Choose Aerospace Files Petition for Exemption, Seeks Early Testing OpportunitY for Students
In furtherance of its mission to create and deploy aviation technical curriculum in high schools across the country, Choose Aerospace has filed a petition for exemption from § 65.77, asking the FAA to give students that complete its Choose Aerospace General Aviation Maintenance Curriculum the opportunity to take the FAA general written knowledge test.
While normally reserved for applicants with the necessary experience or education, early general written testing would provide an often-necessary credential for high school technical programs, encourage matriculation agreements into secondary education, and provide third-party validation of knowledge for employers.
If granted, the exemption would also provide mechanic trainees the same opportunity available to their pilot trainee counterparts, where individuals can and do qualify to take the written private pilot test independent of a part 141 pilot training school.
The Choose Aerospace curriculum—which will continually align with emerging FAA mechanic airman certification standards—is being pilot tested this fall at fifteen schools across the country this fall and will be widely available in fall 2022.
Under the regulation, the FAA has until Jan. 7 to respond to the petition.
Pathways to Aviation is a non-profit organization that provides workforce solutions through informing, inspiring, and engaging its future labor force. Choose Aerospace Executive Director Crystal Maguire had an opportunity to sit down with Moderator Pete Parker to talk about Choose Aerospace Initiatives in May. Watch that interview below and see the entire slate of panel discussions, here.
On May 19 2021, Choose Aerospace leadership hosted an informational briefing targeted at schools interested in pilot testing the content for the 2021-2022 academic year. The slide deck and recorded version of that briefing are available below.
For more information about the pilot and the curriculum develop project, visit Curriculum.
Choose Aerospace will provide $35,000 worth of scholarships, textbooks, training systems, tools, and testing fee credits to educators and future aviators.
The non-profit organization, managed by the Aviation Technician Education Council, is in its second award season. This year's donors include the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA), Nida Corporation, AVOTEK, Aircraft Technical Book Company, and CertTEC. New for 2021, Snap-on will award one student a six-drawer roll cabinet, valued at $5,340.
Choose Aerospace will also provide two $2,500 awards funded by contributions of the organization’s founding steering committee members: United Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, Envoy Air, PSA Airlines, AVOTEK, Aviation Technical Services, ASA, and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association.
Eligible applicants must be enrolled at or teach in an aviation technical program. ATEC membership is not required but is a top consideration for the review committee when selecting award recipients.
Apply at www.chooseaerospace.org/scholarship.
Download the informational flyer here.
viper transitions announces first aviation program cohort starting may 2021 in partnership with amfa
CENTENNIAL, CO – April 20, 2021 - The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) is happy to announce a new and unique aviation program designed to train transitioning military members and active-duty spouses in the important and valued craft of aircraft maintenance. The program is being conducted by VIPER Transitions, an organization dedicated to ending veteran suicide through counseling, comradery, and skilled training towards a rewarding career. AMFA is also excited to announce a $10,000 donation to VIPER Transitions towards the purchase of program tooling—an important and necessary component of our craft.
Started in 2018 by a group of veterans appalled at watching their fellow veterans unnecessarily die, VIPER Transitions was born from their eager desire to find an end to the suicide crisis. Founder and President Kyle Kaiser, an Army veteran and skilled tradesman from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said, “We realized early on that the comradery and gainful employment that our veterans were accustomed to while in the military was not a guarantee in the civilian world, and was a critical factor to a veteran’s wellbeing. These issues were especially prevalent in those veterans who did not receive specialized training and transferable skills while in the military.”
VIPER Transitions is unique in many ways, but none more important than the those who participate in the program. They will be transitioning military members and active-duty spouses that do not have an aviation maintenance background, and upon completion will be guaranteed employment in the field, or the ability to continue their education towards an Airframe and Powerplant (A & P) certification.
The first cohort is set to start on May 17, 2021 in Anchorage, Alaska. There will be around ten students that will go through an intensive 12-week program adapted from curriculum provided by the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM), the largest Part 147 school with 13 campuses across the US.
AMFA National Director Bret Oestreich stated, “AMFA believes in this mission, and is happy to partner with VIPER Transitions as they begin the program and expand to other military bases. Our craft is comprised of many veterans, and we are proud to continue our tradition of veteran support by promoting this program and its value to workforce development. AMFA’s donation is in recognition that aircraft mechanics use tools every day to support their role, and we urge academia, industry, and government to engage with this group and support their valiant efforts as well.”
Download full press release here.
The following article was originally published on arsa.org, and reprinted with permission from author and ARSA Vice President of Operations, Brett Levanto. The student scholarship was funded by ARSA and facilitated through the Choose Aerospace award program.
In November, ARSA awarded its 2020 scholarship to C. Owen Ritzman of Southern Utah University. Ritzman is an AMT student whose love of getting his hands dirty is matched only by his excitement at solving complex engineering problems.
The grant is part of Choose Aerospace’s 2020 Aviation Maintenance Scholarship and Award Program. ARSA and its partner organizations combined to sponsor more than $25,000 worth of scholarships, textbooks, training systems and testing fee credits for educators and future aviators.
Ritzman took the time to share the impact of his experiences so far and his hopes for the future. His answers to a few simple questions illustrate his curiosity and commitment to hard work; a story that began in his father’s garage and will hopefully continue in shops or hangars for decades to come.
(1) What made you decide to pursue aviation maintenance training?
When I was five or six years old, my dad bought a new truck and invited me to help him put the running boards on. I can’t imagine that I was really any help, but I specifically remember being so proud that I had gotten grease on my hands from helping. I colored black spots on my hands with crayon for a few days so that I could show all of my friends how cool it was!
As I got a little older, I told my parents that I wanted to be a car mechanic. They lovingly suggested that I keep that as a hobby. Through high school, I went through a lot of different degree and career plans. Engineer, national park ranger, wildlife biologist and even helicopter pilot. I quickly discovered that the last one made me sick. But when I was investigating piloting at Southern Utah University, I discovered the newly founded AMT program and that quickly proved to be the answer to my love of mechanical work and my desire to not be limited to an auto shop for my whole life.
(2) What experience or experiences did you have before you started at SUU that have been most valuable to you during school?
I would consider two things of most value to me prior to my experience here at SUU. The first is the countless hours I spent in the garage with my dad or on my own, learning the ins and outs of how cars worked. Without that basis of how tools work, how engines work, and how to problem solve, I would be lost in aviation.
I would say the critical thinking I was able to learn in high school is of even more value, however. Aircraft require a higher level of precision than anything I ever wrenched on in my driveway. Being able to have the mathematical, reading, writing and communication skills I learned through high school have been invaluable to me in AMT school. Though I wouldn’t have entered this field without my mechanical background, I would never last without the critical thinking ability.
(3) What have you found to be most surprising/unexpected about AMT school?
Before I started AMT school, I didn’t realize how fragile aircraft actually are. As I have had the chance to work hands-on, I have discovered just how easily something very important and very expensive can break. I had always imagined aircraft being tough, solid, and hard to break, but mindlessly pushing on the wrong thing can do extensive damage.
Because of this, we spend much more time in classroom instruction than I ever expected. I came prepared for an environment where we would rarely be in lecture but quickly realized that without that time, we would be wasting precious resources once we actually began hands-on work. It was well worth the wait too!
(4) Other than becoming an ARSA member, what are your goals for life after school?
Of course, at my age, plans are constantly changing, but my biggest goals after I finish my schooling are to be able to support a family and live somewhere that I can admire every day. One of the most attractive things to me about working with aviation was the amount of versatility it offers. There is work to be had all across the country. Granted, young inexperienced workers often have to take what they can get. But I am confident that as I gain more and more experience, this field will lead me to the exact places that I want to be.
(5) To help ARSA’s members understand the value of the scholarship, tell us about the expenses you have to cover while at school.
In all honesty, in AMT school, expenses rack up quickly! I was fortunate enough to be offered an academic scholarship from SUU that covers a large part of my standard tuition. However, because of the amazing access we have at SUU to hands-on learning, the fees associated with classes add up to about 160 percent more than an average student would be paying here.
Another thing that added up very quickly was tools. Despite spending hours working on cars, most of the tools I used were not mine. I would estimate that I have already invested about $1,200 in tools. Some of these are very basic, cheap tools to get me through school, and others are high-end precision tools like torque wrenches.
On top of all of this, there are normal living expenses: gas, groceries, rent, car repairs, dates, recreation, etc. Scholarships like the one offered by ARSA make a huge difference in mitigating these expenses. They make it possible to afford the education while still taking care of everything else. And trust me- the money you pay is well worth the education!
(6) If you learned that someone was considering school/career choices and they asked you about aviation maintenance, what would you say?
If someone was considering aviation maintenance, I would tell them that it’s a pretty fool-proof option. There will always be work in this field, so long as they are willing to do just that— work! But even more enticing, it provides an opportunity to do genuinely important tasks every single day. There are few feelings better than seeing your own effort and knowledge put into action. And what better way for it to be in action than flying through the air?
The newly-incorporated Choose Aerospace, a coalition of stakeholders pursuing greater awareness of opportunities in aviation maintenance, is proud to announce its inaugural slate of scholarship and award recipients.
A host of partner organizations sponsored $25,000 worth of scholarships, textbooks, training systems, and testing fee credits for educators and future aviators. Scholarship donors include the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA), Nida Corporation, AVOTEK, Aircraft Technical Book Company (ATBC) and CertTEC.
Choose Aerospace also provided a $2,500 award funded by the organization’s founding steering committee members: United Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, Envoy Air, AAR, PSA Airlines, AVOTEK, Aviation Technical Services, ASA, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, ARSA, the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance, and the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC).
Congratulations to this year's award winners:
Choose Aerospace $2500 Scholarship: Angelina Kapp, Southern Illinois University of Carbondale
ARSA $1000 Scholarship: Craig Ritzman, Southern Utah University
ASA $1000 Scholarship:
Avotek Avionics Textbook Set
ATBC A&P Textbook Set:
Avotek Dale Hurst Memorial Instructor Scholarship: Carlos Smith, Middle Tennessee State University
In addition to facilitating the annual award program, the coalition has created a singular resource for students, instructors, schools, and employers to find award opportunities available to the aviation technical community. The new resource is available at chooseaerospace.org/awards.
Choose Aerospace is actively soliciting support for the 2021 award season. To participate, or have an award program listed on the scholarship page linked above, please contact email@example.com.
Choose Aerospace Refines Curriculum project scope, asks for second round of Submissions from Would-Be Development Partners
Choose Aerospace, Inc. is soliciting bids from potential partners to support development of standard aviation technical curriculum. The project is in support of one of the organization’s key objectives: to expand aviation career and technical training and associated career pathways.
This past spring, the organization published a request for proposal (RFP) soliciting ideas and identifying potential partners for its initial project: to create curriculum that aligns with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mechanic airman certification standards (ACS). The invitation to bid (ITB) seeks additional information to support a refined project scope and to better understand and baseline each vendor’s proposed product, terms, and costs.
“Fourteen organizations submitted proposals to the RFP, introducing lots of ideas and new technologies that will greatly enhance aviation technical training,” said Choose Aerospace President and AAR Corp Vice President Workforce Development Ryan Goertzen. “We learned a lot during that process, including the need for a refined approach that focuses on an area where we see the biggest need and opportunity.”
The ITB thus focuses in on a high school student audience and development of curriculum that aligns with the general portion of the FAA ACS. The final product will give high schools the opportunity to adopt aviation technical curriculum without the high costs generally associated with those types of programs; and for AMTS, it will create new enrollment streams of students that have already taken the general portion of the airframe and powerplant curriculum.
“We see this as an amazing opportunity to reach students in underserved and minority communities while growing the pipeline” said Goertzen. “It’s a big undertaking, but one we think will make a real and positive impact on training, diversity, and career opportunity.”
Responses to the ITB are due Dec. 1 to Crystal Maguire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new organization, with the mission of promoting careers in aviation maintenance, is offering award opportunities for aviation maintenance programs, their instructors, and students. The deadline to apply is Oct. 15, 2020.
Choose Aerospace will provide $25,000 worth of scholarships, textbooks, training systems, and testing fee credits to educators and future aviators. “Trying to kick off a new scholarship program in the midst of a national workforce crises is challenging to say the least, but we have been overwhelmed by the community’s steadfast support to get it off the ground,” said AAR Vice President Workforce Development and Choose Aerospace President Ryan Goertzen. “It illustrates the commitment this industry has to supporting our future leaders, even in the midst of crises.”
Scholarship donors include the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA), Nida Corporation, AVOTEK, Aircraft Technical Book Company and CertTEC. Choose Aerospace will also provide a $2,500 award funded by the organization’s founding steering committee members: United Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, Envoy Air, AAR, PSA Airlines, AVOTEK, Aviation Technical Services, ASA, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, ARSA, the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance, and the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC).
“Despite the recent challenges, some schools are seeing record enrollments in aviation technical programs,” said Goertzen. “That is an opportunity for industry, we must keep supporting the workforce pipeline, now more so than ever.”
Eligible applicants must be enrolled at or teach in an aviation technical program. ATEC membership is not required but is a top consideration for the review committee when selecting award recipients. Apply at www.chooseaerospace.org/scholarship.
Newly Incorporated Choose Aerospace, Inc. Elects Board of Directors, Issues Curriculum Project Request for Proposal
An informal coalition, previously facilitated through the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), has officially incorporated and will provide a new vehicle to pursue aviation workforce development initiatives. Choose Aerospace, Inc. is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting aerospace technical careers. It is a partnership of stakeholders within professional aviation and aerospace industries, joined together to address one of the biggest threats to continued industry growth: the availability of a diverse, qualified technical workforce.
Choose Aerospace’s creation was funded by stakeholder contributions and ATEC member dues. With operational support from ATEC, the organization will unite companies, associations, labor unions, and educational institutions to spur interest in aerospace careers and implement solutions to workforce development challenges.
The following individuals will serve on the initial board of directors--
“We as a community have been pursuing career awareness and workforce development initiatives for some time; we would not be here today if it wasn’t for the early financial support from several aviation organizations, who believed in what we were trying to do,” said Goertzen. “This new 501(c)(3) will give us access to tools and opportunities not previously available to help us meet strategic objectives.”
While the organization’s initial objective was to develop a national career awareness campaign, given the coronavirus-related impacts on technical education, the board has decided to prioritize a second objective: to make aerospace career and technical training a priority in secondary schools.
“School closures have created a real need for computer-based learning options,” said Goertzen. “We think that creates an opportunity to develop standardized aviation technical curriculum that can be used by part 147 schools and secondary education.”
To that end, the organization is identifying potential partners to support project development. Today, it released a request for proposal to develop high-tech and relevant resources for aviation technical programs. For more information, download the RFP below.