Revamped Part 147 regulation governing aviation maintenance technical schools in the U.S. will update language and standards that are more than 50 years old, while aligning schools’ curriculum with mechanic Airman Certification Standards, freeing them from FAA curriculum approvals. Those and other changes to Part 147 were the topics last week of an hour-long webinar hosted by Helicopter Association International and presented by Aviation Technician Education Council executive director Crystal Maguire and Blue Ridge Community College professor of aviation maintenance technology Fred Dyen.
Under the new final rule, publishing of which is called for by March 27, the regulator will now assess a program’s quality based on student test performance and, in the case of nationally accredited schools, will defer oversight of all educational elements to the Department of Education. It also will more easily allow schools to provide off-site training, including online, as well as establish competency-based programs that don’t have any seat time or credit hour requirements.
“So now that we take away seat time and credits…[students] have to have a certain knowledge that can be demonstrated through oral and written tests, they have to have a certain skill level and that can be demonstrated through a variety of projects or actual hands-on tasks,” Dyen noted.
He added that changes to the rule were a long time in coming. “If you look at the history of the rule, it was developed to teach technicians to maintain a DC-6,” Dyen said. “And there’s very few of those left flying.”