Aviation for Girls

2016

Aviation for Girls is a special annual member publication of Women in Aviation International for Girls in Aviation Day. Articles feature young girls living their aviation dreams, career ideas, and education resources.

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AVIATION FOR Girls 2016 7 more maintenance from experienced hands and the new, sophisticated, tech- nically advanced aircraft will require a new set of skills not always possessed by technicians who have been replac- ing steam gauges and riveting alumi- num for 30 years. In its 2015-2034 market outlook, Boe- ing states that although regional chal- lenges will exist, the global aircraft mar- ket will continue to improve and we'll see a demand for more than 38,000 air- planes in the next 20 years. Note that this is truly a global market. While com- mercial aviation and general aviation, including corporate aviation, is a matur- ing market in the United States, in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and the Far East commercial aviation is a growth market as these countries become more prosperous, more interconnected, and more attuned to global business and international travel. In addition, air- lines and other operators are operating at their highest efficiency, with an over- all load factor of 80 percent, according to Boeing. More airplanes, old airplanes, and less aircraft downtime means the demand for aircraft technicians will re- main high. To become an aircraft mechanic, an applicant must receive and log training through either an FAA-approved avi- ation maintenance technician school offered at a flight school or a community college, or through on-the-job training alongside a qualified mechanic. For ei- ther a powerplant or airframe certificate an applicant must acquire 18 months of on-the-job training. For both airframe and powerplant, 30 months is required. An applicant must also pass an FAA written exam, an oral exam, and a prac- tical test. Education Required: Technical school and on-the-job training Median Annual Wage: $58,390 per year/$28.07 per hour (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Employers: Aircraft mechanics are in demand everywhere—major and regional air- lines, aircraft manufacturers, corporate flight departments, flight schools, and local FBOs. 2 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operator "In the first three years of [UAV] integra- tion, more than 70,000 jobs will be creat- ed in the United States with an economic impact of more than $13.6 billion. This benefit will grow through 2025 when we foresee more than 100,000 jobs created and economic impact of $82 billion." —AUVSI's The Economic Impact of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the United States O ne of the fastest-growing jobs in aviation is, not surprisingly, the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) sector, and the demand for pi- lots in this sector is also contributing to the overall pilot shortage, as many for- mer fixed-wing and helicopter pilots are making the switch to UAS industry. "UAS recruitment is just beginning. For the past few years, the UAS jobs were mostly in the military. Lately, it's switched, and with the FAA's 333 ex- emption process, and the allowance for Commercial UAS programs, many com- panies have set up pipeline-type pro- grams and even scholarships," said Erin Schoenrock, UAS lead flight instructor at the University of North Dakota. Career services professionals from ERAU and UND agree that a UAS de- gree combined with pilot certificates is the ticket to success in the UAV indus- try right now. This dual skillset is what companies like Amazon are looking for, especially those pilots with commer- cial pilot certificates and instrument ratings. The regulations pertaining to UAS flights are evolving and new tasks made quicker, easier, and less expen- sive by UAS flight are being discovered every day. Devices that were recently just toys are now becoming an inevita- ble part of the national airspace system. Certificated pilots with a background in business and corporate aviation and specific training in the operation of and regulatory environment pertaining to unmanned aviation will be uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between the new technology, the new craft, and the traditional airspace system they are rap- idly becoming a part of and in which they will operate going forward. To become a UAS operator, a person must study computer science, engineer- ing, or a similar course of study. Absent a degree specifically in unmanned aeri- al systems, engineering seems to be the preferred degree, but many commercial operators also prefer applicants who al- ready hold at least a commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating. Education Required: A bachelor's degree in unmanned aircraft systems or a similar engineering degree, and in most cases, a commercial pilot certificate. Median Annual Salary: $100,000 (DroneTrainingHQ.com) Employers: There are limitless opportunities for UAS pilots, including package delivery for Amazon.com, law enforce- ment or border patrol, or flying for commercial realty groups, agricultural companies, and photography or survey operations. JIM KOEPNICK

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