Maintaining Success in The LIFT AMT Apprenticeship Program

A career in aviation can be on the ground or in the air. But the planes do not get in the air without the work that happens on the ground. Becoming an aviation maintenance technician (AMT) is a hands-on, exciting opportunity to learn about aircraft and avionics and ensure that operations run efficiently. Here at LIFT Academy, we recognize the hard work that our maintenance team puts in day in and day out, ensuring that our Diamond aircraft remain in excellent condition, and training the next generation of AMTs.

Within the AMT Apprenticeship Program at LIFT Academy, you will find a very diverse group of individuals who are passionate, driven and detail-oriented, working as a team to perform inspections and repairs on LIFT’s Diamond Aircraft fleet, Republic Embraer Jets and various other aircraft. No two days are the same! One of LIFT’s maintenance technicians is Adriana Arnold, following her son, Christopher, who came from Idaho to Indianapolis in 2019 to join the Apprenticeship Program. After saying “I’m going to do this one day” when working at the parts department at SkyWest, and shortly after sending her son Christopher to LIFT, Adriana made the decision to follow suit in October 2021 and begin a new career, ready to follow her lifelong dream.

Adriana, and many of the maintenance technicians and apprentices here at LIFT, had zero knowledge about aircraft previously but came ready to learn and excited to apply themselves to become Aviation Maintenance Technicians. The AMT Apprenticeship Program is designed for apprentices to learn from our highly qualified licensed Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Technicians and earn while they learn, working nose to tail on our aircraft.

Christy Perez Vasquez, previously a Flight Attendant for four years, decided she wanted more out of aviation. When she was a Flight Attendant, she often asked mechanics who would get on board the aircraft what they were fixing or working on. She was interested in learning more about the different parts of a plane beyond the cabin. In her words, “I wanted to know what it takes to keep airplanes in the sky.” She planned on attending school to receive her A&P License and discovered that being in the LIFT Aviation Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship, you get paid to learn on the job and follow her goal. This, as well as finding great reward and satisfaction in being able to look at how far she’s come and everything she has learned, are some of the things she loves about the program. Adriana also loves the hands-on learning saying, “I want to be able to not just learn the steps from the book on how to do something but to be able to actually do it.”

Adriana knows that there are not a lot of females who pursue this career but reminds herself and others in her shoes that “everything that is hard is worth going after.”  Christy believes she made the best decision to become a LIFT AMT Apprentice, saying this: “My favorite part is knowing that I make a difference every day. Specifically working at a flight school like LIFT Academy, I’ve become so close to many of the staff members and pilots. I put my heart into everything I do at LIFT Academy.” Both Adriana and Christy want to encourage anyone thinking about pursuing the AMT Apprenticeship Program at LIFT to do it. Adriana shared that in her own experience, going for her dream and never giving up is what she hopes to see more people do. To quote her, “Once you begin following this dream, you’ll have hard days, problems that seem difficult to solve, but don’t give up! The sky is the limit for a career in aviation maintenance.”