We all have heard the saying, “Cool it.” It is slang for relax, calm down, take it easy. And, in this sense, it is safe to say we all need to do this from time to time – to avoid making mistakes – especially when feeling the pressure and stress from our work environment. But to you folks who maintain and operate aircraft engines, it takes on a whole different meaning.
Many engines may require you to “cool it” down before shutting it down. Improper cool down could lead to sudden damage or even latent damage resulting in future failure.
Whether you operate engines frequently and have tremendous knowledge about them or you only operate engines infrequently, always use the engine run checklist. Whether you operate turbine and/or piston-powered engines, and especially if you operate a variety of make and model engines, the bottom line is to understand and comply with the manufacturer’s current operating procedures. And always heed the “Notes, Cautions, and Warnings” for the engine you are working on.
As a result, when you “cool it” properly, you will be able to relax, calm down, and take it easy!
Stay safe, Tom Hendershot
AMT Day, or Aviation Maintenance Technician Day, was created to recognize Charles E. Taylor who was the Wright brother’s mechanic and aviation’s original “Unsung Hero;” or otherwise referred to as the “Father of Aircraft Maintenance.” Having built the first aircraft engines, by hand no less, which enabled mankind to conquer controlled powered flight is a remarkable accomplishment. Recognizing Charlie’s rightful place in aviation’s history, which history almost forgot, is just and warranted. But how did AMT Day start? Why was it created? What does it mean?
To begin with we need to go back to 2001 when an FAA Inspector from the Sacramento FSDO named Richard T. “Dilly” Dilbeck who first decided that Charles E. Taylor needed to be remembered. Charlie’s accomplishments where recognized by the FAA with the creation of the Charles E. Taylor Master Mechanic Award thanks to another FAA Inspector, William F. “Bill” O’Brien. Bill created this award for AMT’s who had served at least 50 years in aircraft maintenance with a minimum of 30 of those years as a certificated A&P Mechanic. This award is very prestigious and rightfully so. What Dilbeck did was expand the recognition Charlie deserved by having all 50 United States, Commonwealths, and Territories introduce and pass an AMT Day Resolution. OK, you ask, so what does this resolution do?
Dilbeck had then California Senator Knight introduce a resolution that officially recognized May 24th of every year as Aviation Maintenance Technician Day in honor of Charlie’s birthday. This resolution remembers Taylor’s place in history as being as important as that of the Wright brothers since it was Charlie who enabled the Wright Glider to become the Wright Flyer. But this resolution goes further and also recognizes the many skilled men and women who followed in Charles E. Taylor’s footsteps in the craft Charlie created; the craft of today’s AMT. In 2002 California became the first state to introduce and pass AMT Day.
May 24 is now recognized officially as a day to remember Charles E. Taylor and an entire craft and profession of skilled aviation professionals that carry the heavy responsibilities of providing safe, airworthy aircraft industrywide. An industry that requires a high standard of knowledge, skill, continuing education, and integrity now had a day to say thank you to the men and women who care for commercial, general aviation, corporate, private, civil, military, or experimental aircraft.
Thanks to Dilbeck’s efforts in having California lead the way in passing the first AMT Day Resolution there are now more than 47 AMT Day Resolutions passed.
Because of his nature Charles E. Taylor did not look to profit on his accomplishments and the rapid advances in aircraft technology had basically caused history to forget Charles E. Taylor and in turn forgotten, or at the very least taken for granted, the contributions of all the AMTs that came after Charlie. These resolutions were created to return attention to a significant individual as well as a group of individuals who take their responsibilities seriously but do not seek the limelight.
AMT Day is a day for an industry to recognize those who are the very “Faces Behind Safety” in aircraft maintenance. AMT Day is a day to acknowledge the dedication, professionalism, and sacrifices of a proud profession. AMT Day is increasingly being celebrated throughout the aircraft maintenance community. AMT Day is Charles E. Taylor’s Day!
You can learn more about Charles E. Taylor by reading the biography Charles E. Taylor: 1868 - 1956 The Wright Brothers Mechanician written by Howard R. DuFour with Peter J. Unitt. This book can be bought through Wright State University, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, OH 45435.
Last year there were more than 30 Charles E. Taylor Day celebrations across the United States, If you or your aviation organization are planning on hosting a program or party, please forward any pictures and your story to Barb Zuehlke, Senior Editor, AMT Magazine, 1233 Janesville Ave., Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-2738, or you can also email the information and photographs to her at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I sincerely hope that each of you and your families, as well as your co-workers enjoy a great and memorable Charles E. Taylor Day Celebration, and that you remember our U.S. Military personnel, and have a safe Memorial Day Holiday. (Thanks to AMTSociety board member Ken MacTiernan for this article.)
Blue Ridge Community College
The Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program at Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) is ready to expand operations to include the first FAA-approved distance education classes in aviation maintenance since Parks College of Aviation, Engineering, and Technology closed the oldest A&P program in the U.S. The AMT program features a modern computer laboratory as the foundation for all lecture classes, and a completely equipped hangar at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport for the laboratory portion of the curriculum.
The BRCC AMT program was established in 2008 to address a growing need for training aviation mechanics, especially to develop a skilled workforce for local employers. Demand for employees with A&P certifications continues to grow, and BRCC hopes that the distance education offerings can help facilitate more individuals getting the training they, and employers, need.
BRCC has secured FAA-approval for its distance education internet manual and is one of three institutions from across the country chosen as beta test programs for distance education classes in aviation maintenance. Classes to be offered this summer via synchronous distance delivery include: technical mathematics, aircraft drawing, Federal Aviation Regulations, basic electricity, and materials and processes. Additionally, BRCC has a request in with the FAA to provide a distance education option for four of the five courses in its Light Sport Repairman Maintenance training option.
“We’ve worked hard to make BRCC a unique aviation experience,” says Fred D. Dyen, associate professor. “Our graduates attend class right at the airport and are exposed to a strict attendance policy that simulates industry working conditions. In fact, one of the advantages, according to employers is that our graduates possess a strong work ethic and it takes less time for them to transition to a productive employee.”
Currently, the majority of textbooks and all reference material are available online. The AMT class size is limited to 25 students; however, every effort is made to keep class size at 16 students for more individualized attention. Generally, students start their program with the fall semester, but open enrollment is available to students with previous experience in either aviation or mechanics. FAA oral and practical tests are available on site and written tests are conducted at the nearby CATS testing center.
For more information about the AMT program at BRCC, contact Fred Dyen at email@example.com, or (540) 453-2306.