Aircraft Maintenance Technology

JUN-JUL 2018

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Page 16 of 51 17 nance technician schools.” That bill gives the FAA 180 days to issue final regulations to modernize Part 147. That is accelerated rulemaking! This congressional action is certainly a step to alleviate the potential personnel shortage by promoting long-overdue change to the maintenance training regulations. With good industry participation and cooperation between the FAA groups that write the tests and those that establish the curriculum, a fast rule change is possible. Such a new rule would likely ensure that school curricula content could be more easily adapted to commercial requirements than it is currently. Change in the Air? The FAA understands the challenge and is cooperating with all parties to adjust Part 147 to ensure an adequate number of safe and qualified personnel. An example of rulemaking progress, regarding the use of distance learning for aviation maintenance, is the introduction of a new hybrid-training program at Spartan School of Aeronautics and Technology. At the WATS Conference, Spartan president/CEO, Dr. Dan Peterson, described the Spartan hybrid approach to certify aviation maintenance technicians. That new FAA approved program uses 13 months of online distance education followed by seven months of residence instruction at the Tulsa, OK, campus. This is a radical change in delivery method. Even with curricular changes, the certification testing system also needs review. There are a limited number of designated mechanic examiners (DME) to serve school graduates. The total exam time, for the General, Airframe, and Powerplant Certificate could last for two days. In most cases, students pay a fee of nearly $2,000 for the post-program certification exams and associated logistic expenses. Some suggest that these fees should be included in the school fee. There must be a reasonable way to ensure reliability and validity of the certification exam. AMT competence is much more than passing every class in an AMT curriculum. The certification exam must remain as a final assimilation of technical knowledge, hands-on skill, and diagnostic decision making to ensure that an applicant is able to enter the next phase in an aviation maintenance career. DR. WILLIAM B. JOHNSON is the FAA Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Human Factors in Aircraft Maintenance Systems. His comments are based on nearly 50 years of combined experience as a pilot/mechanic, an airline engineering and MRO consultant, a professor, and an FAA scientific executive. PASS FAIL With each flight, you want confidence in your radar system to perform optimally. Regular inspection and timely maintenance by radome experts give you this assurance. At ACE, our MRO team tests and repairs radomes to the highest standard. • Guaranteed same-day TAT for transmissivity testing using our in-house anechoic chamber •Wide-ranging exchange and loaner inventory for major aircraft including Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, Embraer, Gulfstream and other models • In-house paint booth • Radome boot and installation • Two-year warranty on workmanship/materials, twice the industry standard Incoming RF Transmissivity assessment inspection included at no charge for all repaired radomes. ($1,000 value) The Radome Authority for Testing, Repairs and Overhauls • • 888.343.4225

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