Pickens Technical College wants to help students interested in aircraft maintenance get their foot in the door. The school recently partnered with Emily Griffith Technical College at Front Range Airport to offer the Aircraft Maintenance program at Pickens under EGTC FAA Aircraft Maintenance Certificate.
Having just got off the ground early this year, the program has already seen its popularity and overall interest skyrocket, something instructor and director Dave Yuskewich attributes to the career choices and pay that exist for the students once they finish.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for high school students to get a head start on an occupation that they want to pursue,” Yuskewich said. “They not only earn high school credit ... 26 hours can be transferred to Metro State University of Denver, and others transferred to any other community college in Colorado.”
EGTC Aircraft Maintenance at Pickens is touted as the most affordable FAA certified program in the region and the curriculum affords students the chance to earn credits toward an FAA certification from EGTC while receiving hands-on training. Students are able to diagnose and repair aircrafts from small propeller-driven airplanes to large commercial jets.
The first year of the program consists of eight courses taught at Pickens. Sections offered there include Airframe & Powerplant Preparation, Weight and Balance, Corrosion Control and Fluid Lines and Electrical Storage and Batteries. Students then head to Emily Griffith at Front Range Airport for 18 months to complete the program.
Despite the complexity of the curriculum, many students, like Neil De La Ossa, were drawn to the program simply because they were interested “learning the theory on how an airplane can actually fly.”
Rangeview High School student Brandon Read has worked on cars since he was 12 years old. He thought it’d be worth while to learn how to work on airplanes.
“I wanted to learn something new, something I haven’t worked on before. I wanted to know what creates the lift and gets the airplane into the air.” - Student Brandon Read
One aspect that remains consistent among students is their affinity for the family-like atmosphere at Pickens. Most people will agree that the school offers things you can’t put a price tag on.
“The instructors here are great people,” Read said. “They’re respectful if you respect them. It’s just a great place.”
For more information about the Aircraft Maintenance program, visit pickenstech.org/programs/aircraft_maintenance.