A&P mechanics are trained in a variety of disciplines. I can't think of any other training that provides the diverse knowledge A&Ps have — sheet metal repair, welding, hydraulics, piston and turbine engine, non-destructive testing and others. The list goes on and on,
That vast training and knowledge is why some A&P students never end up working on aircraft. They are recruited by other industries such as the railroad and amusement park industries.
Aviation is a welcoming commuity of professionals. In the 33 years I've been in the industry, I've met many great people. One of the great ones was Dana Kerrick. He helped me out with numerous articles for Helicopter Maintenance magazine over the years. He was always willing to help out whenever I had any questions about helicopter rotor inspection and repair. Ufortunately, Dana is no longer with us. He passed away on May 21. Here is an announcement from International Aviation Composites, Ltd.
Aviation management and leadership is an essential part of modern society. As we take to the skies, the safety of passengers and team members alike rely not just on those in the cockpit but also the people on the ground. Having the technical skills is an obvious requirement, but there are also a host of soft skills that make up a great aviation leader.
As many readers know, I have been a critic of social media for some time. I personally believe it should be called "Unsocial Media." After all, there’s nothing social about staring at your phone or computer and “interacting” with other people. At first, platforms like Facebook seemed like a good opportunity to connect with friends and family. Now, many people use social media platforms to spew their biased opinions and post negative comments that they would never do in traditional social situations. We have a generation of kids who have no social interaction skills.
For this blog, I wanted to take a moment to share the news of the passing of Mike O'Leary. O'Leary was an A&P, pilot and avionics technician. He enjoyed aviation, and gave back to our industry — a mark of a true professional. The following is a press release from AEA, where O'Leary served as the association's longest-serving chairman.
The Aircraft Electronics Association is saddened to learn of the passing of Michael (Mike) J. O’Leary, who died Feb. 14 at the age of 69 following complications from COVID-19.
The helicopter Ingenuity reported in on February 19. The downlink, sent to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, indicated that the helicopter and its base station were operating as expected.
By the way, in case you haven't heard, Ingenuity is a helicopter that landed on Mars February 18 with the Mars Perseverance Rover. If all upcoming tests go according to plan, we could soon have the first helicopter fiight on another planet!
It appears that what was a common theme in 2020 is continuing for now — the cancellation or postponement of industry events.
HAI announced it is cancelling HELI-EXPO 2021. It was originally scheduled to take place March 23-25 in New Orleans. HAI chose to cancel the show instead of postponing it. HAI says it will focus its efforts on HELI-EXPO 2022 which is scheduled to take place March 7-10, 2022 in Dallas, TX. You can go to their announcement HERE to learn more.
I was curious — when did New Year’s resolutions become a “thing?” According to Wikipedia, the custom has religious origins:
The people made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
In the medieval era, the knights took the "peacock vow" at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.
Almost three years ago, I watched the Netflix documentary Be Here Now. (Unfortunately, for those of you who might want to look it up after reading this column, it is no longer on Netflix —I just checked!) Be Here Now tells the story of Andy Whitfield, the actor who played Spartacus on the Stars Original Series of the same name. Shortly after filming ended for the first season of Spartacus, Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Be Here Now documented Whitfield’s battle with cancer.
Lexus has been using the slogan, “December to Remember,” for years in its holiday season marketing campaigns.
This year, “December to Remember,” might take on a whole new meaning.
With lockdowns going into effect all over the country again due to the surge in COVID cases, employers all over the country are trying to figure out what to do to prepare for what could be "The December To Remember."
Trade shows are an important part of our business. The D.O.M. magazine team typically attends numerous trade shows each year including HAI Heli-Expo, MRO Americas, NBAA MC, EAA AirVenture, NBAA BACE and others.
That just didn’t happen this year.
The only trade show we attended was HAI Heli-Expo in Anaheim, CA in late February. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend that show because I caught a bad case of food poisoning the night before I was supposed to fly out.
“When it comes to social situations, don’t talk politics or religion.” My parents taught me that lesson when I was growing up. I still follow that rule today. You see, politics and religion are very personal subjects, and getting into a discussion on either topic with someone of an opposing view than ours won’t likely change that person’s mind. Instead, it will most certainly lead to a heated discussion.
If you look at any profession, the majority of people are good. They do their jobs professionally day in and day out. They serve as examples to their peers and to young people who yearn to join their profession.
Then you have the bad people. Those whose actions are oftentimes highlighted in the press and give a negative stigma to the profession as a whole.
An current example would be those few police officers whose egregious actions have shed a negative light on law enforcement as a whole.
Consider this — I am a part owner of D.O.M. and Helicopter Maintenance magazines. I also am in charge of the editorial content for both magazines. If you look at the masthead in the table of contents or my business card, it says my title is “Owner/Editorial Director.” It could just as easily be “Co-founder/Vice President of Editorial,” “Founding Partner/Executive Editor,” or just “Editor at Large.” Honesty, maybe I should change it to “Editor at Large” because of the extra COVID weight I have put on.
As many of you have heard, our long time contributing writer Giacinta Bradley Koontz (Gia) passed away earlier this year. She graced the pages of D.O.M. magazine with her Bench Marks in Aviation History column in each issue of the magazine, highlighting aviation maintenance professionals from the past.
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.
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.