PIA Myrtle Beach Instructor Mike Smith was honored as the South Carolina Designated Mechanic Examiner (DME) of the Year by the South Carolina Aviation Association. Mr. Smith was nominated by the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) for the Myrtle Beach Campus.
Mr. Smith has served as a DME for PIA Myrtle Beach for nearly 10 years. In that time, he has conducted roughly 500 exams.
“We appreciate all the time and dedication Mike has towards the testing process,” says Peg Skalican, Campus Director of PIA Myrtle Beach. For students to earn their A&P certifications, they must complete a series of nine exams. The oral and practical elements of those exams must be administered by a DME.
Designated mechanic examiners have been in short supply within the aviation industry for several years. Those that are currently serving the industry as DME’s are responsible for testing every future A&P Mechanic within aviation. With current industry demands for A&P Mechanics, the need for DME’s continues to grow as well. ATEC’s Pipeline report notes that one of the largest obstacles for institutions in the industry is access to DME’s, just below the cost of the tests.
Mr. Smith will be honored at the SCAA Annual Conference in 2022. Congratulations, Mr. Smith! Your dedication to the next generation of aviation technicians is greatly appreciated.