Aviation program takes flight

Aviation program takes flight

Instructor Aaron Flowers talks to aviation students during class at the Texarkana Regional Airport.


Story by Taylor Potter, Staff Writer

They learn how to fully operate a circuit board. They learn how to completely strip and rebuild an engine. They learn everything you need to know about aviation.

The aircraft technology class provides a learning experience for students interested in the field of aviation. The class is fully paid for by the school and takes up two class periods.

“We learn about the main parts of an airplane,” sophomore Tyler Brown said. “We’re learning how to build it, take parts off and we’re doing a project where we take apart an engine.”

Brown chose to take the course to help him make his dream a reality.

“I want to do aviation in college,” Brown said. “I like coming out to the airport. I like taking things apart.”

Aviation instructor Aaron Flowers said students can receive FAA, college and high school credit.

“Upon completion of all requirements, the students will receive course completion certificates that will allow them to test for their Airframe & Powerplant License (Aircraft Maintenance Technicians),” Flowers said. “With this license, endless job opportunities will open including, Aircraft Maintenance, Automotive Maintenance, Electronics, Design, Research and Development, Management.”

These aren’t the only benefits of being in the aviation program.

“I get to work with a lot of my friends. There’s a lot of teamwork involved,” Brown said. “It’s fun to go over books and assignments and do hands-on work together.”

Brown actually owns a plane and applies what he has learned in class to his hobby.

“It’s nice to know that I have a vehicle to practice with,” Brown said. “I think it really helps me.”

Flying is definitely Brown’s favorite pastime.

“It makes you feel free,” Brown said. “It’s a really great feeling.”

The hands-on work is a favorite of many students.

“We get to take apart the engine,” sophomore Sarah Shoultz said. “It’s cool getting to do stuff with different aircraft.”

The course is ideal for students who are interested in flying for their careers or for recreational purposes.

“I want to be a pilot and go into the air force,” Shoultz said. “So I thought this would be the perfect way to pursue that.”

Flowers said the program teaches students skills that are in demand in the workforce.

“The program is designed to develop students that are some of the most skilled technicians in the world, and with these skills, earn higher wages than almost any other career field,” Flowers said. “These skills will benefit each student in more career fields that I can list. Just the basics of this program includes mathematics, woodworking, metalworking, fabric and blueprint design and construction.”

Additionally, the program provides interested students a way to chase their goals while providing a fun environment to learn.

“We get to go out in the hangar and learn about the different planes and their different parts,” Shoultz said. “It’s a lot of fun, and we really learn a lot.”