Aircraft Maintenance Technology

AUG-SEP 2018

The aircraft maintenance professional's source for technological advancements, maintenance alerts, news, articles, events, and careers

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www.AviationPros.com 61 Elizabeth Tilden, 39, General Manager, Airframe Supplier Operations, Delta Air Lines, Atlanta, GA Aviation is in Elizabeth Eli Tilden’s blood, literally. Eli’s father is a pilot, and her sister is a flight attendant. And her husband, Scott, works in technical operations and hopefully her two boys will follow the family tradition. Mentors include John Goglia, Mike Lane, Gary and Mary Ann Eiff, and Denver Lopp. She received training from Orange Coast Community College (A&P), has a bachelor’s of arts from the University of California - San Diego, and a master’s of science degree from Purdue University School of Aviation in industrial technology with a focus on human factors management. Eli’s career has spanned several transportation areas, such as helicopters, general and business aviation, railroads, the National Transportation Safety Board (where she served under the Honorable Board Member, John Goglia), and several Part 121 air carriers. She’s been with Delta Air Lines for the last 10 years, and currently serves as the general manager, Airframe Supplier Operations. The division is responsible for over 400 maintenance events for the 860+ aircraft in Delta’s fleet. Nominated by Jim Hickey, Program Manager, ODA Engineering, Delta Air Lines: “Eli has a passion for safety and the aviation maintenance business. Her personal experiences of loss and tragedy, resulting from aircraft-related incidents, drive her pursuit to minimize risk in the maintenance ecosystem. One of her trademarks is combining data innovation in the airframe operation. For example, her projects have driven practices that make the AMTs more safety-minded, create a stronger reliability program, and allow for predictive indicators of aircraft condition. While Eli’s career in aviation has been rewarding, she recognizes that it came with many challenges. Specifically, it was and still is, male dominated. Additionally, she believes the interest for the career field is waning. Nonetheless, Eli is optimistic and hopeful about the future and the changing landscape. She is grateful to have had amazing mentors and companies with innovative and inclusive cultures (such as Delta Air Lines), who have given her the opportunity to grow into the leader she is today. She hopes she can pay it forward, and do the same for the next upcoming generation of aviators.” To give back to the industry she is a mentor in several Delta organizations. Tilden has taught at Purdue University, a Part 147 school. And she has published several academic papers, and has been a speaker at SAE and MRO conferences. Her career goals are “to create an environment where amazing things can happen every day.” Devin Watson, 29, Supervisor, Plane Safe Aircra Maintenance, Waukesha, WI Devin Watson’s motivation in aviation started as a kid, he always wanted to fly airplanes and understand how they worked. His aviation career started in the Air Force and continued as an A&P shortly after. Watson’s current mentors are Sam Cryer and Bill Polachek. Watson received most of his training while in the Air Force but got his A&P through the aviation program at Milwaukee Area Technical College, ran by John Prybil and Mark Mohen. He is a Rotax certified mechanic and works on various light sport aircraft. As for industry recognition, he received an accommodation while in the Air Force for aviation maintenance. He has taken Cessna 210 courses and plans to attend Continental and Lycoming training. Watson has a broad mix of aircraft experience including turbine and enjoys learning something new everyday. Currently he is supervisor at Plane Safe Aircraft Maintenance. He works in general aviation and also on some transit corporate aircraft. The facility maintains several planes associated with Warbirds of America, as well as planes for the Commemorative Air Force. His day-to-day activities consist of mostly general maintenance. Nominated by Samuel K. Cryer, President/Owner, Plane Safe Aircraft Maintenance: “Devin started working at Plane Safe even before he received his license. As of February 2018, he has earned his Powerplant and is scheduled for his Airframe. Devin has exhibited an earnest interest in all aspects of aircraft maintenance. Devin truly loves aircraft and the people who fly them. Devin was promoted to supervisor and all mechanics report to him in the absence of the director of maintenance. Devin is given the list of priority aircraft and he determines how the aircraft get completed. Devin interjected himself into a higher level meeting and when quizzed on why, he simply stated “Well, I have to know how to deal with situations so when I take over (the business) I will be ready.” Devin is a instrumental part of my business and he has already earned the respect of our customers after only a year and a half of employment.” His future plans are to obtain his pilot’s license, own the company he currently works for, and continue to grow his knowledge. He plans to join the CAF and continue to volunteer his time to the Warbirds of America. “Aviation has always been a passion and I am glad I have worked in a manner to get me to this point,” Watson says.

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