Spreading the Message

In an industry as dynamic as aviation, outreach to regulators and industry organizations is an important element to success. Many will agree that success of organizations that represent specific segments of any industry is their ability to work with other groups. Being an organization that represents aviation and in particular aircraft maintenance technicians, spreading the AMTSociety message through industry outreach is vital.

Recently I traveled to Washington, D.C., introducing myself as the new AMTSociety Executive Director to leading officials with the FAA. Steve Douglas, Manager of the Flight Standards Aircraft Maintenance Division, Kenneth Kerzner, Assistant Division Manager, and I spoke about the industry, a few topics relating to maintenance technician training, and the mission of AMTSociety.

It should come as no surprise, the FAA is currently consumed by budgetary issues and the effect of sequestration is yet to be determined. Douglas is well aware of the important efforts of AMTSociety and he expressed his interest in continuing to work with us to promote aircraft maintenance safety to our members and the industry.

I also met Marty Bailey from the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam). Marty and I discussed a number of activities relating to maintenance safety initiatives, and how the efforts of organizations such as ours promote aircraft maintenance safety to our members and the industry.

In addition to regulators I met with leaders from two respected industry organizations: the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) and the Regional Airline Association (RAA).

Executive Director Sarah MacLeod and Eric Byer, Vice President of Communications, Policy, and Planning, and I discussed a variety of topics relating to aircraft maintenance. As many of you know, ARSA is a leading association providing legislative, legal, and regulatory support to its repair station members. I always enjoy my discussions with Sarah and her no-nonsense views of the industry always spark thought-provoking discussion. Remember to read the ARSA Outlook column in Aircraft Maintenance Technology magazine every month.

The Regional Airline Association (RAA) represents regional airlines in North America, and the manufacturers of products that support regional airlines through any number of initiatives. Its annual convention is one of the best with any number of maintenance-related sessions, exhibitors, and maintenance attendees. Present during my visit with the RAA was President Roger Cohen, Senior Director Industry & Regulatory Affairs Liam Connelly, Director Safety and Technical Affairs Stacy Bechdolt, and Kelly Murphy with Emerald Media.

All of these meetings were highly successful and I came away with a greater appreciation of the value in building relationships with regulators and other aviation organizations. It’s important for our organization to hear from industry groups on maintenance-related matters of their members. Our relationships don’t end here. As an example, Jim Sparks, one of the AMTSociety Executive Committee members, is the incoming chairman of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Maintenance Committee. These are just a few examples of how AMTSociety will continue to spread our message through strengthening relationships with other organizations where mutual benefits for our members and the industry can be realized.

— Thank you, Ronald (Ron) Donner, AMTSociety Executive Director and Business Manager

Master Mechanic Awards

Dick Isbell received the Master Mechanic Award in January 2013. He started his aviation career in the Air Force (1962) and became an aircraft mechanic. Then he attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and obtained his A&P license.

His first job as a licensed mechanic was in Cleveland, OH, working for a schedule 135 operator called Air Commuter Airlines. Isbell was the night shift lead mechanic working on Twin Otters (DHC-6) and Beech 18s. This is when he meet Tom Hendershot who was a line captain. After 45 years he and Tom were reunited at the AMTSociety IA seminar in Houston, TX.

He is still actively engaged in aviation as a restorer of antique radial engines. He just finished restoring a Wright Cyclone R3350-32WA which he takes to various air shows around the Houston area.

Claude Thomas “Tommy” Redmon of Germanton received the Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award and the Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award on March 6, 2013. He attended college at Embry Riddle Aeronautical Institute in Miami, FL, and graduated in 1961. He worked and lived in a local funeral home in Miami, FL, to pay for his college. He also worked in tobacco fields to earn money to pay for his flying lessons. His first solo flight was on Sept. 3, 1969, in a Piper J-3 Cub. He earned his private pilot certificate in October 1960, and earned an A&P certificate in March 1961.

Robert Lawson of Hoffman Estates, IL, received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award from FAA Safety Team program manager Scott Landorf of the DuPage FSDO in September 2012. He received his A&P license in 1960 after having completed a degree in aviation maintenance from Purdue University. He worked as an aircraft mechanic for Continental Airlines for over 41 years and retired in 2002. He has continued to perform maintenance on Cessna 150 and Piper Turbo Arrow to the present.

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