Gecker, Carl

Aviation Maintenance Review
Aviation Safety Inspector

The 1st job was at Tahlequah Airport, Hammonds Flying Service. He didn’t read my resume he just wanted to see my 7AC Champ that I overhauled at Spartan School, with the help of some good students and guidance from some great instructors. From there I spent 14 years at Cessna Acft. Co., Wichita. Twelve years of which were in Quality with seven of those as an FAA designee DMIR. I completed over 6000 aircraft for FAA certification for the company 1980 thru 1986.

Well anyone who asked me where I received my training I proudly stated, Spartan School. It has always been held in high regard in the industry. I met many great instructors who I called from time to time to ask questions. Not having had an aviation background from the military, the only experience I had was working as a owner/operator and guided by the people at my local airport, prior to going to Spartan. The school makes you think about what you must do, how to diagnose problems and make good judgment calls on the work accomplished.

Well, back in those days we had such a variety of aircraft to work on. From the Valtee BT’s, the F-101 Voodoo’s, the Hiller Helicopter, the Beech 18’s and the rare Curtis C-9 trainer along with the Cessna 150’s and the like. I got a job working at the school test cells after I was laid off of my part time job. I was able to repair and maintain the test cells and operate the engines within them. Keep in mind that a new class came through that portion of school every two weeks day and night classes. I had to have all my engines running for each class. The funny thing is the instructors would not let me help my classmates when they came through as the instructors said I knew to much.

Turner, Brandon

Aviation Flight Review
Works for SkyWest Airlines

I was hired by SkyWay Airlines just one and a half years after graduating Spartan, however I was furloughed ten months later. Have had held many aviation jobs since graduating as well, before being hired by SkyWest Airlines. Have went on to earn my Bachelors degree, MEII, and ATP license. I have earned a DO-328 SIC type rating as well as EMB-120, and CL-65 full types.

I honestly feel that the flight education that I received really helped prepare me for every aviation job that I have held thus far. The discipline that my instructors instilled in me as a student equipped me to excel in aviation both as a flight instructor, and as an airline pilot. Being able to train out of Tulsa’s very busy Riverside airport allowed me to experience four seasons of weather and gain fundamental experience early on in the ATC system. All of my ground school curriculum reinforced what was taking place during my actual flight training. These classes were instrumental in helping me to really learn aviation.

I really liked the structure of a part 141 training environment. Being able to train with an excellent program that incorporated risk mitigation strategies (weather minimums, flight briefings)early on in my training instilled discipline in me. I also liked being able to train in a busy ATC system during four weather seasons.

Woods, James Bill

Aviation Maintenance Review
James Bill Woods
Job Title: Avionics Sales Manager

James Bill Woods Career
James Bill Woods Review

I had just graduated from a 4 year college with a degree and no idea what I wanted to do. I had always been interested in aircraft and so made the decision to enroll in Spartan. Spartan gave me a well-rounded education in aircraft that allowed me to work in the industry immediately. With the basics skills I learned at Spartan I was able to quickly advance in aviation in both position and pay. Enrolling in Spartan was a wise choice for me. I have had interesting work, lots of travel, met some very interesting people and enjoyed a good income.

I enjoyed meeting new people brought together from all over the world at Spartan. We spent every day in class and shop together and became good friends, many to this day.

Davis, Wayne

I was assigned as Manager of Aircraft Inspection; responsible to the Chief Inspector for all airframe lines of work while outsourced for maintenance worldwide. Davis Wayne Reviews Spartan CollegeI was responsible to conduct pre-site visits, audit the vendor’s quality control program, outline the their differences to our program, write policies and procedures for the vendor to comply with our program, select the on-site supervisory team, monitor and manage; while working cross-functionally with my counterparts – Manager Production, Engineering, Components, Engines, and Human Resources. I have the administrative responsibility of approximately 140 employees under my organization. I supervise the accomplishment of inspections specified for overhaul, maintenance, and repair of airframes, engines and components at maintenance bases. Supports inspections at Line Maintenance stations. I plan the development, implementation, and accomplishment of inspection programs, policies, and procedures. Monitors the daily work accomplishments, training, and assignments of personnel. I act as the liaison for Inspection to coordinate between Inspection, Production, and Engineering to ensure compliance to inspection and division policies, engineering specifications, and FAR’s. I am responsible for all NDT inspections accomplished on airframes, engines, and components, including determination of training, selection of equipment, and implementation of NDT Inspections. I am responsible for the regulatory compliance of Shipping and Receiving.

Everything counts when you are in a position of middle management and above. Education w/ a related degree will qualify you only as a candidate. Today, Business Acumen is a necessity in the managerial ranks to compliment your experience and conceptualization.

Aviation Maintenance Review by Wayne Davis

Stark, Steve

Steve Stark - Avionics reviewGraduated with a BSEE in 1987 and have had a very successful Engineering career involved in Digital Design( FPGA, ASIC etc.). It got me started in the direction I wanted to go.

I liked the way the classes were scheduled. Instead of taking 3 classes over a 3 month period you got to take one class a month and that is all you did was that one course. Other than that, it was a pretty intense experience considering I had to hold down a full time job and go to school full time. It definitely taught me how to utilize my time for maximum effect.

Harris, John

My experience at Spartan opened the door to aviation. I was the first in my family to pursue an aviation career.My a&p licence provided a much needed job to support my family.John Harris review

I very much enjoyed the instructors and fellow students.The atmosphere was just the right balance of academics and practical learning . The staff and faculty were always supportive and encouraging when it was needed.

After graduating from the a&p program I got a job in corporate aviation.I was soon promoted to a management job.While working full time I attended and graduated from Mountain View College in one of the first classes in Pilot Technology. My first flying job was on a new Canadair business jet.I was later promoted to checkairman and Vice President of flight operations for Jet East charter corporation in Dallas . After eight years at Jet East Inc I was hired at Southwest Airlines and flew for almost twenty one years and retired as Captain December 2013. I owe a great deal of my success to my original training at Spartan.

Backik, James

I graduated from Spartan College with a Avionics Maintenance Technology degree. I came to Tulsa from Michigan. Before attending Spartan College, I was at a traditional college for a brief period, and then I worked at a delivery company for a few years. However, I always wanted to go into aviation.

James Backik Spartan College reviewI did some online research and found Spartan College. I chose Spartan because it is one of the oldest aviation schools in the country. They seem to have one of the best curriculums.

The staff and instructors were very helpful. They made sure I understood the material instead of reading out of a book and hoping I understood it. The staff was always helpful with any problems I may have had.

I would advise anyone who wants to attend Spartan, to not expect it to be easy in the beginning. There is a lot to know in the aviation field. It’s concept learning. Even after you are done with school, you are constantly learning new things. You need to have the determination and stick it out. The love I have for aviation is what helped me stay on track.

Stasen, Josh

I was fresh out of high school when I was introduced to the Spartan recruitment video.  I watched the video and I saw that the field of QC/NDT was rapidly growing and I felt that this would be a good career path for me.

I packed up my things from southern Maryland and made the journey out to Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The general education courses were standard college courses at the expedited rate.  We covered a full semester’s content in a few weeks.  It was difficult at times, but with a goal in mind I knew my hard work and dedication were going to pay off.

Once the general education classes were completed, I went to the north campus for the hands-on classes.  This was the first time I was introduced to non-destructive testing and metallurgy.  Once again, the courses here are short and crammed full of information.  After graduating from the Quality Control program, I was hired by Cameron.

Cameron is a leading provider of flow equipment products, systems and services to worldwide oil, gas and process industries.  Leveraging its global manufacturing, engineering and sales and service network, Cameron works with drilling contractors, oil and gas producers, pipeline operators, refiners and other process owners to control, direct, adjust, process, measure and compress pressures and flows.

Utilizing my base knowledge I acquired from Spartan, I quickly advanced in my career path.  I currently am the Lead Inspector of Cameron’s newest and largest aftermarket facility located in Moore, Oklahoma.  I have started taking advantage of the Spartan career center for most of my hiring needs.  I know that if a future employee has received Spartan training in the NDT/QC field that they have a firm baseline of knowledge that gives them a large advantage over anyone else.

Atherton, William Aaron

In November 2011, I graduated Spartan. While there, Spartan presented information about me to Lockheed Martin Avionics Company in Georgia, so that I have my first job with this dynamic company in Marietta Georgia building military aircraft for our nation and our allies. The Marietta plant has been in operation for sixty years!

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics performs. It has a record of results based on hard work and diligence to meet commitments to customers. I believe there are challenges that all business face, but I am confident I and my company will meet those challenges.

I take pride in all that I have done and it is my duty to do better. The work I do directly impacts the work other do and hinging on effects of lives in the air. Flubs are unacceptable. I know what I do makes a difference for our country and nation.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is committed to making the company more efficient and agile. Making bold and responsible action is necessary to meet customers’ expectations and reduce costs. My company produces five military aircraft, in whole or in part in Marietta; customers include the United States government and those of other countries.
One of our must popular planes, the F-22 Raptor, had its final rollout on December 13, 2011. I was allowed to go to the final ceremony just to see the ‘most awesome fighters in the world! Have no fear, the best is here!

I build the C-130, a quite versatile aircraft. It is used for combat, to provide help and relief in natural disasters, watch for hurricanes, and protecting our borders. In November 1, 2011 we rolled out the 250th C-130J Super Hercules on time and on budget and recently delivered an entire fleet to one of our allies.

With such a record of excellence Lockheed is committed to C-130 production with optimal attitude. Every time I see a C-130 I think, ‘those could be my wings on that plane.’

This is a great company in which I can move forward my avionics career. It all started with my Spartan education AMT certificate. I am looking forward to completing my first year. Marietta is a city that has perks and specialty shops and lots of history. I am glad to be working at such a worthy company.