Pittsburgh Branch Campus, MD
Program: Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT)
Employment: Delta Airlines, AMT: Line Maintenance
When Dane Ramsey enrolled at PIA, he knew what his goal was: a career at Delta. “I’ve always admired Delta while traveling. The people are always so nice, they have an array of aircraft that they fly. And so I thought, what do I need to do to get there? It kind of put a lot of things into place…where should I start, who do I need to communicate with. That’s what pushed me,” says Ramsey.
Despite an early interest in aviation, Dane decided to pursue auto mechanics after graduating high school. He worked in private shops for a short time, but ultimately found that the industry wasn’t for him. “I quickly realized that it wasn’t my dream. Coming in and doing the same kind of job every day, it got a little bit boring. I started looking into aviation and exploring all the different schools and what would work best for me financially.” His exploration led him to PIA and other comparable schools, however PIA ultimately drew him in.
During his time at PIA, Dane found his most valuable resource was the instructors. “They were very knowledgeable, and were able to answer all my questions. If they didn’t know, they would look it up and get back to me. That’s what helped me to excel.” Taking advantage of his resources and his distinct goal challenged Dane to work hard during his education. “I was the salutatorian in my class. It was my first time in my education that I graduated in that position. It was a great experience, we had a great class, and we all pushed each other to be the best we could be. I’m happy that PIA was able to offer me the education I needed to move forward,” says Dane.
His first job offer after graduation was a position at Endeavor Air, the regional airline associated with Delta After just a year, Dane was able to interview for and accept a job with his dream employer, Delta. “It happened so quickly, going from Endeavor to Delta – I was hoping to be there in five years. I got to Delta in a year,” said Ramsey.
The lessons he’s learned from PIA don’t just include the skills needed to repair an engine or patch an airframe. “The most valuable lesson I learned at PIA is to be able to work with other people.”
Currently, Dane is working Line Maintenance out of JFK Airport in New York. “At JFK, there is nothing that’s routine, everything can change in a split second. Everyday there is something different. I’m also working on my ETOPS certification for 767s and A330s. ETOPS certification pertains to aircraft that travel long distance without stopping. It involves a different qualification due to the paperwork and type of maintenance done to the plane.”
His success in aviation has led others to seek out his advice. “I have friends that have asked me how I get into this field, is it for me. Everyone has something they excel at. If you are good with your hands, if you like mechanical things, if you like to do a lot of problem solving, then this is probably one of the best fields to work in.” When speaking of the benefit of an education through PIA, Dane says, “PIA has the tools, the aircraft, and the instructors – when you put that all together you have a winning product.”