Flying Classroom Bombardier Academy Celebrates First Graduates
The Flying Classroom Bombardier Academy celebrated its first graduating class of 30 students Feb. 2 at the National Business Aviation Association’s regional forum at Miami Opa-Locka Executive Airport. Students, Bombardier employees and Flying Classroom officials pose in front of a Bombardier Global 7500, formerly used during flight testing. The aircraft will be based at Bombardier’s new service center at the Opa-Locka airport. The service center is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2022. Credit: Molly McMillin/AviationWeekNetwork
Tackling A Technician Shortage
Barrington Irving, founder and CEO of the Flying Classroom, set a Guinness World Record in 2007 for the youngest person and the first black man to fly solo around the world. Barrington and the Flying Classroom partnered with Bombardier to familiarize college and technical college students, veterans and others about careers in business aviation and to generate excitement about the industry. “I owe my life to the technicians who helped me construct and maintain the plane that got me home alive,” Irving says of his around-the-world trip. The goal is to join forces to help tackle a growing worldwide shortage of technicians. “We want to help our business aviation community overcome this problem through collaboration.” Aviation careers also change lives, he says. “You know what? The first NBAA event I attended, I had three holes in the bottom of my shoes.... Look where I am today. That is the power of our business community.” Credit: Molly McMillin/AviationWeekNetwork
The three-week course, taught by Part 145 instructors, gave graduates hands-on instruction. It included work on some specialty projects exclusive to Bombardier and interactive training needed to work with Bombardier, says Barrington Irving, the Flying Classroom founder. Some graduates are technicians but know little about business aviation, he says. Some of the graduates were offered jobs with Bombardier’s South Florida service center, while others were offered Bombardier internships and other opportunities. Not one individual missed a class or showed up late and all completed the course. The courses come during a time a shortage of technicians continues to grow. “It’s a struggle for everyone,” says Chris Debergh, Bombardier vice president and general manager of OEM parts and services. Bombardier has openings for 400 technicians at its worldwide service centers over the next 18 months. About half are in the U.S. Here, Debergh poses with graduates of the first Flying Classroom Bombardier Academy training class. Credit: Molly McMillin/AviationWeekNetwork
Bombardier Global 7500 Test Aircraft To Train Technicians
Bombardier is dedicating two Global 7500 flight test aircraft for use in hands-on technician training. The one, shown here, will be based at Bombardier’s new service center at the Miami Opa Locka Executive Airport. The service center is scheduled to open in the third quarter in 2022. Another Global 7500 flight test aircraft will be based in Tucson. Credit: Molly McMillin/AviationWeekNetwork
Inside The Global 7500 Test Aircraft
The former Global 7500 flight-test aircraft will offer on-the-job training without the risk of students working on a flying in-service aircraft. The Global 7500, used in Bombardier's flight test program, was on display at the NBAA regional forum at the Miami Opa-Locka Executive Airport, a general aviation airport 11 miles north of downtown Miami. Credit: Molly McMillin
Bombardier and The Flying Classroom celebrated the first graduates of a three-week course designed to familiarize students about technical careers in business aviation and to generate excitement for the industry. The graduates were recognized Feb. 2 at the National Business Aviation Association regional forum Feb. 2 at the Miami Opa-Locka Executive Airport. The forum featured 130 exhibitors and 15 aircraft on static display. About 2,200 people had registered to attend the event.
Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.