composite classroom with students

Composites for Pilots 2 - General Aviation

This training course is designed to provide General Aviation Pilots, aircraft owners and aircraft “Homebuilders” with an overview of the essential information, regarding the application of composite materials in the structures of aircraft.

With “safety” as the prime directive, the goal of this course is to provide pilots with the foundation knowledge of composite materials. Topics to be explored include how to properly work with these materials, how to assess the need for a repair and the processes involved with a specific focus on how to make an objective observation and conclusion as to the serviceability of an aircraft, after the potential for damage to a composite structure has been discovered or reported.

Due to the complexity and immensity of the subject matter and the rapid advances in composite airframe technology, not all aspects and applications of this technology are discussed, however the majority of the “essential foundation data\\\" that a pilot is most likely to require, is covered in detail.

Failure of composite and bonded metal structures can have catastrophic consequences, depending upon the design and location of the damaged structure. With proper training, pilots inspecting or “walking around” their aircraft can effectively question the airworthiness or serviceability of a composite component in question. An awareness of the damage types and causes to composites is a key element of safety in the new generation of advanced composite aircraft.

Topics covered in this 1- 3 day course include:

  • Composite materials for aircraft structures, fibers, resins, cores, fasteners, tools
  • Composite airframe design, the basic ( essential ) theory of using composite materials in aircraft
  • Detection of flaws and damage in composite structures by using visual and simple acoustic techniques
  • Health and Safety; providing an awareness of proper H&S practices when working with composites
  • “Hands-On” shop projects to demonstrate proper laminating, molding, vacuum bagging, assembly and damage repair methods
  • Case studies of damaged composite aircraft structures. What failed and how to determine the need for further investigation when a so-called “Minor” impact occurs


Prior composites experience or training is not required.

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