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Soaring High: COA Aviation Maintenance Technician Program Takes Flight at Hayward Airport Open House 2023

Hayward Airport Ophen House Tracey Sato PhotoPhoto courtesy of Tracey Sato


By Tracey Sato, Aviation Maintenance Technician Program Student

The skies above Hayward came alive on September 24, 2023, during the annual Hayward Airport Open House, which saw an impressive turnout of over 7,500 attendees. The event transformed the airfield into a bustling hub for aviation enthusiasts, families, and thrilling experiences. Among the standout attractions that made this year's event truly exceptional was the active participation of the College of Alameda's Aviation Maintenance Technician Program. It was a day filled with aviation wonders, education, and inspiration.

At the forefront of the College of Alameda's aviation program booth was Esther Cheng, the Aviation Maintenance Technician Program Supervisor. Her leadership played a pivotal role in bringing this day to fruition for her students. Under her expert guidance, students from the program became aviation ambassadors, adding their knowledge and enthusiasm to the event. Their passion for aviation was infectious as they shared their personal journeys, from enrolling in the program to gaining hands-on experience with real aircraft. They underscored the vital role aviation maintenance plays in ensuring aviation safety. Attendees, including prospective students and visitors, not only gained valuable insights into the program but also found themselves inspired to pursue careers in aviation maintenance, igniting their own passion for flight.

One of those inspired students is myself, Tracey Sato. I come from a diverse background with experience in elementary education and culinary arts, but I found my way into the aviation maintenance program at Alameda. My personal journey reflects the program's inclusivity, welcoming individuals from various backgrounds and providing them with a path to explore and excel in the aviation field.

The Hayward Airport Open House offered a unique platform for students to connect with industry professionals, witness the latest advancements in aviation technology, and explore the abundant opportunities within the aviation industry. This event not only kindled a passion for aviation among attendees but also allowed students to establish a tangible connection between their education and their future careers.



alameda airport airplanes
Photo courtesy of Douglas Goodwin

Hayward Airport 2023 Open House Showcase


By Douglas Goodwin, Aviation Maintenance Technician Student

On Sunday, September 24th 2023, the Hayward Airport hosted their airport open house. This event allowed the community to go out onto the ramp at the airport and get up close with many different types of planes, cars, and companies including some old military trainers like the T-6 Texan, along with some less common planes like a Long Eazy, a kit plane, and a Piaggio Avanti, a twin turboprop aircraft with a canard wing.

COA students under a wing

Photo courtesy of Douglas Goodwin

One of these planes was a Gulfstream GV. The Head of Maintenance Operations for that plane allowed me and some of my classmates onto the plane and answered many questions, including an estimate of the Annual cost to operate an aircraft of that size, roughly $4 million a year, not including the about $8 million cost to purchase the plane. He also allowed us to come over to the hangar after the event ended, and opened up the engine cowling, flaps, and gear doors, allowing a closer look at the internal components of the aircraft, and explaining how they work. This opportunity also allowed my fellow students to see up close the ground operations and towing procedures for a crowded hangar, holding three jets and four helicopters.

COA students on a plane

Photo courtesy of Douglas Goodwin

Many thanks to Esther Cheng, Aviation Maintenance Technology Senior Supervisor at College of Alameda, for forwarding bringing these great student articles to our attention and suggesting Peralta Gems share out their stories. 

Tags: College of Alameda, CTE, Students, aviation


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