What’s Your Million Dollar Drone Idea?


Changing technologies in aviation have the ability to transform sectors of the industry at a pace like never before. One such phenomenon is the now frequent use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), more commonly known as “drones,” which have been incredibly popular since entering into civil and commercial spheres.

The simplest definition of a UAV is an aircraft with no pilot onboard. They can be remote controlled, or fly with differing levels of autonomy based on preprogrammed flight plans or complex dynamic automation systems.

Their applications vary, from military usage and nature photography, to commercial delivery and good old hobbyist fun. And sure, it’s a blast to see someone open a drone during the holidays… but remember, UAVs are capable of quite a lot!

On June 21, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released new rules on civilian drone usage, known as “Part 107.” Those rules went into effect on August 29, and many are now ready to get their drone-based ventures off the ground—literally.

The really cool thing about UAVs is that their potential remains untapped. Aviation enthusiasts are now tasked with discovering new uses for drones.

Something to consider: there is a lot of money to be made! Did you know that according to a study released by the White House in August, the commercial drone usage is projected to generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy over the next decade?

It’s not just industry giants who are getting in on the action. Bloomberg reported in early October that a little drone startup called Flirtey is currently beating both Amazon and Google in the home delivery race. They are set to start delivery operations within the next year!

So, fellow aviation maintenance technicians… have you thought of your million-dollar drone idea yet? We have the skills. Let’s be the innovators who help aviation technology takeoff.

NAA and Polk State Articulation Agreement


National Aviation Academy’s (NAA) Tampa Bay campus has entered into an articulation agreement with Polk State College. The partnership allows students to immediately apply 30 credits toward an associate’s degree in Aviation Maintenance Administration at Polk State upon completion of NAA’s 14-month Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program.  This alliance offers students a path to obtain the training, skills and FAA certifications necessary to work in the industry, and the education to enhance opportunities for advanced positions within the field.  Students who are additionally interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree have a direct path to obtaining one in Aerospace Sciences. Polk State is the only public institution in Florida that offers this degree.

NAA’s AMT program consists of 2,000 clock hours of intensive training over 14 months. All coursework and hands-on projects are supervised by instructors who have years of industry experience across all maintenance levels from commercial and military to aerospace and unmanned. Completion of NAA training allows students to test for federal licensure and obtain employment with industry leaders like General Atomics, Delta, Cape Air, Pratt & Whitney and Bombardier who seek NAA graduates directly dues to their quality and skill set.  The job placement rate after graduating from NAA is 96%.

“We are very excited to offer our prospective, current and recently graduated students the opportunity to obtain an associate’s degree focused on Aviation Maintenance Administration,” said Dale Simpson, Senior Vice President at NAA. “We believe that the combination of technical training at National Aviation Academy and the earning of the associate’s degree at Polk State will only advance our students ability for long term success in the field.”

After graduating from NAA, the remaining classes towards the associate’s degree can be taken online or on campus at Polk State’s Airside Center at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.

Benefits for prospective students include:

  • Applied Transfer Credit: NAA clock hours are applied directly as credit hours towards an associate’s or bachelor’s degree at Polk State
  • Flexibility: All Polk State courses can be taken online so that students can pursue their degree from any location or job site
  • Growth Potential: Upon graduating, students will have enhanced opportunities for promotions and management positions within the field

To be eligible for credit articulation, students must: complete the FAA 14 CFR Part 147 aviation maintenance training program; hold FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certifications; and have been issued FAA Airframe and Powerplant certificates not more than three years preceding the date of enrollment in the program.

“The goal of the degree program is to make sure that we create opportunities for people who want to do this,” said Eric Crump, Aerospace Program Director at Polk State College. “We designed a program with extreme schedule flexibility and relevant course content to help those interested in filling the current and future global maintenance technician need.”

About National Aviation Academy:

National Aviation Academy has been training aviation maintenance professionals since 1932. Aviation maintenance training is offered at facilities in Clearwater, Fla. and Concord, Mass. Training in advanced aircraft systems is also available. Exceptional skills, professionalism and excellence are instilled to meet the growing demands of the aviation industry. Companies that hire NAA graduates offer long-term and viable careers with great earning and growth potential. NAA is located at 6225 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater, FL 33760. For more information call 800-659-2080 or visit http://naa.edu.

About Polk State College:

Polk State College, an open-access institution, was established in 1964 and serves more than 24,000 students annually. Its offerings include the Associate in Arts, which is parallel and fully transferable to the State University System, and the Associate in Science, which is designed to lead directly to the workforce. The College also offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Sciences, Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, as well as a variety of continuing education and certificate programs. Polk State has locations in Bartow, Lakeland, Lake Wales, and Winter Haven. For more information, visit http://polk.edu.


Retired Instructor Restores War-Era Planes in New England


Amazing news! Retired NAA—New England instructor Mike Ascolese has been recognized by the Recorder for his work on WWII-era aircraft. The article features Mike’s restorative work on a 1955 Max Holste Broussard airplane and is accompanied by a glimpse at four other aircraft, including a two-passenger 1946 Cessna 120.


To learn more, check out the full article at: http://www.recorder.com/Round-Power-Aviation-5355601

NAA instructors offer so much to future maintenance technicians, from hands-on experience to their absolute passion for aviation. Mr. Ascolese exhibits both at the highest level!