Aircraft Maintenance Technology

AUG-SEP 2018

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30 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY GAMA INSIGHT By Pete Bunce CELEBRATING THE NEXT GENERATION OF MAINTENANCE PROFESSIONALS: THE JOURNEYS THAT LED THEM TO AVIATION A common thread: experiencing aviation at a young age, a family member who worked in the industry, a natural interest in STEM-related subjects, a natural curiosity to solve problems and processes, and a supportive circle of family or mentors The 40 young men and women who received the AMT Magazine Next Gen Awards this year are a great example of hard work, dedication, and passion coming together to create success. Each year, it’s exciting to see the number of talented individuals who receive this award, think about how they will help our industry flourish, and take the next steps in safety and innovation. I’m also proud to see the list of award winners continually includes employees who work for GAMA member companies, including this year: Keilah Bias, StandardAero, Continuous Improvement Engineer; Catherine Chelimo, Garmin, Aircraft Certification Engineering Technician; Joshua Hoskins, Cirrus Aircraft, Manager Region Field Service Manager; Judson Rupert, Lycoming Engines, Principal Engineer, Piston Engineering; Eric Sorensen, Duncan Aviation, Engine Line Team Leader; John Coty Stiltner, StandardAero, Customer Account Leader; Emmeline Watson, Duncan Aviation, Certification Coordinator; and Imran Zaveri, GE Aviation Repair Technician and Rock Valley College Student. One of the interesting things about these winners is the stories of how they found a career in this industry. A common thread was experiencing aviation at a young age, thanks to a family member who worked in the industry. Another common thread was a natural interest in STEM-related subjects, a natural curiosity to solve problems and processes, and a supportive circle of family or mentors in their lives who helped them build on their interests. These two common threads ended one way though — once these award winners encountered aviation, they set their sights on finding a way to make their passion about it a profitable future. A Manufacturing Institute survey shows that experiential learning is huge for students, given the biggest influencer for their career choices is their own interests and experiences. But the second largest influencer on student career pathways, is parents. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal highlighted how some manufacturing companies, including GAMA member Woodward Inc., have targeted parents to attract students to jobs in their companies. This tactic includes hosting “Parents Night” at a company factory and facility and providing information about the benefits of a career in the industry, including pay, which can be 20 percent higher than what an average worker earns in other industries, the ability to be innovative, have a highly valued skill set, and longevity. The 2018 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook forecasts that 790,000 new civil aviation pilots, 754,000 new maintenance technicians, and 890,000 new cabin crew will be needed to fly and maintain the world fleet over the next 20 years. Of those total numbers, the general aviation industry will need 155,000 pilots and 132,000 technicians. Meeting this extraordinary demand, Boeing says, will require proactive planning and collaboration within the global aviation industry, with educational outreach and career pathway programs being essential to inspiring and recruiting the next generation of personnel. GAMA is helping establish pipelines for students through a variety of scholarships, programs, events, and advocacy on Capitol Hill, helping make regulations and policies more efficient and modern, and of course, partnering with our member companies to do all we can, in all the places we can, to make students more aware of our industry and the opportunities within it. Congratulations to all of the award winners this year. You’ve accomplished so much, and we’re counting on you to advance our industry with not only the safety-enhancing products and technology you help develop, but also within your communities, by telling others about it and inspiring the next generation of leaders to join us. PETE BUNCE is president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), which represents more than 100 of the world's leading manufacturers of general aviation airplanes and rotorcraft, engines, avionics, components, and related services. GAMA's members also operate repair stations, FBOs, pilot and maintenance training facilities and manage fleets of aircraft. For more info:

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