SIIT students compete in aircraft maintenance competition
- NC Raine | April 16, 2019
Three young students at Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology (SIIT) put their knowledge and skills to the test during the annual Skills Canada Saskatchewan Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Competition.
Isaak Davidson, Blake Snell, and Timothy Armada, students in SIIT’s aircraft maintenance engineering program, completed tasks in three sections designed to replicate possible problems in working with aircraft. As Skills Canada offers provincial, territorial, and national competitions, the winner of provincial competition is eligible to compete in the national competition.
“It’s a little bit like the Olympics of the trades,” said Peter Boniface, competition judge and operations manager at the Ministry of Environment wildfire management branch. “You’re competing at a level where they’re not quite fully qualified yet, they’re apprenticing, so it’s a little like an amateur competition before turning professional.”
The competitors were given two hours to complete each of the three tasks. The first involved inspecting a component in the manner the manufacturer would require. The second task asked the students to troubleshoot a defective component, and the third was a sheet metal section in which they had to build a structural repair.
The competition tests the competitors’ skills being able to follow instructions, and measures their accuracy, said Boniface.
“The idea of the competition is to try to promote interest for young (generations) in the trades within Canada,” he said.
Isaak Davidson, one of the SIIT students, said the skills competition provided him with the valuable opportunity to test his education in real life scenarios.
“It was nice to see what a more pressured environment was like,” said Davidson. “It’s a good way for a person to tell where their weak spots are and where they need improvement before you get out in the field.”
Davidson, from Birch Hills, Saskatchewan, said aircraft has been has passion since he was a kid. He said after he obtained status, he was able to get funding to chase after his dream at SIIT. As one of only three students in his class entering the competition, he encourages others to jump at opportunities like the skills competition.
“I think the competition is awesome, and I encourage other people to try it, not just for the competition aspect, but for people to be able to improve on their shortcomings,” said Davidson. “This is exactly what its going to be like when we get out there.”