A Man on a Mission

It takes time and effort, but it’s completely worth it if you win.
Dave Smith
Hagerstown Campus, MD

Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT)

Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Airframe & Powerplant Technician

When he realized he didn’t enjoy working behind a desk, Navy civilian systems engineer Dave Smith wanted a career where he could work more with his hands.

Looking to earn an A&P license in the shortest amount of time, Smith determined PIA had the best program in his area and he could complete it in just 16 months. He paid for his PIA training with a combination of scholarships and education benefits from the Montgomery GI Bill® Selected Reserve. “Scholarships helped pay for one-third of my school expenses,” said Smith. “It takes time and effort, but it’s completely worth it if you win.”

Smith was hired as an A&P tech for Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, a PA bakery that operates five planes to support company operations. “My lifetime goal is to one day become a missionary pilot overseas,” says Smith. “I already have my helicopter license, which I obtained in the Army, so the next step was to obtain an A&P license [because] most missionary organizations require that you also be able to repair your own aircraft.”

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