AMTSociety ’s 2008 Maintenance Skills Competition Winners

DALLAS, TX - March 2008 - AMTSociety held its first Maintenance Skills Competition during the Aircraft Maintenance Summit at Aviation Industry Expo, March 18-20 in Dallas, TX.

AMTSociety’s Maintenance Skills Competition gives AMTs, both licensed and student A&P mechanics, and U.S. military personnel involved in the aircraft maintenance field, the opportunity to test their combined and individual abilities against their peers. Competitors have the chance to showcase their knowledge, skill, and integrity to help raise awareness of the training and skill needed for today’s aircraft maintenance technician to provide safe, airworthy aircraft. The competition featured both team and individual events.

A total of nine teams entered the first AMTSociety Maintenance Skills Competition which included 11 events. Taking first place was Continental Airlines. The Continental team included Rene Hansen, Brian Hall, Frank Dudek, Nagy Mouhanna, and coach Russell Petersen. Second place was won by Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) N.W. Region. The Aviation Institute of Maintenance entered four separate teams. The AIM NW team included Paulina Gregory, Eric Johanson, Don Nugent, Stephen Ritter, and coach Glori Berkel. Third place was awarded to American Airlines; the team was organized by Dave Hayden and included Phil Firmano, James Labrecque, Robinson Torres, and Joseph Haczela.

The individual event included 14 participants and featured three events, hardware identification, safety wiring and a written test of aviation’s first aircraft mechanic, Charles E. Taylor. The winner was Steven Orville from the Redstone College, LA Campus.

Other teams participating in the Maintenance Skills Competition:

• American Eagle: Hirmiz Mikhael, Shad Dell, Carlos Rivera, David Quiroga, and organizer Jose Galarza

AMTSociety’s Tulsa Chapter: Zack Philips, Sydney Pittsinger, Zachary Van Ness, Dustin Wise, and coach Dennis Hayes

• Redstone College: Manuel Moralas, Ernesto Contreras, Jesus Murillo, Paul Cselly, and coach Bob Drake

• AIM Atlanta: Lawrence Howell, Steven Morphew, William Nickelson, and Michael Ferenbaugh

• AIM Dallas: Joshua Smith, Paulo R. Salazar III, Mike Cassard, Lyndol Erwin, and coach John Brecher

• AIM S.W. Region: Alexis Martinez, Jessie Hall, Ryan Donk, Clint Eyke, and coach Glori Berkel

The team events included windshield inspection and drilling, sponsored by Perkins Aircraft Windows; hardware identification sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; safety wiring sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; avionics/electrical sponsored by Spirit Avionics; piston engine troubleshooting sponsored by Superior Air Parts; Gulfstream IV main wheel/brake removal and installation sponsored by Alberth Aviation; APU combuster assembly inspection and fiberscope sponsored by Dallas Airmotive; Charles E. Taylor written test sponsored by the Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Association; electrical troubleshooting sponsored by Duncan Aviation; avionics troubleshooting sponsored by CAE SimuFlite; and composite repair sponsored by Tarrant County College.

Sponsors and judges for the events were:

• Windshield: Perkins Aircraft Windows with Brendan McMahon, Stella Rodrigues, and Austin Perkins as judges

• Safety Wiring: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with Joe Hawkins, AMTSociety Director, judging for the team competition and Curtis Johnston from ERAU judging the individual competition

• Hardware: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with Max Henderson judging the team competition and Gary Goodpaster, AMTSociety Director, judging the individual competition

• Avionics/Electrical: Spirit Avionics with Rick Ochs and Justin Hahn as judges

• Piston Engine: Bill Peterson, Superior Air Parts, and Bill Blackwood as judge

• Gulfstream IV: Alberth Aviation with Rudy Alberth and Peter Zeeb, AMTSociety Board Chairman, as judges

• APU: Dallas Airmotive with Jeff Clarke as judge

• Charles E. Taylor written test: AMTA with Aaron Klippel judging the team competition and Brian D. Richardson, Director of Archaeology, Colorado Aviation Historical Society judging the individual competition

• Electrical Troubleshooting: Duncan Aviation with Sean Davenport as judge

• Avionics Troubleshooting: CAE SimuFlite with Jim Cameron as judge

• Composite Panel Inspection: Tarrant County College with Jason Ramos as judge

Plaques and Snap-on Tools were awarded to the winners. The funds raised from the event go to the Northrop-Rice Foundation for AMTScholarship Awards: the Charles E. Taylor Scholarship for $1,500 and the William F. O’Brien Scholarship for $1,000.

Ken MacTiernan, who co-chaired the event with George Miller Jr., explained to participants, “The name AMTSociety was chosen to represent mechanics. It’s not about one individual, one company, or one organization. Like the industry, it’s many different people and many different companies.” In announcing the winners, MacTiernan said, “There are no winners or losers as the participants competing in the Maintenance Skills Competition, both student and licensed AMTs, are the epitome of what today’s AMT represents, the skills and training required to serve the industry and the unyielding commitment to support the role of aircraft maintenance technicians. With the various people, companies, and organizations participating in the event it was a success.”

The Maintenance Skills Competition features divisions for both individuals and teams of AMTs. Teams consist of four AMTs or students with a fifth member being added in the role of a coach. The coach may not physically compete in any event but rather offer verbal assistance and support much like a lead mechanic or crew chief would out on the line. The next Maintenance Skills Competition will be held in Las Vegas during Aviation Industry Expo, March 10-12, 2009. Any licensed A&P mechanic involved in, and/or supporting aircraft maintenance functions at any organization, company or corporation may enter. Any currently enrolled student in an authorized Part 147 school may enter as well. The Maintenance Skills Competition is also open to any member of the U.S. Armed Forces involved in the aircraft maintenance field. Membership in the AMTSociety is not necessary to apply. For more information visit

AMTSociety was formed in 2005 by AMT magazine as an affinity group to provide online certification testing and renewal programs and provide benefits and industry resources to members. It was made a full-fledged association in December 2006. Tom Hendershot was hired as the executive director in January 2007 and the board of directors was also formed. The AMTSociety board of directors includes board chair Peter Zeeb, Kevin D. Curry, Joe Escobar, Gary Goodpaster, Joe Hawkins, Stan Mackiewicz, Ken MacTiernan, George R. Miller Jr., and Greg Napert. AMTSociety has more than 30 corporate sponsors, 13 student chapters, three local chapters, and more than 3,000 members.