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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bristow Targets A&P Schools

Jim McKenna

Bristow Group sees a lot of fertile ground to be plowed in finding new helicopter mechanics. The supply of mechanics is a constant source of pessimism in the industry, and is often cited as a more critical shortage than that of pilots. But Bristow’s senior vice president of global training, Patrick Corr, argues the industry has barely scratched the surface in developing new mechanics. A big obstacle to that development, he told Rotor & Wing, is a training industry heavily biased against helicopters. Airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic training schools in the United States, for instance, are staffed almost exclusively by instructors who earned their stripes in the fixed-wing world, particularly airlines. Their students are groomed to view rotorcraft as clunky, obsolete machines. Bristow aims to counter that by taking some of its newest aircraft on tours of A&P schools, starting in the Gulf Coast U.S. region. As instructors and students learn that modern helicopters are as sophisticated as fixed-wing aircraft, Coor believes, they will more readily consider careers in rotorcraft. For related news
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