The following is an excerpt from the April edition of AMC news; the full issue is available here.
The Aerospace Maintenance Council will host the Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) on April 25-27, 2017 at the Orlando Orange County Convention Center in conjunction with MRO Americas. The event showcases the talent required of aviation maintenance technicians to maintain aircraft and spacecraft in safe, airworthy condition.
Sixty, five-person teams of professionals and students from eight countries will compete in 26 events that test the knowledge and skill required to maintain aircraft. Competitors have 15 minutes to complete events such as electrical troubleshooting, composite repair, turbine engine troubleshooting, structure repair, nondestructive testing, and written exams testing knowledge on history, human factors and weight & balance. Prizes will be given to the top teams from each event and category (commercial aviation, general aviation, educational institutions, military, aerospace companies and the military).
The AMC has overwhelming industry support; company sponsors provide prizes, scholarships, airfare and cash awards. All competitive events are sponsored by industry companies such as The Boeing Company, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, PPG Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Redstone College and AAR Services.
“The premise for the AMC is not to promote one group of professionals or students over another group but rather to raise the level of awareness of the knowledge, skill and integrity required of today’s aviation maintenance professional,” stated the Aerospace Maintenance Council President & former National Transportation Safety Board member John Goglia. “Each competitor is the ‘best of the best’ because they were all hand-picked by their respective company/organization; the competition therefore utilized our best and brightest to promote career opportunities in aerospace.”
We look forward to seeing you next week!
Aircraft maintenance professionals are no strangers to working behind the scenes, but that reality changes on April 25th. As the 2017 MRO Americas Event in Orlando kicks off, all eyes will be on the Aerospace Maintenance Competition, and not just from the exhibit hall floor as in previous years.
Starting on Tuesday the 25th, at 0900, the challenging competition will be broadcast via an Internet live stream for viewing by co-workers, family, friends and students. The event, which is presented by Snap-on, American Airlines and Pratt & Whitney, brings together over 55 teams from 8 countries for a two day competition which tests the skills, knowledge and expertise of aviation and aerospace students and professionals.
“The event organizers have done an amazing job over the years with this competition and they’re attracting the best of the best talent from around the world” said AireXpert EVP Andy Hakes. “Up until now however, the only audience has been those visitors who are fortunate enough to attend the MRO Conference. It’d be nice for those competitors to have the support of their co-workers in the stands, but someone has to maintain the airplanes at home. As a company whose focus is on communications and delivering technical knowledge and expertise, we see this as a great opportunity to enable the live stream for all of those people who couldn’t attend MRO”.
Those who would like to view the events can sign up at www.amc2017.live
Can't attend the 2017 AMC? We'll bring it to you.
Thanks to prize sponsor PPG Aerospace, each year the overall winner of the AMC receives free entry to next year’s event. In 2016, that award was bestowed on Alaska Airlines. In keeping with recent tradition, team Alaska Airlines made a trip to Logan, Utah to donate their winnings to team Utah State University.
Managing Director Line Maintenance Paul Taylor explained that the contribution is in furtherance of Alaska Airlines’ commitment to giving back: “This competition is about the future of aviation; today’s students are tomorrow’s trained and skilled technicians. We are happy to help make such a great experience available to a group of future professionals, those that will soon be committed to the safety and professionalism of the craft.”
Thanks to Alaska Airlines for paying it forward. Interested in sponsoring a student team in 2018? Let us know!
A revised AMC event manual, including rules, competition information, and event criteria and instructions, is available for download.
Please check the record of revisions on the last page of the manual to see edits and editions.
The FAA has granted a petition for exemption, requested by AMC on behalf of aviation maintenance technician schools (AMTS) certificated under part 147. The exemption provides relief from curriculum requirements provided for in § 147.21 such that AMTS may provide students credit for time spent preparing for and competing in the competition.
The exemption allows faculty members to determine whether student time dedicated to preparing for and participating in the AMC satisfies the requirements of § 147.21; students may be credited up to 60 hours.
The exemption is available here.
AMC’s original petition for exemption request is available here.
In honor of Charles E. Taylor and the men and women who have followed in his footsteps, the U.S. Senate has officially recognized May 24 as National AMT Day. Senate Resolution 335, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), follows a similar measure passed by the House in 2008, H. Res. 444.
Thanks to all those that took the time to contact their congressional representatives in support of the AMT craft and profession.
The effort was spearheaded through the Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Association (AMTA), a non-profit organization created to promote and educate the public about Charles E. Taylor. AMTA is accepting donations for similar effort, giving bronze busts of Charles E. Taylor to museums and organizations. Contribute to the USA Museum bust campaign here: https://www.gofundme.com/2j9k9vaz
By Ken MacTiernan Chairman AMC
Today’s aircraft maintenance technicians (AMT) do not seek the limelight nor do they expect to see it. There is no fan fare, media interview or public recognition. By the very nature of their craft the AMT takes each aircraft assigned as a personal responsibility, as they have countless times since mankind conquered powered, controlled flight over 100 years ago. With such dedication and advancement in aircraft technology John Q. Public is basically unaware of these proud professionals entrusted with maintaining safe, airworthy aircraft worldwide.
There is a way for the public to see and hear these professional craftsmen in action and learn exactly how knowledge, skill and integrity enable today’s AMT to carry the great responsibility of ensuring aviation’s safety. The Aerospace Maintenance Council has created the Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC), where teams of current and aspiring AMTs compete against one another, highlighting just some of the many responsibilities in their craft (see who is registered to compete).
The AMC does not promote one group of AMT over another, each competitor is the epitome of the AMT craft and profession. Aircraft do not recognize nationality, religion, political affiliation, color of uniform or sex. Aircraft only care about the knowledge, skill and integrity of the hand holding the tool used to return the aircraft to a safe, airworthy status.
Read the inaugural edition of AMC News in its entirety here, and sign up to receive future issues by clicking "subscribe to our newsletter" in the lower right-hand corner.
American Airlines came through with an MD80 APU for our students. This would not have happen without the AMC competition in Dallas, and the contacts we made during the accompanying tour at American Airlines.
Tom and the Broward College AMC Club
Now, before you shout out your answer, take a moment to think what it means to be professional. According to Daniel Webster the answer is, “Yes, I am.”, because we all perform our occupation as a means of livelihood. But my question does not mean the literal description of the word; I meant the connotation of the word.
Being professional means possessing professionalism. Now, is your answer still, “Yes, I am.”? Do you convey high character, spirit or methods of a professional? Do you settle for the minimum standards or do you continuously strive to raise the standards by which your craft is measured by? Do you take pride in your work and follow written procedures? How about your appearance? When confronted with a challenge at work do you solve it with the knowledge that we are responsible and accountable for our actions? Do you convey to the public, and your fellow employees, the image of professionalism?
Are you practicing professionalism in everything you do? If the answer is, “Yes, I do.” then you create a professional atmosphere; and a professional atmosphere attracts people of higher caliber. In this type of atmosphere the answer to my question would indeed be, “Yes, I am!”
The point of this post is to reawaken the reason why we chose our current craft as a means of a profession. The men and women who came before us in our respective craft forged the foundation for how we are perceived. The responsibility of continuing this professionalism in our craft lies with all of us; myself included, and I will lead by example. Because doing so is how we promote professional standards. By having professional standards we provide the men and women who follow in our footsteps a code of ethics, and this in turn raises the level of respect of how our craft is perceived.
What do you think? Let us know if you agree or disagree.
Ken MacTiernan Chairman AMC
THE INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND IN THE BIOGRAPHY “CHARLES E. TAYLOR: 1868-1956 THE WRIGHT BROTHERS MECHANICIAN” WRITTEN BY Howard R. DuFour with Peter J. Unitt
As AMTs of today we work with many different types of people who make up our profession. We know much about our fellow co-workers, both personally and professionally. But have you ever stopped to think about who the FIRST aircraft mechanic was? Where he came from? Or even how he became the first aircraft mechanic to begin with? With May 24th being recognized as AMT Day in almost all 50 United States, Commonwealths and Territories, and a National AMT Day having been passed by Congress this April 30th, in honor of this first aircraft mechanic, perhaps we should take the time to learn who created our craft and how it got started.
The first aircraft mechanic was Charles Edward Taylor. But who WAS he? Where did he come from? With most historic figures, dates and times are thrown at us that we never remember. Sure Charles E. Taylor was born on May 24th, 1868 in a log cabin a few miles east of Decatur, Illinois and he died on January 30th, 1956. But Charles E. Taylor is much more than just dates.
Charlie’s father, Willet Bogart Taylor, was a hog farmer. His mother was Elmira (Gulick) Taylor. As most children of the mid-19th century followed their father’s career path Charlie did not. An epidemic of hog cholera caused Charlie’s father to kill his source of providing for his family and thus relocated his family to Lincoln, Nebraska. Here Charlie went to school through the seventh grade. And as a youth he earned money by printing calling cards and programs, he also worked as an errand boy at the Nebraska State Journal. Eventually he worked in the bindery where he would learn to work with hand tools and machinery. After completing his education he worked for a surveyor in California who was laying out part of the city of Los Angeles.
Future jobs included making rubber stamps, painted signs, cut stencils and general repair work. Charlie eventually opened his own machine shop for about a year and a half, but closed it due to lack of business. In 1982 Charlie met a beautiful girl named Henriette Webbert, whom he asked to marry shortly thereafter. As fate would have it Henrietta’s family was friends with Bishop Milton Wright who had two sons named Wilbur and Orville. And an extra twist of coincidence is that Henrietta’s Uncle C. Webbert owned a building which in 1897 the Wright brothers rented for their bicycle business. The stage was being set for history to be made.
In 1896 Charlie moved to Dayton where he found work making farm machinery which included engines and bicycles. In 1898 Charlie once again opened a machine shop with another machinist. In this new business Charlie did general repair work and bicycle repair and machine tool work. Charlie would buy repair parts for bicycles from the Wright Cycle Company. And eventually the Wright’s subcontracted work to Charlie. In 1898 Charlie sold the business for a large profit and he went onto to work for the Dayton Electric Company.
By this time the Wright brothers were spending ever increasing amounts of time fine tuning their passion for solving the problem of flight and they needed someone to run their bicycle shop. The Wright’s used their sister, Katherine, and brother, Lorin, to run the business but they needed a person on a more permanent basis to repair bicycles so they could continue with their experiments. Fate again comes into play because on one “hot June Saturday night” Charles E. Taylor, who is a machinist, stops into the Wright’s shop. He inquires about a job since his job at the electric company was paying poorly. The Wright’s offered Charlie $16.50 a week and without knowing it the three were preparing to enter history!
The Wright brothers eventually came to the decision that their glider technology was ready for the next step. But where could they find an engine in 1903 that had to meet their calculations of producing 8 horsepower and not weighing more than 180 pounds? In talks with Charlie they expressed their wants that the necessary horsepower should be distributed among four cylinders with a bore and stroke of 4 inches each. But at this time in history engines were relegated to automobiles and they were very heavy and the power-to-weight ratio was unacceptable. Eventually the Wright’s turned to Charlie and asked if he could build the engine.
With the Wright brother’s calculations Charlie set out to build in six weeks, with nothing more than a lathe, drill press and some simple hand tools the world’s first aircraft engine! But due to Charlie’s skill and craftsmanship the engine he produced exceed the requirements set out by Orville and Wilbur. The engine that Charlie built produced 13 horsepower and weighed only 150 pounds.
Thus on December 17, 1903 at a place sandy spot called Kitty Hawk in North Carolina mankind conquered the problem of controlled, powered flight. But what is remarkable is that having achieved this feat Charles E. Taylor did not seek the limelight for his contributions and achievements. Much like present day AMTs Charlie simply looked at the task before him and set out to achieve it.
With the Wright brother’s new invention Charlie had created the profession that many of you reading this article have entered… the Aircraft Maintenance Technician. But Charlie’s place in history does not end here. No, not by any means! Charlie stayed with the Wright brothers building future engines for the Wright Flyer models.
Charles E. Taylor not only became the world’s first aircraft mechanic but he also became the world’s first airport manager. When the Wright brothers needed an area to test their new models at a place closer to home than North Carolina, out at a place called Huffman Prairie, Charlie constructed the first aircraft hangar and he had to deal with issues like barbed wire fencing hilly hummocks, frequent rain storms and crosswinds.
Charlie also became the first “bumped passenger” and if not for this “first” he would have earned the statistic of becoming the first aircraft fatality. On September 17, 1907 Orville invited Charlie to join him on a trial proving flight for the US Government. But at the last moment he was “bumped” by Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge. Upon Orville’s fourth circuit the Flyer crashed and Lt. Selfridge later died of injuries from the crash.
Charlie went to France to accompany Wilbur Wright as the Wrights demonstrated their new invention to assemble the crated craft and be on hand if anything went wrong.
In 1911 Charlie was earning $18.00 a week. So when Calbraith Perry (Cal) Rodgers purchased a Wright B (Exhibition Model) in order to attempt to fly cross country within 30 days and win the $50,000.00 prize he wanted the best mechanic possible. He hired Charlie, after having the consent of the brothers for a leave of absence, for $10.00 a day! The aircraft was known as the “Vin-Fiz” after the first bottled grape drink. Charlie had his work cut out for him since Cal crashed the aircraft numerous times but Charlie was there to do his job.
In 1936 Henry Ford bought the building the Wright brothers had their bicycle shop in and hired Charlie to restore it to the condition it was in when they made history.
Charles E. Taylor survived both Wright brothers but in his later years life was tough on Charlie. Although Orville and Wilbur willed Charlie a yearly stipend his last years found Charlie nearly destitute and he eventually wound up in the Los Angeles County Hospital which dealt with “charity cases”. A journalist wrote about Charlie’s condition and the Aircraft Industries Association assumed full financial responsibility for his lifetime care in the Farhill Sanitarium in the San Fernando foothills where he was kept well care of till his death on January 30, 1956.
Charles E. Taylor was an ordinary man who deserves his rightful place in aviation history as well as in any conversation about aircraft maintenance. Like today’s skilled AMTs Charlie did not seek the limelight or search for fame and fortune. He was a craftsman who created a profession that thousands of men and women have followed in. Charles Edward Taylor is truly aviation’s original “Unsung Hero”.