With an enrollment of 592 students, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics is one of the oldest and highly regarded aviation schools in the nation having been founded as the Curtiss-Wright Flying Service in 1927.
It became PIA in 1929 and through 1944 trained airframe and engine mechanics for the aviation industry. In 1944 William J. Graham purchased the school and incorporated Graham Aviation as a division of PIA. An aviation electronics (avionics) course was added to the curriculum in 1979, giving students a choice of training for certification as aviation maintenance technicians or aviation electronics technicians. Since 1929, PIA and the Graham Aviation Division have graduated more than 37,000 and 33,000 students, respectively. PIA graduates have been placed in careers throughout every segment of the aviation industry, including commercial air carriers, aircraft manufacturers and general aviation companies. The PIA campus, located on the Allegheny County Airport since 1946, is situated 8 miles southeast of downtown Pittsburgh.
In order to meet a growing need for qualified technicians in the aviation industry in the new millennium, PIA expanded beyond its Pittsburgh campus and into several branch campuses. In 2006, PIA began training at its first branch campus near Youngstown, OH. After the success of the Youngstown campus, PIA continued its expansion, opening a Hagerstown, MD, branch in 2011 and, a year later, an aviation maintenance technician school at Myrtle Beach International Airport.
A founding member of ATEC, PIA remains a strong supporter citing its unique role in supporting the aviation maintenance sector and its education needs.
“While many aviation related organizations may have some efforts directed to aviation maintenance, ATEC is completely committed to this sector and must be supported,” said Director of Campus Operations Gary Hoyle. “Without supporting ATEC our voices may fall silent. Together members make their voices echo from east to west coast as a roaring lion. Only with dedicated support from industry members and educational institutions can the aviation industry prepare for the future.”
The importance of attending ATEC events, said Hoyle, is in its dedication to developing a concrete plan of action for making positive changes in the aviation maintenance field.
“It’s about action, not just words,” he said. “That is PIA’s number one reason for attending and remaining involved. Its proactive mentality directly links with PIA’s mission statement and is integral to further strengthen the already strong foundation of the aviation industry.”
Stay tuned for updates on everything ATEC members need to know as well as ways that you can help the council and the AMTS community.