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Dear PAMA member,
As 2014 winds down to a close, the staff of PAMA and myself thank you for a year full of fond memories and exciting accomplishments. We appreciate the opportunity to represent such a vital component of the aviation field and industry. We wish you a happy holiday season and all the best for you and your family in the coming year.
Below are the top stories from the past year for you to look over.
1. Tales of an aircraft mechanic
From Aug. 6: According to author Kris Hull: Working for an airline might seem prestigious to most on the outside: A job filled with adventure and travel, with good perks. However, like with most things, reality is very different. For the past nine years, I have spent my time working as an FAA-certified and licensed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic, or A&P. A&Ps are the lifeblood of civil aviation in the U.S. In short, we are tasked with ensuring that all aircraft in the US are maintained in an airworthy and safe manor.
2. 'Aircraft airworthiness' -- What does it mean?
International Law Office
From Jan. 22: 'Airworthiness' is a term used to describe whether an aircraft has been certified as suitable for safe flight. It denotes the ability of an aircraft or other airborne equipment or system to operate without significant hazard to aircrew, ground crew, passengers or the general public.
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3. Aircraft mechanic saves the day for war veteran
From Aug. 27: A McCarran International Airport mechanic took time away from working on planes and lent a helping hand to a wounded warrior. The picture that captured it all has now gone viral and is stealing the hearts of many. "It was nice to give something to an individual who gives a lot to his country and his community," said American Airlines Lead Mechanic Keith Duffner. In the photo that's gone viral, you can see Duffner working hard to fix the prosthetic leg of Afghan war veteran Taylor Morris. "Made his trip a little easier, that was a nice thing to do," said Duffner.
4. FAA: Hangars no place for homebuilders
From Aug. 6: The FAA says most of the work involved in building an airplane is a "non-aeronautical use" and it has singled out homebuilders in a new proposed policy statement. Policy on the Non-Aeronautical Use Of Airport Hangars says homebuilders will have to build the components of their projects elsewhere and can only move to a hangar for final assembly. Comments are being accepted until Sept. 5 and can be submitted online citing docket number FAA-2014-0463.
5. New maintenance techs short on numbers, skills
From May 22: In the annual announcements by Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer and other aircraft manufacturers about the half-million or so additional pilots who will be needed to fill cockpits over the next 20 years, often overlooked is the need for an even greater number of maintenance technicians: about 600,000 by 2031, according to Boeing's most recent forecast. So if there is already, or will soon be, a shortage of qualified pilots, is there not also a shortfall in maintenance personnel? And not just in commercial aviation but business aviation and civil helicopter operations as well?
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6. 1st A-29 rolls off Florida assembly line for USAF program
United Press International
From Oct. 1: The first of 20 U.S.-built A-29 Super Tucano light attack and trainer aircraft has rolled off the assembly line in Florida for the U.S. Air Force. The plane, built by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer and its U.S. partner Sierra Nevada Corp., was selected by the Air Force for its Light Air Support program for Afghanistan.
7. Watch 55-day overhaul of world's largest passenger plane in 2 minutes
DIGG.com via Aviation Pros
From Nov. 26: Emirates just finished its first major overhaul of the massive A380. It took 55 days and involved the removal, inspection and overhaul of over 1,600 parts including the engines and onboard bar.
8. Boeing, Spirit assessing effects of train derailment
From July 9: Boeing and Spirit Aerosystems have dispatched a team of experts to the site of a train derailment in Montana to assess the damage to six 737 fuselages, three of which slid down an embankment and into the Clark Fork River. Of the 19 cars that derailed near Rivulet, Montana, several also contained assembles for the 777 and 747. Video and still footage from the scene showed a major split near the front of at least one of the 737 fuselages. According to Boeing, inspection of fuselage panels and a lower lobe for the 777 as well as a leading edge flight surface for the 747 showed no damage.
9. Torqued: Is expanding 'pilot's' Bill of Rights good idea?
From Sept. 3: According to author John Goglia: I have to admit that I got off to a bad start with the first Pilot's Bill of Rights when I found out just before it was signed into law by President [Barack] Obama that, contrary to its title, it didn't apply only to pilots but to all airmen certificate holders. This includes mechanics, aircraft dispatchers, air traffic controllers and others. What's the big deal, you ask?
10. British fighter jets fly with 3-D printed parts for first time
From Jan. 8: No doubt 3-D printing will get its fair share of coverage in 2014, with constant advances in the technology opening up new possibilities for businesses and organizations interested in exploiting its potential, making big savings in the process.
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