Bob Nelson | A&P Graduate

Apparently Spartan has changed a bit since I attended the A&P and Jet Engine course in 1958/1959. It seems to me that it was called the Spartan School of Aeronautics then – it has grown.
As for a testimonial – I’m not sure I’m the best ex-Spartan student for that sort of thing but I can say this. I was slightly different from most of the students back then, as I had completed a Bachelor of Science in Education at Northern Illinois University in 1957. A minor benefit of that was that I was given credit for the usual first six weeks of the A & P course. So I started if memory serves, right into propellers. Immediately I found that Spartan was (and continued to be) more demanding than college had been. I had to pay attention all the time and it was worth it.
After completing the A & P course I enrolled in the Jet Engines course and when that was done I went back to Illinois and found a job with Fox Valley Aviation at the Dupage County Airport. I was there for nearly four years and during that time completed the requirements for an Inspection Authorization.
After Fox Valley I went into design engineering where the combination of college degree and the training at Spartan proved to be a great asset. The degree got me the job but the training was of major assistance in helping me do the job! I worked in design engineering for another four years and then went into teaching. During summers I worked at the Vermillion County Airport near Danville, Illinois.
In 1972 I and my family moved to Australia and here too the Spartan training was helpful. I was employed by the Education Department of New South Wales and the Spartan diploma was a factor in that employment.
Spartan was an important part of my education. Although on the surface it prepared a student only as an aircraft mechanic, my experience was that it gave knowledge and training that carried over into other fields. I suspect that now, as a College of Aeronautics and Technology, it provides even more and better for those interest in those fields AND beyond. It certainly did for me, so many years ago.