Aviation student receives top award for maintenance tech skills

Contact: Deanne Puca
Photo of Andrew .


KALAMAZOO—A Western Michigan University student was honored recently for his aviation maintenance technology skills, winning top honors at the national 2013 SkillsUSA Championship.

Andrew Kincaid, of Battle Creek, Mich., was one of six participants from around the nation recognized for this skill set—and one of only two in this category who took home top Gold honors—during the weeklong event in Kansas City, Mo. This is the first year a WMU student entered the competition.

Kincaid, a senior studying aviation maintenance technology at WMU, joined more than 5,900 other career and technical education students who competed in 98 different trade, technical and leadership fields during the weeklong event. His three advisors at the University were Jeremy Hierholzer, faculty specialist I; Gail Rouscher, faculty specialist I; and Terry Michmerhuizen, assistant professor.

Working against the clock and each other, participants proved their expertise in job skills for occupations such as electronics, technical drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. There were also competitions in leadership skills, such as extemporaneous speaking and conducting meetings by parliamentary procedures.

Aviation maintenance technology contestants performed 12 tasks that represented the types of maintenance they will handle in the aircraft industry. The contest scope is consistent with the airframe and power plant mechanics certification guide published by the Federal Aviation Administration. Aviation maintenance is the only maintenance profession certified by the federal government.

SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations.

For more information, visit skillsusa.org.