Aviation Maintenance Technology

Aviation (photos)

Spokane Community College's aviation maintenance program prepares students to be entry-level technicians in the aviation industry. Aviation is a global industry with local, national, and worldwide opportunities.

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The program is housed in two hangars built at Felts Field Airport specifically for this program. Hangar space includes large classrooms and a wide variety of teaching aids including starters, carburetors, magnetos, landing gear components, and complete aircraft.

Students use aircraft parts and project boards to learn basics of electricity, hydraulics, air conditioning, and other aircraft systems. They also gain a well-rounded education working with a variety of aircraft, from a Cessna 150, 310, 337, and 421 to a turbine-powered North American T-39A Sabreliner. The program provides a limited opportunity for students to work on "live" aircraft - aircraft that will fly again. This is an opportunity very few schools can offer.

Once enrolled, students are required to provide a basic set of hand tools for use in the shop. Tools cost between $1,000 and $1,500. The Federal Aviation Administration requires individuals to complete 1,900 hours of training at an FAA-certified school before they can take the FAA certification exam for airframe and powerplant mechanics. (Airframe covers the aircraft structure, and powerplant covers the engines.) The A&P license allows mechanics to work on any American registered aircraft from single-engine airplanes to large commercial jet aircraft.

SCC's curriculum, which is approved by the FAA, allows students to complete these requirements in six quarters. Students take approximately 20 credits each quarter and attend classes six hours a day, five days a week. They graduate with entry-level skills in the repair, maintenance, inspection, and overhaul of aircraft components and systems.

All courses in this program meet FAA requirements.

Gainful Employment Disclosures

Browse additional programs in the CCS Online Catalog.
All course offerings are subject to change. The college cannot guarantee class offerings, designated times or specific instructors - as funding levels and student interest may affect whether or not an offering is available.

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Course Title Credits

Estimated Cost*

Asset test fee One-time $     20  
Resident tuition/application and registration fee Quarterly 1,135 +
Nonresident tuition/application and registration fee
[U.S. citizen only with waiver]
Quarterly 1,316 +
Parking Quarterly 12 +
Books All 500 +
Supplies, tools, and equipment Annual 1,500 +
Lab and other fees Quarterly 70 +

+ Estimated
* All costs are subject to change without notice.

  Please see the CCS tuition page.

The program has three major sections:

  • Basic electricity
  • Weight and balance
  • Aircraft drawings
  • Fluid lines and fittings
  • Materials and processes
  • Ground operation and handling
  • Cleaning and corrosion control
  • Mathematics
  • Maintenance form and records
  • Basic physics and aerodynamics
  • Maintenance publications
  • Mechanic privileges and limitations


During the first 400 hours of the program, students receive a well-rounded education in general aviation mechanics. Instruction covers basic aerodynamic principles, basic math, physics, electricity, general maintenance practices, and aircraft hardware. 50 percent of this time is spent on hands-on shop experience.

  • Wood structures
  • Aircraft covering
  • Aircraft finishes
  • Sheet metal structures
  • Welding
  • Assembly and rigging
  • Airframe inspection
  • Hydraulic and pneumatic systems
  • Landing gear systems
  • Position and warning systems
  • Cabin atmosphere control systems
  • Aircraft instruments
  • Communication and navigation systems
  • Aircraft fuel systems
  • Aircraft electrical systems
  • Ice and rain control systems
  • Fire protection systems


This section includes 750 required hours of instruction in airframe, with approximately 70 percent of this time being hands-on shop experience. Students learn the basics of sheet metal repair, aircraft structural repair, and the maintenance of airframe systems including hydraulics, air conditioning, oxygen, electrical, and pressurization.

  • Reciprocating engines
  • Turbine engines
  • Engine inspection
  • Engine instrument systems
  • Engine electrical systems
  • Lubrication systems
  • Ignition systems
  • Fuel metering systems
  • Induction systems
  • Fire protection and cooling systems
  • Engine exhaust systems
  • Propellers


The powerplant section also has 750 required hours with approximately 70 percent of it being hands-on shop experience.

2008-09 US Labor Dept Occupation Info


SCC's aviation maintenance program is located at Felts Field in Spokane, Washington.

Our shop facility is designed and built to use space and equipment in a way that will not only accommodate student needs but also reflect the true atmosphere of the general aviation shop. This helps develop the work ethic of the mechanic student and provides a good learning environment.


View photographs of students working at SCC Aviation Maintenance.

View photographs of students working at SCC Aviation Maintenance.

View photographs of students working at SCC Aviation Maintenance.

Aviation Maintenance Technology History

Aviation Facility

The aviation maintenance program is one of the oldest programs at Spokane Community College. The 1942 beginning was under the Emergency Power Act at Geiger Field. The Geiger Field facility was inadequate for the B-24 bomber and P-38 fighter plane maintenance classes. Three downtown warehouse buildings were provided to house the classes. The program started with 30 students and soon expanded to 100 by running three shifts 24 hours a day.

After World War II ended, the aviation maintenance class under Mr. Wayne Leffeler and Jim Hammond ended up in the Northwest wing of the SCC building at East Mission Ave.

In 1969, the program was relocated to modern hangars at Felts Field, and the program expanded to four instructors and a maximum of 100 students.

For more information.... For more program information or to ask other questions:
Contact:  Andy Dodson
Email:  Andy.Dodson@scc.spokane.edu
Phone:  (509) 533-8496
Contact:  Jessica Retter
Email:  Jessica.Retter@scc.spokane.edu
Phone:  (509) 533-7011
Contact:  Cathy Shaffer
Email:  Cathy.Shaffer@scc.spokane.edu
Phone:  (509) 533-7026
Mail to:  Spokane Community College
Aviation Dept. MS 1010
1810 N. Greene
Spokane, WA 99217-5399