The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Up in the air

Photo by || Terri M. Venesio ||
Ernest Bouwer shows off some of the equipment he works on. Photo by || Terri M. Venesio || [email protected]

Pursuing what he loves has brought 27-year-old Ernest Bouwer closer to his dream of being an engineer for Skunk Works.

Bouwer, Aeronautics major, grew up as a hometown boy in Colorado, where at the age of 10 he already took apart a game to see how he could fix it.

“When I was about 13, I ended up taking my dad’s drill apart, ’cause I wanted to know how it worked. And so I put it back together and he said it worked better when I took it apart,” said Bouwer.

Bouwer was convinced by a recruiter to join the military about a year and a half after dropping out of college and was qualified to take an electronics job in the military that he wanted.

Unfortunately there was no more room, but with the help of a recruiter, Bouwer was informed that he got the job.  The position Bouwer ultimately accepted was a electronics, avionics and armament technician for the attack helicopter, Apache.

Being in the military took him to places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany, where he worked with aviation, and even got into a newspaper while working in Iraq on an 64 Delta, another name for the Apache.

“The first time I ended up in a published paper was for my military job…They (reporters) were going over what it takes to maintain the Apache…so I got my picture taken while I was doing phase maintenance…which is when you take a lot of parts off the Apache, clean and check it and then put it back together and then make sure it works,” said Bouwer.

Bouwer was married and ready to start a family, so he left the military and started the Air Frame and Power Plant (A&P) program at SCC that was near his home. He later found out SCC has been running the A&P program for 79 years and has a good reputation when it comes to Aeronautics.

“I didn’t wanna have to move all over the country with my wife, so I decided it was time to hang up the spurs as the cab says” said Bouwer.

Knowledge of Aeronautics and being able to break it down and teach it to others was one of the reasons Bouwer was selected to be a tutor for his Aeronautics class.
There are proper instructions mentioned cheap sildenafil india by the experts for taking the medicine. Choosing purchase cheap levitra straight from the source the right treatment is crucial in curing anxiety disorder comprehensively. cipla cialis italia These three pills are used worldwide for curing sexual troubles. viagra overnight usa This is what we called conspiracy of silence.
This 6-hour Aeronautics class, which is held in the evenings, consists of a diverse amount of people who take this class to learn how to work on their own plane, or are changing their career choice, and some such as Ernest who have wanted to do this all their life.

Students learn the overall basics of different areas of Aeronautics, and get practical hands on experience of the job. Once far enough in the program they even have a hangar in which they do airplane checks.

“A&P goes over everything so you can see what you would like to do and get a feel for everything,” said Bouwer.

During lab time, students do things such as: learning math, a little chemistry, how electronics work, even patching up an airplane. They then have a lecture on theories and how things are done and work. All is held up to real world standards that have been set.

Ernest’s GPA is 3.92 but he said “Don’t count on it, I’m not that great at English … there’s a saying that goes that if you find an A&P that can spell, don’t trust him.”

Even though he may not be great at English, if you hand him a science or math book, he’s all set.
“I was really really inclined with puzzles when I was a little kid. I guess that’s why I’m fascinated with electronics. ‘Cause to me it looks like a puzzle…to me it works like a puzzle, and the same with math,” said Bauwer.

Bauwer hopes to work for Skunk Works, under LockHeed Martin Corporation, as an engineer. He understands he may first need to work at airports and do basic airplane jobs and then he hopes to become a technician and eventually an engineer.

“My dream is to work at what they call Skunk Works,” said Bauwer.

Ernest explains that the Aeronautics field of work, which pays good money, is in demand for new workers even in this economy because many people are retiring from the field.

“If you don’t do what you love to do, you shouldn’t be doing it.” Said Ernest.

Donate to The Express

Your donation will support the student journalists of Sacramento City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Express