well as:

safety and human factors, piston engines and propellers, sheet metal and aircraft structures, tools, materials and processes; theory of flight, aircraft publication, aircraft applied mathematics, electrical fundamentals, avionics fundamentals, aviation installation practices, avionics troubleshooting practices and more. As previously mentioned, the skills taught to students in this aviation program are balanced between theory and lab time, in which standard industry techniques and processes are included and imbedded.

To ensure that students are getting the most out of their aviation program, partners and supporters of the offering serve as members of Centennial College’ advisory committees and participate as guest speakers and panelists, sharing their knowledge and expertise for the benefit and enhancement of the program.

Graduation from this aviation program requires students to obtain at minimum a C grade in all courses. After completion of the aviation program, students acquire an Ontario College Diploma.  In addition, Transport Canada accreditation is provided to graduates who meet attendance requirements, project completion requirements and attain 70 percent in each course. Lastly, successful graduates of this aviation program who meet the accreditation requirements are eligible for an 18-month experience credit and technical examination credit towards the regulatory requirements for issue of a Canadian Aircraft Maintenance Engineer License.

Once aviation program graduates enter the field, they may work at avionic-approved shops and aircraft manufacturing companies or in non-aircraft related electronic industries. More specifically, past grads have found careers with: airlines/ operators (Air Canada, Kelowna Flightcraft, Great Slave Helicopters); manufacturers (Bombardier, Magellan Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney); the military (Department of National Defense); aviation training (Flight Safety Canada); aviation repair and overhaul (SPAR Aerospace, IMP Group, Field Aviation, Eurocopter Canada); and aviation equipment/avionics (MC2, Wright Instruments).

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