Utah State University aviation maintenance students Braxton Thacker and Treston Cullimore were recently honored for their achievements in the state SkillsUSA competition. Thacker took first place and will participate in the national competition in June, which will be held virtually. Cullimore placed third in the state. Their top finishes make them eligible for scholarships and they were awarded gift cards and contest sponsor Snap-On Tools awarded each of them tools that are important in their profession.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It includes competitions in a several divisions including welding, architecture and construction, health sciences, transportation and distribution logistics and manufacturing technologies.
Chris Bracken, a member of the aviation maintenance and flight faculty and advisor to the team said this year four challenges were created for students to complete in a virtual competition March 31 and April 1.
“An electrical training board was used to simulate an aircraft electrical system and a fault was created to challenge the students to diagnose and find,” Bracken said. “They also had to interpret Boeing Aircraft electrical schematics and answer three written questions. The second event involved removing and replacing an aircraft wheel while following the procedures in the manual. The third event was a sheet metal project that took the students about 45 minutes to complete with bends, holes and riveting sheet metal together following a blueprint.”
Students also took two written tests of Federal Aviation with Federal Aviation Administration regulations dealing with human factors, safety and general practices in the aviation profession. Competing students showed their work during hours of competition that was recorded and shared via GoPro cameras. The events were judged by industry partners wh:o work in Utah aviation companies.