(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Waco campus is now home to a Federal Aviation Administration designated mechanic examiner (DME).
Carl Stutsman, a TSTC aviation maintenance instructor, attended an FAA training school in Oklahoma City in late 2018 and was officially notified this summer about his DME status.
“To have a DME on staff means the graduates have the option of going to the DME that is right here so they don’t have to travel farther,” Stutsman said.
Stutsman can only work in the FAA’s North Texas Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) encompassing a portion of northeast Texas. The state’s other FSDO’s are based in Houston, Lubbock and San Antonio.
He does his FAA work after 5 p.m. on days he is teaching and on weekends. He said teaching aviation maintenance courses is still his top priority at TSTC.
“I love aviation. And for me what keeps me teaching is taking a student who has a haze over their eyes and they struggle to understand, and the light bulb turns on and their eyes are bright and they understand,” Stutsman said. “That is a thrill.”
Stutsmanis obligated to test any aviation maintenance graduate as long as they have permission from their FSDO. People who pass the FAA’s testing receive temporary certification, with the FAA issuing permanent certificates to become aviation mechanics.
“They should expect to receive their permanent certificates in about 120 days,” Stutsman said. “As long as they continually work on aircraft and are signing off on aircraft at least six months out of the past 24, they are good.”
Adam Hutchison, TSTC’s provost for the Waco campus, said the DME certification means the FAA is affirming Stutsman’s judgment and professionalism to help certify the next generation of workers.
“It confirms what TSTC students have known for years, and that is Mr. Stutsman trains men and women to perform the highest-quality service to keep aircraft operating safely,” Hutchison said.
Robert Capps, TSTC’s statewide chair of the aviation maintenance department, said having Stutsman’s role on campus means another marketability option for attracting students.
“It lowers the barriers for our students to get this certification done,” he said.
Stutsman had previous experience as a designated mechanic examiner in Colorado, where he administered more than 200 oral and practical exams.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.