By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer
EVERETT — It’s hard to get hands-on training on repairing aircraft composites when you can’t get your hands on the expensive materials.
Everett Community College students won’t have that obstacle any longer, thanks to a donation by Aviation Technical Services. Last week, ATS donated a Boeing Co. 767 aircraft rudder to the community college’s Aviation Maintenance Technician School. The school will use the 767 rudder to teach students about composite material repair. Composites are being used increasingly in jets, like Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner.
“We can talk about it in the classroom and watch instructional videos, but due to this donation we can now do hands-on maintenance on advanced composites technology,” said Alex Porter, EvCC aviation maintenance instructor. “This is a pivotal piece of technology for our program.”
About 70 students are enrolled in EvCC’s Aviation Maintenance Technician School, which opened in 1968. Students can earn an associate’s degree, certificate in aviation maintenance technology or Federal Aviation Administration mechanic’s certificate.
With its facility at Everett’s Paine Field, Aviation Technical Services is the largest single-site aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul provider in North America. And ATS is second only to Boeing in providing jobs in Snohomish County.
ATS has been active in efforts by the Aerospace Futures Alliance and Washington Council on Aerospace to increase aerospace training and education in the state. The company also participated a state-funded Aircraft Mechanic Airframe apprenticeship program last year.
“Everett Community College is a leader in training students to become professional aircraft mechanics, and we are excited to be a part of that,” said Matt Yerbic, ATS president. “We hope to see the students who work on this rudder at our company or at another company in the area.”