Aviation Maintenance courses prepare Fairbanks students for sky high careers

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 5:08 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - From cargo jets to personal bush planes, aviation is a core part of life in Alaska. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College aviation maintenance technology program is one of the few airframe & powerplant programs in the nation that can be completed in just a year, certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. Kevin Alexander, Aviation Program Associate Professor explained further.

“CTC Aviation offers one of the only 12 month aviation certificate programs in the country. Students are in class 8 hours a day 5 days a week learning every aspect of aviation maintenance from the small tube and fabric aircraft we see all over Alaska, to large pressurized aircraft that fly all over the world,” said Alexander.

This program provides hands on training with everything from landing gear, to engine overhauls, electrical troubleshooting and repair, welding, sheet metal fabrication, fabric sewing, and painting all the cosmetic work that goes into aircraft. From training with engine components to a full sized intact FedEx plane.

“Our program was for a time the only A&P program still operating in the country. We did have a brief shutdown last spring for coronavirus, while we like everybody else reconfigured, pivoted, tried to figure out a way to move forward. And developed a risk mitigation plan to actually hold in-person classes,” said Alexander.

Even shutting down for 5 weeks, the collective efforts of the University of Alaska Fairbanks managed to prevent the spread of any COVID-19 within the classroom while keeping two cohorts of students on track for graduation.

“As we know aviation is really critical to the state of Alaska and everywhere else it’s a critical infrastructure component so having those students graduate on time or close to on time was a critical need,” said Alexander.

Scheduled to start Monday June 21, a tailored 9 week course will be offered for experienced military aircraft mechanics and civilian apprentices to prep for their Federal Aviation Administration Airframe and Powerplant Certification Test.

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