A total of 443 companies exhibited at Aviation Industry Week this year with attendance reaching 5,800. The show included sections for GSE and AS3 exhibitors, and training sessions for GSExpo, Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA), and National Air Transportation Association (NATA) conventions. Standing room only (or sitting on the floor) was the case for sessions covering human factors and legal issues, definitely popular topics to today's mechanics. Next year's show will be held March 28 to 30 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Ground Support Leader of the Year award
Ground Support Magazine presented its first GS Leader of the Year award honoring an individual or company that has made a significant contribution to the industry. The winner was Jim Houck, systemwide manager of GSE for Continental Airlines. He has been instrumental in testing, developing, and implementing ground support equipment that is safe, reliable, operator friendly, and environmentally clean. During the luncheon presentation, Ralph Hood entertained attendees with his Southern humor and views of the industry.
Professional Aviation Maintenance Olympics awards
The competition was fierce but the Midcoast Aviation Arch Rivals repeated their first place win along with winning the Best Dressed award. The Arch Rivals team included Bill Fields, Brian Bauwens, Tim Kennon, and coach Vinnie Venditto (last year's Troubleshooter of the Year). The Bombardier Hot Wrenches came in a close second, and included Mike Zine, Mark Dumas, Rob Huntley, coach John Carleton and assistant coach Anthony Masciotra. Southwest Airlines Maintenance came in third, and included Eliot Ovsiew, Mark Woodhall, Jim Lufrano, and coach Tom Zollars. Other teams included JetBlue Airways, Dassault Falcon Jet, and General Dynamics Aviation Services.
As a fund-raiser for educational scholarships it's hard to find a better format than the PAMA chili cook-off. The food, music, competitive atmosphere surrounding the booth sponsors, and beer drew crowds Wednesday night of the show. Gulfstream won the Taster's Choice award for raising the most money, $2,178; Professional Aircraft Accessories won Hottest Chili; Jet Professionals won Best Tasting Chili; and CRS Jet Spares won for Best Booth Presentation. The total raised from the event was $6,381.
PAMA annual awards breakfast
Instead of a luncheon awards presentation, this year PAMA held a breakfast so as not to conflict with training sessions and exhibit hours.
The keynote was delivered by Michael George Goulian, champion aerobatic pilot for AirBP's Castrol Aviator. He credited his success to the trust placed in the mechanics on his team who keep him safe and the plane in tip-top shape.
The Award of Excellence went to Manuel "Sonny" Zapata, Sunshine Aircraft Repair. The PAMA/FlightSafety Foundation Joe Chase award went to Robert Marinace, New World Jet Corp. John Craig Weller, Esq., Galland, Kharasch, Greenberg, Fellman & Swirsky, PC, received the Member Service award. Company appreciation awards went to Mike Lee, FlightSafety International, and Ron McClellan, Frontier Airlines, a six-year FAA Diamond Award winner. Michael Harkins, president of First State Chapter, received the PAMA Chapter of the Year award. The PAMA/Aircraft Technical Publishers award went to Joe Esmerado, Raytheon Aircraft Services. On behalf of the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance, Robin Lamar presented the Richard C. Wellman award to John Goglia. FlightSafety's 2005 award for Excellence in Maintenance Training went to Midcoast Aviation, which has received the FAA Diamond Award for the last eight years. AMT