FAI is committed to the pursuit of higher education that is both meaningful to the individual and valuable to society. The Institute believes that it serves the dual functions of providing its learners with opportunities, while furnishing the community with its most valuable resources, skilled men and women who possess the willingness to learn and the propensity to mature as contributing members of society.
In reaching these goals, FAI accomplishes its purpose as a provider of career opportunities and fulfills its role as an institution of higher learning.
About the Founder
“For as long as I can recall, I would stare into the sky as aircraft flew overhead and wished I could be one of those lucky passengers. When I reached 12 years old, I found a Jeppesen Private Pilot Handbook at a garage sale for a bargain price of about a quarter. I must have read that book twenty times by the time I turned 16. In my junior year of High School, I took a semester aviation course at Whitmer High School, which was basically the “Private Pilot” ground school that utilized the Jeppeson Private Pilot Handbook. Needless to say, I aced the course and drew attention from my teacher who encouraged me to pursue flight training. I took his advice. It was expensive for a 16 year old, but I was hired to wash dishes at Ponderosa and made enough money in several weeks to pay for one hour of instructed flight. Times that routine by two years, then just short of my 18th birthday, I became a licensed pilot.
My passion and love for aviation only expanded and I knew this field was going to become my future career. I began as a turbine engine mechanic, but my motivation quickly led to other opportunities ranging from maintenance and inspection to quality control and engineering, then eventually an Aviation instructor for the Toledo Public Schools Aerospace program for 11 years, departing in 2021. With my nearly 25 years experience as a youth coach, working with students and combining my passion for aviation was a dream come true.
Over the years, it became very apparent there was a desperate need for an adult Airframe and Powerplant ( A & P) certification program. While classes were available for High School students in the TPS program, adult education programs were not available in this region. This led me to the idea and creation of the Federal Aerospace Institute (FAI). It would fill the need for adults desiring to receive an A & P certificate, and open the doors to a field that is in high demand, and one that is so exciting and rewarding to me.
From an idea to the drawing board and onto the FAA Certification, and two years of a challenging undertaking, FAI officially opened it’s doors in November of 2020. While we are a fresh Part 147 Aircraft Maintenance Technician School, FAI will provide top-notch training while providing a safe, energetic and enjoyable learning environment. Our instructors are handpicked based on their knowledge, experience and motivating attitude. We’ll assist our students in every way possible to ensure not only their success in the program, but that they are enjoying the educational experience as well.
I didn’t create FAI for money. I created FAI for others to have a front row seat on the airport grounds and receive the best hands-on learning experience in an invigorating and rewarding field. Not to mention, it’s a great place to hang out! You’ll rarely see me absent from the building, and I personally want to convey that I’m here to assist in any way I can.”
-Brad C. McDonald.