In the past several months we have had members involved in significant incidents that have resulted in not only losing their jobs, but also their livelihoods. By losing their licenses that they worked very long and hard to obtain, they also lost their livelihood.
Part of the issue is that we are currently experiencing a lack of manpower and a workload that is too large to be completed in the allotted timeframe. We can only do so much in the allotted time per the manuals, and we should not feel pressure by either ourselves or anyone else to expedite the process. We all know that it is nice to get things done and complete tasks, but if it results in causing an accident or being accused of falsifying records and, therefore, not qualified to hold an A&P license, then it is definitely not worth it. Remember that others’ lack of preparation on their part does not constitute an emergency on mine. We can go through our workdays for years and not have an issue and ignore this advice, but the times have changed and these examples are unfortunately becoming more commonplace. These are not the same days as we worked even ten years ago. There is a higher workload and a higher consequence for being involved in an incident. We do have the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), but per its criteria it cannot be utilized for all events and the alternative consequences have been severe.
Please take the time to become familiar with our Safety Initiative which is detailed on the Safety and Standards page of the AMFA National Website. We have been stressing safety over schedule, changing our culture of how we have done work in the past. There is no need to expedite or rush through any maintenance procedure. You are paid to do a job and to do it safely and correctly. The consequences of a mistake due to one of the dirty dozen reasons could be the loss of income, cost of damages, or even loss of life. Either one of these is certainly not an outcome that we would prefer, so we need to takes steps to insure that these scenarios do not happen.
Review all paperwork and manuals every time you do a job, especially if it is a procedure that you have not done recently. We all know that paperwork and manuals constantly change and we need to make sure that we have the latest update, checklist, parts effectivity, and procedure to accomplish each task. As we well know, the people that write some job tasks have no clue how to do the job or how long it will really take to accomplish the task. Our job is to question and make sure that the job that we do and sign for is done correctly. Do not deviate unless authorization is given to you in writing. Our paper work and MELs are also a big issue with the company and FAA, and we need to give this the same attention to detail as we do our maintenance tasks.
In closing, work safe and be aware of our culture change. Protect your license and insure that your employer and passengers on our aircraft have the best maintained aircraft for a safe and comfortable flight. It doesn’t matter if you are on the land or in the air, safety must be observed everywhere.
David A. Brooks
National Safety & Standards Director