You don't see us in recruitment posters, you won't see us in military movies, nor on the news as crews rescues a person in strife or drops disaster relieve goods.
Those kudos are for the pilots and crews.
I am an aircraft mechanic.
We are the unseen. The people whom with grease, oil and hydraulic fluid coated clothes spent the entire night getting a "downed" or "not full mission capable aircraft" ready to fly to meet flight schedule "FMC" Fully Mission Capable!"
I am an aircraft mechanic.
Strange enough pilot's know our names but not our faces. As pilots and crews slept in their beds, we work with flashlights clutched in our teeth; so we can use both hands. Busted knuckles, safety wire gashed arms we work through the night. The morning comes the crews look though the maintenance records for the Aircraft they are about to sign for seeing a plethora of gripes fix and/or repaired.
I am an aircraft mechanics.
Lastly, if the flight schedule starts early enough you get to see your hard work pay off. APU on line, navigation and smack lights - on, GPS and computers booting up, flight controls check smooth and good, engines roar to life. There's the scent, yeah it's JP5 exhaust. The pilot nods his head and gets taxied out. Exhausted and ready to hit the hay, but you stay to watch them get airborne.
Yeah, I am an aircraft mechanic!
AMFA Alaska Technicians Showcase Their Expertise at Annual Maintenance Competition
Alaska Airlines Anchorage team placed in the top three for four individual events
Alaska Airlines Seattle team took second place overall
At this year’s annual Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) in Orlando, Florida, two teams of Alaska Airlines employees took some of the top honors against other airline maintenance teams from around the world.
Each year, aviation maintenance professionals compete against their peers in up to 30 timed events that test their skill and knowledge. Alaska’s Team SEA and Team ANC were among 67 of the top maintenance teams that participated in the event.
Team SEA took second place overall in the commercial airline category, and placed in the top three for eight individual events, including first place for composite repair, vacuum loading operation, magneto, and external power receptacle. Team ANC placed in the top three for four individual events, including first place for safe-t-cable and safety wiring.
“This is the eighth year that Alaska’s technicians have competed in the event. The competition represents only some of what they do every day to keep our aircraft safe and our operation running smoothly,” said Paul Taylor, Alaska Airlines managing director of line maintenance. “It’s an incredibly talented group and I’m proud of the way they represent Alaska Airlines.”
“It’s about working with other aviation professionals who share the same passion, learning from each other, and making Alaska Airlines proud,” said Kurt Kinder, vice president maintenance & engineering. “Our teams are fiercely competitive, professional and talented – truly the best of the best.”
Alaska was also represented on the judging panel. Duane Bailey, Bob Long, Gregory McDonald and Ken Pitt served as judges for this year’s competition.
Congratulations to all the teams representing our profession and showcasing how to own safety and be remarkable.
By Scott King, National Safety and Standards Director
The FAA lists 12 human factors, known as the “Dirty Dozen,” which are elements that can contribute to maintenance errors. Distractions are one of the Dirty Dozen. Distraction is the process of diverting attention away from a desired area of focus and thereby causing the diminished reception of required information.
Some causes of distraction may be the inability to pay attention, lack of interest in the task at hand, or additional “noise” of some other subject. The sources of distraction may be external or internal. Some examples of external distraction are loud noises, blinking lights, radio calls, phone calls, or passing vehicles. Internal distractions maybe derived from lack of rest or sleep, being sick or ill, emotional, or simply letting your mind wander.
One of the prevention methods for distraction is to simply finish the job or task before moving on to the next. Knowing that task completion is not always an option for the busy Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT), it is important to document the work performed so that there is a clear description of the steps completed. When returning to an interrupted task, take three steps back and review up to the current step. Checklists are also useful to combat the influence of distraction.
As AMTs, we encounter many forms of distractions at any given time. Among these distractions may be issues surrounding the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“Contract”), concerns of lack of manpower, management pressure, peer pressure, or integration issues. As licensed professionals, we must stay focused on the task that is in front of you, and not allow yourself to fall prey to distractions. Multi-tasking does not make you a “hero,” it can put you at risk for mistakes.
Remember the AMFA motto; “Safety in the air begins with quality maintenance on the ground.”
2018 AMFA Scholarship Recipients
By Jay Johnson, National Secretary/Treasurer
Region II Director Will Abbott presents Gaetan Pindjou Newou AMFA's Annual Scholarships
From left: Jay Johnson, National Secretary/Treasurer; Mark Polhemus, 2018 Scholarship winner; Middle Georgia State University Faculty representative; and Gene Painter, Assistant National Director
AMFA National awarded two scholarships for 2018. Each applicant had to be currently enrolled in a school to gain their Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license, had to be a US Citizen, and were required to submit an application including a 500-word essay expressing the difference between a craft specific and an industrial union.
After careful review and consideration, the National Executive Council chose Gaetan Pindjou Newou from Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) in Houston, TX and Mark Polhemus from Middle Georgia State University in Eastman, GA as the recipients of the AMFA Scholarship for 2018. National Officers presented Gaetan and Mark with a plaque and $2500 scholarship at their respective school in May 2018, and they were also announced during the Aerospace Maintenance Competition in Orlando, FL.
Gaetan Pindjou Newou is scheduled to graduate in July of 2018 and is currently a straight “A” student. He is an award winner of 10% Tuition Fees Scholarship from AIM campuses, an active member of the National Technical Honor Student Society of AIM, and is a US Army Honor Service Ruban Award recipient. Gaetan states that “a craft union is a structure of labor unions that brings together workers within the same area of craft or skills, simply because they possess crucial knowledge, physical and conceptual skills, and a considerable influence in the workplace.”
Mark Polhemus recently started his aviation schooling in the Fall of 2017, and is currently a straight “A” student. Mark states that “craft specific unions are known for the passion and talent within a certain trade. Aircraft mechanics, for example, formed a union in 1962 to generate a greater recognition for their craft. This union also opened to more skills within the airline industry who share a common interest. An aircraft mechanic union, like most craft unions, gain power and the equality of skilled labor. There is also a power in passion. Those who love what they do, working together, tend to create a stronger union and therefore an enjoyable, lifelong work experience.”
Congratulations to this year’s recipients, and thank you to all who submitted applications. It is inspiring to get a glimpse at the passion and quality of the next generation of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians.
2017 Local Officer/Representative of the Year
By Jay Johnson, National Secretary/Treasurer
The National Executive Council (NEC) awarded the 2017 Local Officer/Representative of the Year Award to Scott Van De Motter. Scott was presented with the award at the Local 4 General Membership Meeting in Chicago, IL on January 30, 2018.
Scott’s term as AMFA Local 4 Vice President commenced in January 2017, and he quickly stepped up to support the needs of Local 4 and National. Over the last couple of years, AMFA National has recognized the need for better communication. Scott has played an active role in furthering communications at Local 4 by coordinating Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of mass communication.
Each year AMFA National asks the Locals submit the name of an officer/representative who has gone above and beyond while representing the membership. This is the fourth year the Local Officer of the Year has been awarded and, as was the case last year, the competition was intense. The NEC believes that it is important to recognize those who have helped the Association achieve success.
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There’s an App for That
AMFA has a mobile device app for its members. Available for both Android and Apple tablets and phones, the app is a quick link to the latest news and information from your Union. With built in GrievTrac access, the app also gives our contract representatives private access to file grievances on behalf of our members.
In addition to being a great tool to get Association news, the AMFA app is a quick and easy way for members to access their AMFA Number. The AMFA app is only available for download from the AMFA National Website; it is not found on iTunes.
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association is a craft oriented, independent aviation union. It is not an industrial union and represents only airline technicians and related employees in the craft or class in accordance with the National Mediation Board Rules and their dictates. AMFA is committed to elevating the professional standing of technicians and to achieving progressive improvements in the wages, benefits, and working conditions of the skilled craftsmen and women it represents. (see our brochure)