Aircraft Structures ‘TOP GUN’ National Championship

Submitted by Ben Ankenbauer Thu, 06/21/2018 - 13:21

The First Aero Skills National Final is in the books!! On Saturday January 27, 2018, at the AIM Aviation Institute of Maintenance, in Las Vegas Nevada, a dozen of the country’s Top Gun aircraft tradespeople, squared off to determine who would be the First National Champion for the Aero Skills Tournament ‘Structures Category’.

The Winner in the Junior Class is David Burridge from Broward College in South Florida after a close run between David, Josh Klugman and Eric Gibson with a six-point spread after three of four rounds and only twelve points separating all six competitors.

The Winner in Senior Class is Kevin Kane from Southern California, after a close run between Kevin, Dusty Barnes, Joe Illikainen and Daniel Smith; 15 points between the four of them after three rounds. The final round separated everyone with the pressure on for the $5,000 cash and bragging rights.

AERO SKILLS is a competition based on industry process and best practices, set in an audience environment so that the K-12 students and the community at large can have a chance to see techs demonstrating their skills and hear about the numerous career options the aerospace industry has to offer.

Oscar Romo, President, Aerospace Maintenance Club, Broward College, FL. Said “…. thank you for such an amazing campaign of events Aero Skills has brought to the table, from regionals level to the finals event. Everyone that participated from the club this year gained a great deal of practical knowledge. And after Dave (Burridge) shared his (Nationals) experience with the whole school, everyone's interest in sheetmetal fabrication and competing as a whole has dramatically increased. …. ATG has really left a tangible, yet immeasurable imprint on our students.”

Over forty schools have competed over the past couple of years and many more schools and facilities providing feedback. Where the Local events at the trade schools and the Regional events across the country are set to an audience engaging competition with Individual Top Gun and Team Exhibition competitions, the National format is based ONLY upon the Top Gun Fab and Build project; therefore, this US Championship had four rounds; fabrication, build (riveting parts together), disassembly (removing rivets) of same parts and then reassembly of same parts. Everyone started with 200 points (50 per round: 20 time and 30 quality). Special thanks to each and every competitor, school and industry partner as they truly are the ones who have brought the whole idea to life!

Jay Logie, President of ATG (Aircraft Technologies Group), developers of the event, said, “It’s great to have Aviation NETWorX, AIM - Aviation Institute of Maintenance and CertTEC, a performance-based testing group, sponsoring the Nationals. It is an excellent opportunity for the aviation industry at large to see first hand from our live streaming of the Aero Skills ‘Top Gun’ National Finals. We all have common goals in education, inspiring the younger generation within the trades, and increasing awareness of careers in the world of aviation. …all in a package that is simply a lot of fun to compete in or to watch.”

Aviation NETWorX platform features a new autonomous, heuristic work force development program and CertTEC a performance based testing platform; are, the industry sponsors for the Aero Skills Tour, ATG, Aircraft Technologies Group specializes in providing work force support to the heavy maintenance industries and manufacturing through highly skilled technicians and teams, streamlining service, standardizing and targeting, and through fixed price programs.

To see a shortened video version of the National Final please connect to: For for more pictures from the Nationals and other information:

For more about ATG and NETWorX workforce development programs please visit: and to learn more about the Aero Skills Tournament please visit:

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