King Schools introduces cleared for aviation maintenance program to meet growing demand for mechanics
Article by Amy Wilder originally appeared on the Plane and Pilot Magazine website on July 28, 2023 To view the original article Click Here.
The demand for aviation mechanics is surpassing the well-documented pilot shortage, with an expected projected need of roughly 690,000 jobs in the next two decades, according to a study by Boeing. To address this critical issue, King Schools, a renowned provider of aviation training, has introduced a new Cleared for Aviation Maintenance program.
“We’ve been growing a lot over the last five to 10 years…and it’s been wonderful to do that, but we’ve been within this domain of pilots for a long time,” said CEO Barry Knuttila at a press conference at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on Thursday. “We had mechanics test prep for the general airframe and powerplant for many years. So we had our toe in the mechanics world.”
“Now, we’ve jumped into the water, gone underwater, and come back up,” he continued. “And we’ve come back up with a curriculum that allows…a school to start up a brand new mechanic school and take mechanics…from zero to turning wrenches with a certificate.”
The Cleared for Aviation Maintenance product is designed for flight schools, colleges, and universities to integrate into their existing A&P programs or establish new ones. With a focus on the new Part 147 requirements and a user-friendly syllabus, the product seamlessly integrates into existing instructional programs. King Schools offers a free concierge service to guide schools and businesses through the setup process.
“There’re maintenance schools that are out there,” he continued, “but they’re just not able to produce [a solution to] the overwhelming demand.”
So he took that idea to the drawing board, asking how we could change that dynamic. “I couldn’t find a commercially-produced syllabus, short of…test prep, which we already had, that would work for multiple entities,” Hough said.
The curriculum encompasses a fully integrated home-study course, written exam test prep, and a complete syllabus in compliance with the new FAA FAR Part 147 requirements for aviation maintenance technician schools. The program seamlessly aligns with aviation maintenance programs offered by high schools, colleges, and universities, maintenance schools, and flight schools with aircraft maintenance facilities.
The home-study course is structured into three units: general, airframe, and powerplant. Learners engage with short video sessions, quizzes, flashcards, and practice tests to make the process more enjoyable and improve retention. FAA-style questions ensure students become familiar with the examination format, and interactive tracking helps focus efforts where needed. Additionally, students gain access to the company’s companion and test prep apps, both allowing for offline functionality.