Begin The Year By ...

I began the New Year by attending a gathering of FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) representatives in my area at the Minneapolis Flight Standards District Office. FAASTeam program managers Jim Niehoff and Alan Hoffert hosted this event where most of the 35 representatives in attendance received recognition for their participation last year. This was my first such event since becoming a FAASTeam representative myself.

From the FAASTeam web site,, the mission statement of the FAASTeam is: To improve the Nation’s aviation safety record by conveying safety principles and practices through training, outreach, and education. At the same time, FAASTeam managers and program managers will establish meaningful aviation industry alliances and encourage continual growth of a positive safety culture within the aviation community.

Promote safety

FAASTeam representatives are volunteers who work closely with local program managers to actively promote safety through a variety of activities. Representatives assist the local FAASTeam program managers with safety seminars, while others organize and present educational and safety sessions themselves to their local aviation community or back at their company, all in an effort to promote greater aviation safety awareness.

The majority of the representatives at the meeting I attended were pilots, flight instructors, General Aviation FBO managers or owners, air traffic controllers, flight school operators, and a few Designated Pilot Examiners, a very few mentioning being involved directly with maintenance; another reminder that many aircraft maintenance people don’t seem to be joiners. There are approximately 3,250 representatives nationwide.

Why don’t we see an equal interest by maintenance professionals to participate in some of the many organizations aviation has to offer, such as the FAASTeam, AMTSociety, or others?

See the value

I realize the day-to-day grind of life gets busy, sometimes overwhelming and for many doesn’t leave time or energy for another meeting or a volunteer activity. But one does wonder, do aircraft maintenance professionals not see the same value that involvement in industry organizations can offer: education and continuous learning, sharing best practices, promoting safety, and of course the ability to be associated with their peers? Some do but I offer not enough.

Recently I had the opportunity to meet Steve Davis, chief inspector for Timken Aftermarket Solutions located in Mesa, AZ, and a FAASTeam representative. In this issue of AMT you can read more about my visit to this helicopter MRO, and how Davis uses his participation as a FAASTeam representative.

In addition to our regular features, this helicopter focus issue provides you with valuable information from Tanis Aircraft Products on how electric preheat systems can help with your cold climate operations, and Tim Kern describes a new engine test cell at the Rolls-Royce facility in Indianapolis, IN.

AMT will once again be exhibiting at the Heli-Expo so please stop by our booth, 9333, and say hello to the AMT staff. Ron