Local college gets FAA certification for aviation program

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News 12 11pm / Friday, June 6, 2014

(MGN Online)

Augusta, Ga. (WRDW) -- If you're looking for a career lift off a local college can help. Augusta Tech's new Airplane Maintenance Program is hoping to fill a void in an industry that's almost always hiring by teaching students who want to learn without having to go far from home.

The sound of an engine not turning over is what keeps airplane technicians working and students learning the trade in Augusta.

"There's one in Savannah and there's one in Milledgeville too. So, you're looking at a couple of hours at least," said Rachel Lee.

Lee goes to Augusta Tech and is learning how to be an airplane mechanic. It's only one of six school's in the state and now it's fully certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

"It worked out really nicely, because there's no other school that's close to here," she told News 12.

Preston Smith brings more than 30 years experience as an airplane mechanic and plays double roles, as the department chair and instructor.

"This is a two year program that will give them the basic skills needed for entry level positions in the aircraft maintenance business." he said.

Just like any other industry, the airplane industry, goes through ups and downs, but one thing that Smith says stays the same is job openings for mechanics.

"The major airlines are hiring all the time. So, there's always positions there and the other major factor is the manufactures," Smith told News 12.

Boeing and Gulf Stream are only a few hours away from Augusta, so Smith says the job opportunities are almost endless for students like Rachel. She says even though the course is a lot of fun, she'll never forget how important her soon-to-be job will be.

"You really have to know your stuff because you're responsible for hundreds of people who go up in the air. So, you really got to know what you're doing and be confident in what you're doing," she said.

For more information on the program visit: www.augustatech.edu
Or call: 706-597-8265

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