November 19, 2021

Colorado Northwestern Community College

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Colorado Northwestern is a single college that serves two locations in Colorado. CNCC has the ideal settings and facilities to satisfy your demands, depending on what you wish to study. CNCC, which began as "Rangely College" in 1962, today serves over 1,800 students across two campuses, two service centers, and online. Our two campuses are 90 miles apart amid the mountains and gorges of Northwestern Colorado, in Craig and Rangely.


The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent accrediting agency responsible for accrediting post-secondary, degree-granting institutions in the North Central area, has regionally certified Colorado Northwestern Community College. This accreditation ensures that you will receive a high-quality education by ensuring that CNCC meets or exceeds national education standards.

CNCC underwent an assurance assessment in 2017 and met all accreditation criteria without reservation.

Please contact the Commission at:

Higher Learning Commission's website

The Higher Learning Commission is located at 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500 in Chicago, Illinois 60604.

800.621.7440/312.263.0456 Fax: 312.263.7462

If you are enrolled in any Colorado Northwestern Community College classes and have a problem about your experience with Colorado Northwestern Community College, you may use this form to file a complaint.

Aviation Maintenance Technology is a high-flying career.

If you want a career where the sky isn't the limit, training to become an aircraft maintenance technician at Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) could get you there.

Ty Harrison, program director of CNCC's Aviation Maintenance Technology Occupational Certificate (CERT) and Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS) program, gives an insider's take on this high-flying vocation. It has been a lifelong passion for him. to success

Harrison's long and distinguished career in aircraft maintenance began as a teenager sweeping floors around aircraft hangars, progressed to military service in the United States Marine Corps working on C-130 aircraft, and culminated in an international career in commercial aviation with Delta Air Lines.

"As a 16-year-old, like many other teenagers, I was still figuring out what I wanted to do with the remainder of my life," Harrison says. "I tried a couple of other things outside of flying, but aviation is my passion, and it's where I find all of my fulfillment." I even went as far as learning to fly. While that was a lot of fun, and I still like it, I got a lot more satisfaction from working on and maintaining the planes than from flying them. "I just liked working with my hands and fixing stuff."

Harrison characterizes his aviation maintenance work as "a lot of fun." It was his passion for the profession that inspired others to follow in his footsteps. He realized he wasn't ready to put down his tools and leave the hangar atmosphere when he reached retirement age. Instead, he accepted a new challenge and dedicated to training the future generation of airplane mechanics.

"I left Delta approximately eight years ago," Harrison adds. "I've been with CNCC since then, passing on my skills and paying on what I've learned as an airplane maintenance worker."

What Is Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT)? AMT1

So, what exactly does an airplane maintenance specialist do?

If you ask any aviation maintenance technician out there, they will simply say'maintain aircraft,'" Harrison explains. "That certainly shortens us, but that's simply the way we are!"

The truth is that a career in aviation technology entails far more than that brief summary suggests. Aircraft are sophisticated machines that necessitate a diverse skill set to keep them in safe and excellent operational order.

"There's a lot that goes into maintaining an aircraft and the abilities that are required for that," Harrison explains. "Every day of an aircraft's operating life, maintenance is performed." This can include anything from a pre-flight inspection to a complete refurbishment of the airframe and engines. Aircraft mechanics examine hydraulics, flight control systems, and repairs on planes built of sheet metal or today's innovative composites. It could be simple chores like monitoring fluids or more complicated activities like troubleshooting navigation, communication, and satellite systems. We're even in charge of maintaining and repairing passenger entertainment devices."

According to Harrison, airplane maintenance technicians must have strong communication skills in addition to the hands-on technical skills required for the occupation.

"We are responsible for counseling the flight crews on what is going on with the airplane and how to cope with it," Harrison adds. "We speak with aircraft owners on the type of maintenance schedule they require and what they should look for in the future in terms of significant repairs." We assist customers in determining whether they can postpone a repair until the next major service or if it requires immediate attention. We provide a lot of advice and consultation. We even become active in education. Every now and then, something new appears on the plane, and you may need to advise a pilot or a flight attendant on how to use it.

Aviation Technology School

Students at CNCC are taught the fundamentals of flight before being exposed to a wide range of inspection and maintenance activities, as well as the different operations required to keep an aircraft airworthy.

"We begin with a general portion that covers the history of aviation and then the basic principles of flight," Harrison explains. "We then discuss the physics, including what causes lift in an airplane and Bernoulli's principle." Then we get into pressures and gases and all that stuff you should have known in high school, but we go a little deeper into it."

Learning about the various materials used in aircraft building is an important aspect of the program; airplanes have gone a long way since the Wright brothers' days.

"Back in the day," Harrison continues, "we started off with wood and fabric construction on our aircraft." "Because we still have a lot of old planes around, we talk about them before we get into the many sorts of metals and other materials that are used on airplanes nowadays." We study how metal is extruded, shaped, and all of the material processes that result in the shape of the airplane. Then we discuss about fasteners — the rivets, nuts, and bolts that hold the airplane together — and how we check and secure them to ensure the airplane's airworthiness and flight safety."

AMT student who prioritizes safety

Safety is certainly the top concern in the aviation sector, but students must learn to ensure more than only the safety of the aircraft, flight crew, and passengers. Many procedures must be followed by aircraft maintenance personnel in order to ensure their own safety when working on an airplane.

"We discuss a lot about electricity and hydraulics, and how to do things safely," Harrison explains. "Obviously, you don't want to bust open a hydraulic line on a huge airplane when it's pressurized to 3200 psi because it'll either kill you or harm you or the airplane." There is a method for doing things in the correct order, and if you don't follow it, the repercussions can be disastrous."

While these techniques are first taught in the safety of the classroom, it isn't long before pupils are able to put them into practice.

Training on the Job

Along with classroom instruction, students have the chance to undertake hands-on work on CNCC's fleet of aircraft and helicopters.

assemblage of engines

"We have a variety of airplanes that students work on," Harrison explains. "We begin them on a general aviation aircraft, like as our single-engine Cessna 152 or Piper Tomahawk." We also have a twin-engine Cessna 337 and a Rockwell Sabreliner business jet, so they get a well-rounded learning experience working on a variety of aircraft."

Students like fixing aircraft skins, maintaining navigation and communication systems, servicing flying controls, and removing, testing, and reinstalling engines. All work is done under expert supervision and must be done to exacting standards.

"It's not just a matter of teaching them how to rivet," Harrison explains. "We also teach them what that rivet should look like since there are criteria they must meet in terms of compliance and ultimate product quality."

AMT2 Lifelong Learning

According to Harrison, the aircraft maintenance technology schools pack a lot of knowledge into a 21-month program. This emphasizes the importance of students preparing themselves for prolonged lifelong study once they graduate from AMT school.

"It's a really wide learning experience," Harrison says, "but once they're out in the working environment, graduates are matched with experienced technicians to gain the exposure they need to become an expert on a certain airplane." "Technicians will then frequently specialize in a skill that they enjoy the most." We teach our students the fundamentals, and then they continue to train after they graduate and go to work. Training never stops in aviation maintenance."

The Distinction In the CERT and AAS Programs

CNCC offers an Occupational Certificate (CERT) as well as an Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS) in Aviation Maintenance Technology. Students in both programs are trained to become FAA-certified airplane maintenance technicians.

"The vocational certificate is embedded into the Associates of Applied Science curriculum," Harrison explains.

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Colorado Northwestern Community College

500 Kennedy Dr, Rangely, CO 81648, United States
(970) 675-2261

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