Today we’d like to introduce you to David Mead.
David, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My story begins at National Aviation Academy (NAA). I attended NAA and graduated with my Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license in 1981. A&P certification is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirement to work on, repair and maintain aircraft.
Directly after graduating, I worked on the Space Shuttle Program, assisting with 8 launches, before pursuing my career with a major airline. I worked for Piedmont which became US Air, and, eventually, US Airways. After retiring from US Airways, my path led me back to NAA.
I began instructing at NAA in 2013. As an alumnus, I had a unique and thorough understanding of the student experience, in addition to knowing the demands of the aviation industry firsthand. My positions at NAA have been varied, moving up from instructor to assistant director of education, director of education and, currently, senior executive vice president of operations and education.
Coming full circle at NAA has been the most rewarding aspect of my career. I am lucky to have the opportunity to impart what I have learned over many years in the industry to the future generation aircraft maintenance technicians.
Has it been a smooth road?
My path has been extremely smooth. Aviation is an industry that is rooted in following policies and ensuring safety. Integrity, both on and off the job, is a basic requirement. My success has been driven by a commitment to excellence, honesty and respect.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the National Aviation Academy story. Tell us more about the business.
NAA has been training aviation maintenance professionals since 1932. We impart lifelong skills that give access to in-demand, lucrative careers in growing field of aviation maintenance. Students train at our campuses in Concord, MA and Clearwater, FL. The A&P license that students receive upon graduation is the only license issued by a federal regulating body and it never expires.
I am proud that we are an institution focused on developing useful skills that allow individuals to be prepared upon entering their chosen careers – something that many educational pathways fall short of. We are furthermore committed to professionalism, honesty and integrity.
What sets NAA apart is our desire to remain at the forefront of aviation as technology increases at a rate like never before. We are doing this by building partnerships within the industry, as well as upgrading our training aids to offer immersive learning environments that mimic realistic situations and new ways to practice skills.
Additionally, our Advanced Aircraft Systems program, which focuses on the electric and electronic components of aircraft, gives students more credentials than any other comparable program upon graduation.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
New fleets of aircraft are being rolled out as older model planes are being overhauled or retired. The demands of the aviation industry continue to grow, but they are changing.
Training in advanced aircraft systems is becoming more and more necessary as next-generation aircraft incorporate new technology. I believe this trend will continue and we will be doing all we can to meet the diversifying needs.
*Article originally featured in Boston Voyager Magazine: http://bostonvoyager.com/interview/meet-david-mead-national-aviation-academy-naa-concord-stowe-ma/