Adam Claar grew up fascinated by how things work: cars, planes, tractors, and anything else he could find while working on the farm or his uncle’s car garage. When his uncle suggested he look into trade schools instead of colleges, Claar learned aircraft mechanics earn higher salaries than auto mechanics, which inspired him to enroll at PIA.
“PIA was above my expectations,” says Claar. “When it came to engine run-ups and inspections, I figured they would just have us look at an engine and watch a plane start up. In reality, we tore down and rebuilt engines and propellers, did a full inspection on an aircraft, and actually took that plane out and got to run it and see our work in action.”
After graduating PIA, Claar was hired as a large assembly mechanic at Lockheed Martin, where he builds part of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules turboprop cargo aircraft. “Everyone is more than happy to help each other,” says Claar. “It looks complicated and intimidating, but once you get the hang of everything, it’s a surprisingly relaxed place to work.”