OLNEY Texas — Air Tractor, the leading manufacturer of purpose-built agricultural, firefighting and utility aircraft, is launching a series of training courses designed to enhance the knowledge of aircraft maintenance technicians with Air Tractor airframe and powerplant systems.

“Knowledge is power! The better a technician knows his/her aircraft, the more accurate, safe and economical their work will be,” said Brian Hahn, Director of Training and Education at Air Tractor.

The first Aircraft Familiarization class will be held Sept. 23-Oct. 2 at Air Tractor headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Olney, Texas. The first class is offered free of charge. A second Aircraft Familiarization class is scheduled for December. The 2020 schedule will be announced later this year. To register for the free Aircraft Familiarization class and to receive additional information, visit airtractor.com/training.

“We plan to offer this course 4-6 times each calendar year. We will try to limit the course to no more than 10-12 students at any one time,” Hahn said.

The course is designed to familiarize maintenance technicians with Air Tractor airframe characteristics, structures, flight controls and systems as well as Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 powerplant systems found on Air Tractor products. There will also be some hands-on time for processes that are commonly and repetitively performed on an Air Tractor aircraft.

The familiarization courses allow attendees to address specific challenges that they may have encountered and allows much one-on-one interaction with the instructors.

“Since this is a new course, I personally want to make sure that we concentrate on areas of need, have a good balance of time dedicated to each subject and give the student superior training,” Hahn said. “For that reason, we are hoping to get highly experienced mechanics to participate in this initial class to provide input for improving and validating the course,” Hahn added.

The training program was designed by Hahn, an aviation industry veteran with extensive training background.

“I thoroughly enjoy training and helping students increase their knowledge and capabilities,” Hahn said. “Air Tractor hired me in late 2018 to develop maintenance training for our external customers. I have also been developing and offering training to our internal workforce along with acting as the safety manager for Air Tractor,” he said.

Hahn received his FAA Airframe and Powerplant ratings in 1991 and worked at structural and airframe repair facilities. Beginning in 1994 Hahn served as an instructor in a FAA Part 147 AMTS (Aviation Maintenance Technician School) where he taught almost all of the 30+ courses in the curriculum. In 1997 he was promoted to Department Chair for the AMTS and remained in that position until 2018. He also received an FAA Inspection Authorization in 1995 and worked on behalf of the FAA as a DME (Designated Mechanic Examiner) between 2005 and 2018.

According to Hahn, Air Tractor believes that offering customer technician training is a natural extension of the service model it already supplies to the aerial application, aerial firefighting and specialized utility aircraft communities.

“The old saying ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ is a great way of describing Air Tractor’s goal,” Hahn said.

While Air Tractor plans to host these courses at their headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Olney, Texas, classes can also be conducted at customer facilities upon request.

“Sometimes it makes better sense economically for an instructor to come to the customer instead of making customers come to Olney,” Hahn said. “We’ll go where we’re needed.”

Find course schedule and enrollment information at airtractor.com/training