Classes haven’t met in person at Des Moines Public Schools since March 13, but a Central Campus teacher is helping a couple of recent graduates gain some extra hours of learning in order to pursue their career opportunities in aviation.

Chyanna Young and Keith Harder are both members of the Class of 2020, and were students at the district’s Aviation Technology Academy. Each was well on their way to meeting the requirements to earn the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airframe Maintenance Certificate when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools in Iowa and around the globe.

“To qualify for the FAA’s Airframe Maintenance Certificate requires 1,150 hours of working on aircraft, and Chyanna and Keith had completed over 1,100 hours during the past few years when we had to end in-person learning,” noted instructor Keith Boot. “We are spending a few days this week helping them meet the time requirement so they can take the written exam and have the opportunity for a good career working on many of the aircraft in operation around the world.”

Boot and his two students are at Central Campus’s aviation facility on County Line Road this week. When we stopped by Chyanna and Keith were working on a Cessna 310. The twin-engine plane is one of more than a half-dozen teaching aircraft in the program’s fleet that ranges from Vietnam War-era helicopters to a Learjet that once belonged to the U.S. Air Force. Today’s tasks included work on the Cessna’s throttle and landing gear.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down many aspects of life, including air travel. But once things return to more or less normal, and travelers take to the skies on a more regular basis, DMPS students like Chyanna and Keith will be among those making sure we have a safe trip.

Photos from Central Campus Aviation Technology Program
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