Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Category: Customer Stories

The partnership between the Aviation Institute of Maintenance and Sonic Tools gives aviation mechanics of tomorrow the tools they need for success.


For an aircraft maintenance technician’s repertoire, there’s nothing more important than their tools and toolbox. For the budding technician working toward their A&P license, the road toward acquiring that all-important set of tools can seem daunting. Knowing the best tool for a job and the individual isn’t always straightforward, with many different companies to choose from and price points to compare. It’s a problem that Michael Sasso, director of education at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM), says many of his students struggle with.


“First and foremost, tools are expensive. That’s the big thing. We see all the prices, and we get sticker shock pretty quickly. But I think the second thing is, they either have this mentality of ‘I have to buy the most expensive tools; that’s what’s going to make me the best mechanic,’ or it’s, ‘You know what? I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to afford having a decent set of tools.’ And I think that’s the mindset when they see the prices in some of the tool catalogs. They look at that, and they get sticker shock,” explains Sasso.

At Sonic, we aim to alleviate some of those students’ struggles. That’s why we partnered with AIM to integrate their tools with AIM’s courses and be the sole marketer of tools allowed on AIM campuses.

“The intermediate box, our biggest seller, was built off the minimum required tool list from almost all the regional airlines and a few majors,” said Scott Saxton, vice president of aviation and education solutions at Sonic Tools. “We asked for the minimum required tool lists from American, Delta, United, their regionals, and large MROs like Duncan Aviation. We took these lists and compiled a master list of common denominators. The process itself took just over three months.”

Sonic’s diligence is one factor that helped the partnership with AIM. “They won our business through some research where they put together tool lists from all of the different airlines and employers where our graduates would be going to, and then they went back and put together tool lists from all the different A&P schools, from part 147 schools, and they combined all those lists and threw them on the table and said, ‘Look, we’ve been doing some research, and it looks like you have a common theme here. Could we put together a box that makes sense for your students?” Sasso recounts.

“Sonic has this great idea where they’ve pre-shadowed all the toolboxes, and tool control is paramount in aviation so having the shadowing in the toolbox makes the mechanic and trains the younger mechanic to keep track of their tools, and to make sure they don’t end up in an airplane somewhere”

Michael Sasso – Director of Education at AIM


Sonic’s out-of-the-box business model is another way Sonic is helping the younger mechanics of the world. Sonic brings a millennial mindset to warranting and servicing tools.

“If you’re buying from a tool truck and you break something, the idea is that the tool truck comes by, and you can go on the truck and exchange your tool for a new tool. Where, with us, you take a picture with your phone, send us the picture and your shipping information, and we ship you a new tool within 24 hours,” Saxton explains.