Finally everyone’s favorite part of the day has arrived: it’s time to clock out and go home! You get home and turn on the TV to catch the evening news as usual, and there it is all over the news, an airplane that was in your hangar earlier that day has been in an accident. Every airman’s worst fear is to be responsible for an aviation accident. But as we all know, even the best people can make the worst mistakes.
What happened? Was it the Dirty Dozen out getting the best of airmen again, or perhaps it was failure to follow procedures? Safety! That’s the No. 1 rule in aviation and that’s what the FAASTeam is all about. Our goal is to improve the nation’s safety record by conveying safety principles and practices through training, outreach, and education.
When I first decided to become part of the FAASTeam in September of 2010, I became a member. It’s free to be a member and completely beneficial to you the member. As a member, I would attend seminars and participate in the Wings and AMT awards programs by doing the online courses on the FAASTeam web site www.FAAsafety.gov.
You can do the courses whenever it is convenient for you, and the amount you participate determines the level of award you will receive. After attending a few seminars, I decided that I wanted to become more involved and became a FAASTeam representative in November of 2010. As a representative, you may be asked to do anything from handing out itineraries at the door of a seminar to being a speaker at the seminar. This past April of 2011, I was asked to coordinate the seminar at which I was a speaker.
I asked Lyle Lane about his experience with the FAASTeam. He is an A&P, IA, pilot, and a FAASTeam representative. He said, “I feel that the FAA Safety Team is a group of people who are trying to make a difference in the aviation community by focusing on the safety aspect of aviation maintenance and operations which will make, in the long run as well as the near future, flying safer and make it a better experience for the general public.”
Enhance your career
Now you may wonder how being part of your local FAASTeam can help further your career. I asked Bill Hooten, an A&P, IA, DME, pilot, and FAASTeam representative, if he thought the FAASTeam could benefit your career. He said, “I think that it can enhance our careers if we apply the knowledge learned to the everyday situations that we are faced with in our aviation environments.”
Being part of your local FAASTeam is attractive to employers. Yes, it’s volunteer work, but it shows dedication to the industry of aviation. It shows how much you care about making aviation as safe as possible by staying aware of the dangers in aviation and keeping up with the changes made by the FAA.
As an example, I recently attended a seminar and learned the process of how to re-register an aircraft. It was very helpful and provided great information. Yes, I attend these seminars on my own time and because I did, I am up to date on the re-registration process. The information I learned is very useful because if we have customers coming to our hangar and their registration has expired, I would be able to assist them by telling them how they can re-register their aircraft. Being able to prove this customer service benefits the company for which you work. It shows you will go above and beyond and that you take your career very seriously.
How to get involved
Finally, how can you get involved with your FAASTeam? It’s free and easy. All you have to do is go to www.faasafety.gov. Becoming a member is the first step, and you do that by creating a user account. It’s as easy as that. Once you are a member, you can look up seminars in your local area. You can also enroll in online courses, and most of them are free. As a member, you can work toward your Wings or AMT awards and receive credit for completing online courses and attending seminars. After you are a member and decide that you may want to be a representative for your local FAASTeam, all you have to do is contact your local FAASTeam manager. A directory can be found on www.faasafety.gov.
Safety! That’s the No. 1 rule in aviation. Become part of the solution and get involved with your local FAASTeam.
Samantha Fowler is currently working on her Associate Degree of Applied Science at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. She has her Airframe certification, will be testing for the Power Plant certification this month, and plans on taking advanced composite repair training in the fall semester. Samantha’s future goals are to get an aerospace engineering degree, commercial pilot’s license, and bachelor’s degree in aviation business administration. Samantha was the first female recipient of AMTSociety’s Charles Taylor Award Scholarship earlier this year at the 2011 Cygnus Aviation Expo.