First Class of Aircraft Mechanics Graduate from Epic Flight Academy as Part 147 School Receives M1 Visa Approval

First Part 147 Graduates
Inaugural graduating class: (L-R) Luke Hartpence, Damon Vallas, Michael Azarian, Chris Gavigan, Artem Ukolov, Aiden Skau, and Scott Cavato


AUGUST 8, 2022

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New Smyrna Beach, FL – Epic Flight Academy’s Part 147 School recently achieved two important milestones: its first graduating class of aircraft mechanic students and receiving approval from the Department of State (DoS) to accept international students.

On July 28, 2022, the graduating class of seven students celebrated months of hard work in a graduation ceremony at the school. They are: Michael Azarian, Scott Cavato, Chris Gavigan, Luke Hartpence, Aiden Skau, Artem Ukolov, and Damon Vallas. Epic’s FAA Part 147 school launched during the outset of the pandemic, creating initial challenges. However, the first class pressed on to become FAA-certified A&P mechanics.

Additionally, Epic recently received full approval from the DoS to award M1 vocational visas for international students wishing to train as aircraft mechanics. These are facilitated through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

“We are thrilled with both of these events,” said Josh Rawlins, Epic COO and Director of the Part 147 school. “I’m proud of our students who worked incredibly hard for this as well as our instructors. It’s a big win for the team. Career opportunities have never been better for aviation technicians.”

Epic founder and CEO Danny Perna added, “Josh and I both began our careers in aviation as A&Ps, so seeing our first class graduate feels like coming full circle. We’re also excited about being able to offer the M1 visa now, because so many people have been asking about it. All in all, these are two great achievements for our Part 147 school.”

Currently, with 7 graduating, 44 students remain in the aircraft mechanic program, which includes 5 classes: General Aviation, Airframe 1, Airframe 2, Powerplant 1, and Powerplant 2. There are also 19 incoming students enrolled for the fall. Applicants to the aircraft mechanic program must be 18 years old and proficient in English. The next class begins September 26th.

Epic Flight Academy was founded in 1999 and is based in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

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