and faculty from the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. Photo
by Dana Heimos
and instructors from the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) made
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh a destination once again this year. A premiere
school of aviation maintenance, aviation electronics, and electronic
systems training, PIA instructors say the trip to Oshkosh is a valuable
one, providing students with the opportunity to talk to potential
employers and the instructors a chance to establish business contacts.
AirVenture Oshkosh is a great place for our students to meet employers
and aviation officials throughout the industry," said John Graham,
president and CFO of PIA. "We’ve heard nothing but good comments
from our students who came here last year, so we took it upon ourselves
to make sure we returned in 2008." Students paid for the trip to
Oshkosh out of their own pockets, but many of them participated in
fundraising programs to alleviate the costs. "The students did
everything they could to make the trip to Oshkosh this year because they
understand the opportunities and level of knowledge people bring to this
event," Graham said.
of about 20 students arrived in Oshkosh on Thursday after a 12-hour trip
from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Students were given the freedom to walk
anywhere they’d like, with the only scheduled item being to reconvene
Gary, a graduate from the PIA avionics program, says he looks forward to
talking to exhibitors. "Last year I attended a lot of workshops, so
this year I want to check out all of the airplanes," he said.
"I’d like to talk to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University about
their recruitment." John Hill, 19, a private pilot who is currently
working toward his airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificate at PIA,
said he’s been coming to EAA AirVenture for the past 11 years.
"There are a lot of things to see here, but I’m really looking
forward to the F-22 Raptors," he said.
Bria, manager of facilities/publications, said EAA AirVenture presents
opportunities for the students and helps promote the institute and what
it stands for. "Aircraft maintenance is an unsung profession,"
he said. "Pilots are great, but we have to remember that airplanes
wouldn’t fly without qualified technicians. It’s important to
promote this profession, and what better place to do that than at EAA
of an FAA subcommittee that works toward promoting A&P mechanics,
Graham also believes it’s important to keep the public informed of
this side of the aviation industry. "We love what EAA has done with
promoting aviation to younger people through the Young Eagles
program," he said. "We also want to let this future generation
of aviators know that aircraft field maintenance is another path they
The PIA students and
instructors will be visiting Oshkosh and staying overnight in the dorm
rooms at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh before departing for
Pittsburgh on Saturday. For more information on the Pittsburgh Institute
of Aeronautics, including career opportunities and programs offered,
visit its website at www.PIA.edu.