The Original Spin Doctors

bret-gutierrez
el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">BRET GUTIERREZ
El Vaquero Staff Writer

“People expect perfection. There is no tolerance for a poor performance.”
This is a comment made by Scott Rubke, a chairman and airframe systems instructor of the GCC aviation department.

And it is definitely not a sales pitch when it comes to the maintenance of an airplane.

Making sure that a plane is in perfect flying condition is an extremely important job to say the least. It is a responsibility that is not taken lightly by the faculty or the students in the program.

It is one of the most time consuming and broad-based curriculums at GCC.
The department was started in 1939 and is 60 years old.

Each class is 16 units and the students spend almost eight hours a day, four days a week at school. The program has a warehouse containing an airplane, a helicopter and several airplane engines.

This allows students to get hands on experience “breaking and then fixing” entire airplanes and helicopters.

They are also given scenarios and they must solve whatever problem is entailed in that scenario.

This involves not only replacing parts but also making fiberglass and building parts with it.

This is what makes the airframe systems degree useful in vocations other than aviation.

Rubke said that to service an airplane students must learn precision measuring, electrical installation techniques and how to maintain oxygen levels.

They must also know the different types of carbon fiber for foam installation and fuel injection systems.

To top it all off, some physics and chemistry is required in order to be able to mix the chemicals needed to create the glue and fiberglass needed for replacement parts.

Rubke believes the department is like a school within a school.
“It is something like learning to be a doctor in a left-handed way because the standards are so high, and we try to instill that quality in the students.”

That’s good news for all you frightened fliers and even those who aren’t afraid at all.