Four instructors from Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria (NCAT) recently completed an intensive training course on helicopter maintenance and engineering at Bristow Academy, with the purpose of bringing the curriculum back to Nigeria to teach future engineers in their home country.
The month-long training at the Academy was the culmination of a year-long joint effort by Bristow and NCAT to share best practices in helicopter maintenance. Bristow donated a “run-out” Robinson R-22 helicopter in July 2014 for use as a ground platform for training, and Bristow Academy further supported the effort by inspecting, disassembling and shipping the aircraft to Nigeria. The Academy then developed the course curriculum, which consisted of two weeks of classroom instruction and two weeks of on-the-job training, to train the NCAT instructors in R-22 maintenance and basic helicopter engineering.
“My goal was to equip the instructors with the knowledge they need to effectively teach their students in Nigeria,” said Bristow’s Maintenance Training Coordinator Jeff Salter. “I want them to leave the Academy with a well-rounded understanding of helicopters in general and a renewed perspective of training aircraft maintenance technicians. It was a great opportunity and I was honored to teach them!”
Bristow Academy Senior Administrative Assistant Jessica Britt and Africa Region HR Business Partner Yemi Adegbayibi pitched in to support the effort, working together to arrange VISAs, travel and accommodations for the instructors.
“NCAT is the foremost aviation training institution in Nigeria, and we’re very proud to partner with them to develop future engineers,” said Adegbayibi.
The partnership between NCAT and Bristow dates back to 2008. Over the years, Bristow has donated instructional books, supplied modern maintenance toolboxes, installed audiovisual instruction training equipment in classrooms and renovated instructor residences and teaching facilities.
The partnership also includes Bristow’s sponsorship of training four additional Nigerian instructors at Sowella College in Louisiana, and 20 Nigerian engineering graduates in the college’s Abridged Airframe and Power Plant and Avionics course. Upon completion of this program, the students will be employed at Bristow as trainee aircraft engineers.
“We are pleased to be a part of this project to develop future engineers,” said Bristow Academy Director Todd Smith. “This is a great example of what Bristow does best – setting the standard through innovation and teamwork, in the spirit of making a difference.”
About Bristow Africa – Bristow Africa provides helicopter services to the offshore energy industry, serving major integrated offshore energy companies in Africa’s oil and gas industry. With headquarters located in Lagos, Nigeria, the company’s Africa region comprises operations in Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and affiliate Petroleum Air Services (PAS) in Egypt. The marketplace for Bristow’s services has historically been concentrated predominantly in the shallow waters of the Niger Delta area.
About Bristow Academy – Bristow Academy, located in Titusville, Florida; New Iberia, Louisiana; and Gloucester (UK), is the only helicopter flight school approved to provide helicopter flight training to Commercial Pilot level both by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Joint Aviation Authority. It includes more than 70 helicopters and 165 employees. The school’s students include a mixture of self-funded private individuals, sponsored trainees from the helicopter industry or related companies, as well as trainee pilots from a wide variety of foreign and domestic government agencies. For more information, go to www.bristowgroup.com and click on Bristow Academy.
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