D.O.M. Blogs

Gustave Whitehead...First to Powered Flight?

New historical research challenges whether the Wright brothers were first to powered flight; and therefore, whether Charles E. Taylor was the father of aircraft maintenance.

There is a renewed focus going on right now on whether or not the Wright brothers were the first to achieve powered flight. I first noticed the news on a USA today article published on March 19. The headline read, “Could Wright brothers, N.C. lose 'first in flight' stature?”

Who Is Best Qualified to Lead an Aviation Company?

My wife works at a local school district. Last week, a group of teachers and administrative staff got together for an after-work social event.

I enjoyed spending the time walking around and talkng to different people. As I was talking to one teacher, the subject of the newly-hired school superintendent came up. Out of curiosity, I asked him, "Does someone have to be a teacher to be a superintendant?"

"I'm not sure, but I would guess so," he replied. "How can you lead a school district if you have never been a teacher yourself?

Maintenance Duty Times

Earlier this month, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) sent out a press release regarding the FAA’s recent reversal of its maintenance duty time legal interpretation. In May 2010, the FAA issued a legal interpretation of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) section 121.377.

The Last Week; How Lawsuits Doomed an American Icon

Litigation extortion. That is how I like to characterize the crazy litigious society we live in here in the United States. Some people are all too eager to sue the pants off of companies, raising the price of just about every product we buy as consumers. Those of us in aviation definitely feel the effects of litigation. Talk to just about any aircraft manufacturer or aviation product supplier. Chances are high they have faced lawsuits. It is one thing to file a legitimate lawsuit because of negligence. It is another thing to take advantage of the system to “stick it to the man.”

The percentage of females enrolled in FAA Part 147 schools is on the rise according to the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance (AWAM). “Although overall enrollment in Part 147 schools is down, the percentage of female students is on the rise,” shares Lynette Ashland, president of AWAM.

AWAM has many opportunities for female mechanics to network including local chapter meetings and its annual event and gathering in conjunction with the International Women in Aviation Conference.


NBAA2012 is fast approaching. The staff of D.O.M. magazine is making final preparations for the premier business aviation trade show of the year.

I always enjoy NBAA. It is an opportunity to see what’s new in business aviation products and services and network with the business aviation community. It’s an opportunity to meet up with old friends and make new ones. It is a big learning opportunity.

Each industry has their own set of acronyms and abbreviations that often leave outsiders scratching their heads. There are nearly 3,000 identified aviation acronyms. However, in honor of the Duncan Download’s 200thblog post, I asked our own experts to share 200 aviation-related acronyms that they use most during a normal work day. These overachievers sent me nearly 300.

Do you know them all?

Let Your Voice be Heard!

We in the aviation maintenance community have the opportunity to let our voices be heard on a regular basis as part of the FAA’s rulemaking process. Now is one of those times. A Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2012 regarding changes to 14 CFR Parts 43, 91 and 145 rules affecting repair stations . The original deadline for comments was August 20, 2012, but because of the efforts of several industry associations, the deadline has been extended 90 days to November 19.

Is It Possible to Wash a PW Engine Too Much?

I was recently asked by a customer, “Is it possible to wash my Pratt & Whitney engine too much?” The operator considered his inquiry to be silly when, in fact, it’s a very valid question. In fact, it’s important to periodically clean your engine as a part of preventive maintenance. And, if you operate your aircraft in adverse environments, such as air pollution and salt-water exposure, it’s very important to increase your wash schedule. Here's why.

It’s About Attitude

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, they make life hard for the whole team.

Made in China?

“You foreigners,” he said. “You come to China and complain about the pollution, but I don’t know why.” He then gestured at the blurred landscape around us. “To me, this place smells like money.”

Paul Midler, author of Poorly Made in China: An Insider's
Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game. 


I put this in the news section of the July/August issue of D.O.M. magazine (which will be mailing soon), but felt it was important to get the word out on my blog as well.

The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum will be setting aside a space at its Steven F. Udvar-Hazy center for a Wall of Honor. This memorial will have names on an airfoil-shaped wall along with aviation heroes like the Wright brothers, Jimmy Doolittle, Neil Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Amelia Lockhart, John Glenn and Jim Lovell.

Celebrate AMT Day!

I am writing this blog on Wednesday, May 23. Tomorrow is Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Day, the day we celebrate aviation maintenance professionals – the unsung heroes that keep aircraft flying safely.

The Top 200 Jobs of 2012

Careercast.com has posted its list of 200 jobs of 2012 ranked best to worst. Software Engineers came in as the best job to have. Lumberjacks came in last.

So where do aircraft mechanics come in? Well, here is the ranking of the aviation-related jobs on the list:
#60 – Aerospace Engineer
#125 – Air Traffic Controller
#144 – Aircraft Mechanic

Pilots and Flight Attendants weren’t on the list.

Automobile Mechanics came in at #145, just below Aircraft Mechanics.

We Could Learn a lot from NASCAR

I was sitting down watching a NASCAR race recently and it struck me how the sport places a huge emphasis on its maintenance professionals!

Every NASCAR fan has his or her favorite driver. But their knowledge typically doesn’t stop with the driver. NASCAR does a good job of educating the public about the drivers’ crew chiefs – the top mechanics for the teams – at every opportunity it gets. As a result, not only does the typical NASCAR fan know who the crew chief is for their favorite driver, they likely know the crew chiefs for many of the drivers on the track.


About D.O.M. Magazine

D.O.M. magazine is the premier magazine for aviation maintenance management professionals. Its management-focused editorial provides information maintenance managers need and want including business best practices, professional development, regulatory, quality management, legal issues and more. The digital version of D.O.M. magazine is available for free on all devices (iOS, Android, and Amazon Kindle).

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