I am writing this blog from the road. Last week we were in Orlando, FL for NBAA-BACE. This week, we are in Jacksonville, FL for the ADMA conference. One topic that has come up again and again during these two weeks has been the difficulty of finding qualified mechanics to fill job openings.
The National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) is just around the corner. From October 16-18, the D.O.M. magazine team will be at NBAA-BACE in Orlando, FL along with around 27,000 business aviation professionals from around the world at the sixth largest trade show in the United States.
West Star Aviation had an open house at its Perryville, MO facility on September 19. Bob Graf and I were in attendance. The last time I was in that facility was in early 2013 when I interviewed Sabreliners' Tracy Ogle for the cover of our March issue. Not that the facility was bad then, but West Star has done a great job giving the place a face lift! It is good to see that it already has customers coming in for work.
In our upcoming October issue, Dr. Shari Frisinger discusses distractions, demands and difficult people. When it comes to distractions, Frisinger touches on "multitasking." She says, "Mentally shifting gears scatters your mind. You want to believe you can juggle your priorities; however, you know deep inside that multitasking is a myth. Giving in to demands splinters your energies, your focus, and your train of thought."
I coudn't agree more with her!
As I chat with directors of maintenance, I always like to ask what they look for in new employees. Just about every one of them says that having a positive attitude is at the top of the list. Technical knowledge can be taught, but if someone has a bad attitude, he or she makes life hard for the whole team.
Oshkosh is a town, population 66,000, in Wisconsin. But every summer, almost 600,000 aviation enthusiasts visit this Wisconsin town for EAA AirVenture — a one-week event that has come to be known by many as simply "Oshkosh." EAA AirVenture 2018 is less than two weeks away. The D.O.M. magazine staff will be there. Will you?
President Trump is on a tariff spree. In January, Trump imposed tariffs on solar panels and washing machines. He recently announced tariffs on steel and aluminum. The main reason the Administration gives for enacting these tariffs? Leveling the playing field.
Since the President is of a mindset to "level the playing field," wouldn't he want to address one of the most contentious issues in aviation — outsourcing aircraft maintenance to overseas repair stations?
While attending a safety seminar recently, the subject of normalization of deviance came up. The discussion reminded me of the importance of understanding normalization of deviance and how it affects safety in aircraft maintenance.
A basic definition of normalization of deviance is the gradual process by which the unacceptable becomes acceptable in the absence of adverse consequences.
May 24 is AMT Day. It is the birth date of Charles E. Taylor, the machinist who worked at the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop in Dayton OH and built the engine that propelled the Wrights into history. Taylor is known as the "father of aircraft maintenance."
This year marks 16 years of celebrating AMT Day. Richard "Dilly" Dilbeck was instrumental in getting the first State AMT Day resolution passed in California in 2002.
There are some unhappy workers in our industry. They are fed up with low wages and increased outsourcing by the airlines — the same airlines that are recording record profits. They feel that their contribution to those airlines' profits have been ignored and they want increased pay! After all, nearly 40 percent of these workers make under $15.00/hour according to a press release sent to D.O.M. magazine by the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.
As I write this blog, it is the end of the first day of the MRO Americas trade show. The Aerospace Maintenance Competition is being held in conjunction with the show, and our both is right across the competition arena. It has been a fun day seeing the teams compete!
Well, I guess it is.
On March 24, self-taught rocket scientist “Mad” Mike Hughes, who happens to believe the earth is flat, launched himself over 1,800 feet in the air in his homemade rocket.
The rocket came back to earth by parachute. One deployed right after the launch was complete. The second one was deployed before touchdown, but it seems to me it was deployed a little late — which may account for the hard touchdown that injured Hughes’ back.
There are a few questions that came to mind as I read the news story:
The Aerospace Maintenance Competition presented by Snap-on (AMC) will take place April 9-12 at the Orange County Convention Center in conjunction with MRO Americas. The AMC provides an opportunity for current and future aviation maintenance professionals to showcase their abilities as they compete against their peers from around the world in five-member teams. The teams compete in timed events that test their skills and knowledge.
My wife and I recently had a horrible experience on a flight back from our 20-year anniversary trip to Punta Cana. Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook have probably read some of my posts during that experience. Allow me to share.
Our flight was supposed to be a five-hour flight from Punta Cana to Chicago O’Hare. Other than the flight being overbooked and the airline asking for eight volunteers to give up their seats for a $500 voucher, a room at a resort overnight and a guaranteed flight out the next day, everything went pretty typical – until we boarded.
As I mentioned before, I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. It seems too many people make unrealistic resolutions and set themselves up for failure year after year. However, we can all improve personally and professionally by setting realistic goals and striving to achieve them!
Here’s an idea for a 2018 goal – consider fielding a team in the annual Aerospace Maintenance Competition presented by Snap-on (AMC)!
This year, the AMC will be held April 9-12 in Orlando, FL in conjunction with MRO Americas.
As we get closer to the New Year, many people are thinking about New Year's resolutions.
The problem with New Year's resolutions is that they often fail. We set our minds to a goal and often set ourselves up for failure.
Let's look at one example. We make a resolution to lose weight. We sign up for a gym membership and start a diet.
I recently came across a quote on leadership that has been on mind for a few days:
A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.
Arnold H. Glasow
Being a leader isn't about how great we can become. It's about how great we can make those around us!
I've interviewed a lot of maintenance managers since launching D.O.M. magazine in 2008. There were some good leaders and some great ones. Those I would consider great had some traits in common:
I have been interested in human factors and how they affect our jobs for roughly 20 years. D.O.M. magazine contributor Gordon Dupont, known as the father of the Dirty Dozen, shares his knowledge on human factors with our readers each issue. Earlier this year, I signed up for the Aviation Human Factors Industry newsletter from Roger Hughes.
I received a press release this morning from Star Jets International. As part of the release, Star Jets announces that is will now accept Bitcoin as a payment mechanim for its private jet services. While bitcoin has been used for quite a few years, this is the first time I have heard of it being used in aviation.
Though not yet official at the time of this writing, word has gotten around in the industry that GE has closed its flight department (Corporate Air Transport) this month. Apparently, it is still keeping its helicopter operation, and there is speculation that it will be using a fractional/leaseback type arrangement for future corporate travel. Several of its flight department personnel have reported that they have already been dismissed.