Aircraft mechanics have been known to solve problems. This goes back to Charles Taylor — the father of aircraft maintenance. Taylor designed and built the engine that powered the Wright Flyer into the history books (when engine manufacturers of the time said they couldn't do it). I've seen mechanics make turnbuckle wrenches to make cable rigging easier and faster. Tom Burden, a former Air Force mechanic, invented the Grypmat, a flexible tool tray, to help keep tools nearby without marring the aircraft surface.
We received the news last week — EAA chairman Jack Pelton announced that EAA would not hold its annual AirVenture Oshkosh this year.
In his announcement, Pelton said:
A week and a half ago, I got some sad news. I found out that Giacinta (Gia) Bradley Koontz, a long-time friend and contributor to D.O.M. magazine passed away.
The news came from a friend of hers that had helped her with her article research from time to time. He informed me that she passed while on a trip to Alaska. He didn't know any further details, and I couldn't find any information regarding funeral arrangements. I even tried reaching out to mutual friends with no success.
Often discussed but seldom acted upon in real life is the concept of making something good out of a bad situation.
I don’t need to tell you that we are in the midst of a war against a virus that has brought this nation’s economy (and the economy of much of the world) to a swift halt! At stake are jobs, careers, businesses, etc.
So I found it a breath of fresh air this morning when I received an announcement from Duncan Aviation in Lincoln Nebraska that they have started a new aircraft disinfection service.
Unless you live in a cave on a remote island, you have heard plenty of news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus). On March 11, the World Health Organization officially called the spread of the virus a pandemic. That same day, the CDC reported that there was a total of 938 cases of people infected with COVID-19 in the U.S. with 29 fatalities. Cases have been confirmed in 38 states and the District of Columbia. Some previously unheard-of actions are being taken to try to minimize the spread of the virus. Some of the recent news announcements here in the U.S.
Each winter (roughly the months of January through March), those wanting to renew their Inspection Authorization gather at training events around the country to obtain the necessary eight hours of training that is required to renew their authorization. Currently, eight hours of training are required each year by March 31st – with actual renewal taking place every two years.
Someone once told me, "Attitude, more than aptitude, determines altitude." Sorry I can't remember who that was, otherwise I would give attribution here.
In the 11 years we have been publishing D.O.M. magazine, I have seen evidence of those words of wisdom time and time again. I have also witnessed it first-hand throughout my aircraft maintenance career.
Don't get me wrong — we need to have a certain level of skills and knowledge to have successful careers. However, having a positive attitude is one factor that can give us a significant advantage in career success.
In the February issue of D.O.M. magazine, I profiled Albert E. (Bud) Leonard. Leonard is a recent recipient of the FAA’s Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award.
One of the things Leonard has been passionate about over his 50 years in aviation maintenance is mentoring young students. Many of his former students attended the celebration surrounding the FAA’s presentation of the Charles Taylor award. They all had successful careers in aviation maintenance, many of them going on to mentor others themselves.
2020 is almost here. Do you want to get your year off to a good start? Then DON’T make a New Year’s resolution!
That’s right — by making a New Year’s resolution, you are likely setting yourself up for failure. Psychology Today reports that 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February!
Making a New Year’s resolution is like making a goal. The problem is that most New Year’s resolutions fail because we set unrealistic, unachievable goals. They aren’t SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic or time-bound) goals.
The week before Thanksgiving, I received a press release from Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) announcing the passage of his bipartisan “Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Disclosure act of 2019 (H.R. 5119). The press release states:
The article on page 46 of our November issue from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, “All You Need is Love,” is responsible for my current ear worm of the Beatles’ song playing over and over in my head. It also got me thinking about workplace culture. I had never thought about “love” as it relates to the workplace.
You have probably heard of a bell curve. Bell curves are typically used to show normal distribution. For example, intelligence in a given group can be graphed on a chart. Some people are lower than average, the majority are average, and some people are card-holding members of Mensa. The graph would look like a bell.
Did you realize that there is a reverse bell curve when it comes to aircraft maintenance? The left side of the chart would be maintenance errors and the bottom would represent number of years working as a mechanic. This bell curve would look like an upside down bell.
The National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) is just around the corner. From October 22-24, the D.O.M. magazine team will be at NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas along with around 27,000 business aviation professionals from around the world at the sixth largest trade show in the United States.
If I had the opportunity to give a new mechanic advice on having a successful career in aviation maintenance, I would say that the most important things are to work hard and have a positive attitude!
“If you are looking for perfect safety, you will do well to sit on a fence and watch the birds; but if you really wish to learn, you must mount a machine and become acquainted with its tricks by actual trial.”
– Wilbur Wright, from an address to the Western Society of Engineers in Chicago, 18 September 1901.
I'm writing today's blog from the grounds of Camp Scholler — the EAA Campground adjacent to Whittman Regional Airport. This is the week of EAA AirVenture — when Whittman Regional Airport becomes the busiest airport in the world and hundreds of thousands of aviation enthusiasts make their annual pilgrimage to Oshkosh, WI.
The D.O.M. magazine team is in Fort Worth, TX for the NBAA Maintenance Conference this week. Today was the first day of the conference, and I had the opportunity to sit in on plenty of interesting sessions and talk to a lot of our readers at our booth.
I was pleasantly surprised when Dr. Tony Kern took the time to stop by our booth to say hi. The last time I had seen Dr. Kern was at an NBAA Maintenance conference around eight years ago.
The NBAA Maintenance Conference (NBAA MC) is coming up! Will you be there?
If you are a director of maintenance or maintenance manager, this is the must-attend conference of the year. At the NBAA MC, you can join your peers for three days of high-quality education sessions. This premier event brings together all business aircraft maintenance professionals – from maintenance technicians to directors of maintenance – for critical learning and best practices making this the best place to expand your network and grow professionally.
It was with sadness that I learned of the passing of Skip Koss last week. If you ever had the opportunity to meet Skip, you know that he forgot more about aircraft batteries than the rest of us could ever hope to learn. Skip worked for Concorde Batteries until his retirement in 2017. He was a walking encyclopedia when it came to batteries. I can't begin to imagine how many fellow A&Ps and pilots he had helped over the years.