AviationPros LIVE 2013 Highlights

April 17, 2013
Products and people, plus live webcasting enlivened this year's show.

We held our AviationPros LIVE event last month in Las Vegas, NV. Here are a few highlights:

New Products

  • Harlan Global Manufacturing, unveiled its latest model on the last day of the show. The Trans-Con Model HTSB is available with U.S./Euro emission-compliant engines. The compact tractor offers a shorter wheelbase and low profile design with excellent all-around visibility. Designed for heavy-duty cargo and baggage operations, this unit can also be used for pushbacks of small aircraft (with the front hitch option package). Available options include complete cab assembly, heat/defrost, mirrors, beacons, variety of hitches, suspension style to name a few.
  • Corvus Energy displayed one of 21 baggage tractors Spirit Airlines will retrofit with Corvus’ CorPower lithium electric GSE retrofit kits. Spirit estimates a fuel reduction savings of 25,000 gallons of gasoline per year, resulting in reduction of greenhouse gasses by an estimated 243 tons of carbon.
  • Man Lift Engineering displayed Proxy Shield, technology that can be installed on most any scissor lift that stops the lift and alerts the operator when distance between the lift and an object becomes too close.
  • Clyde Machines Inc. displayed its new Maintenance Stand that features non-slip, self-cleaning steps and platform floor with a 500-pound capacity. Heavy-duty casters and 16-inch solid tires make it easy to move. Upper-platform railings can be lifted out and store below. Mid-platform railings can be easily swung down and out of the way. Platform heights are 57, 75 and 86 inches.
  • Liquip International released its new Power TORQUE™ aviation fueling technology designed to significantly reduce both ongoing operational and maintenance costs associated with aviation refueling trucks.
  • Page Industries, one of those new “old” names, displayed a range of ground power, PCA products. Although the business was started in 1976, much of its equipment was sold as private label. That strategy changed just last year. Along with new product, we saw some old faces, namely Brian Piety, executive vice president, and Dale Miller, vice president.

New Leaders

Ground Support Worldwide honored its winners of three Ground Support Leaders of the Year awards during a Keynote Reception, March 13:

  • Product Leader: Tronair for its Softcapture™ feature on its Jetporter line. The Softcapture tows aircraft without straps and without touching the oleo strut or any part of the nose landing gear, and driver never leaves the cockpit. Throttle speed limit safety switch reduces speed when approaching the aircraft. Forward motion safety switch disengages the throttle when the forward motion safety bar contacts the nose tire.
  • Team Leader: Travis Blair, managing director, Ground Support/Administration for American Eagle Airlines. Otherwise known as “The GSE Cowboy,” Blair has been an industry leader for the past 15 years maintaining ramp equipment.
  • Lifetime Achievement: Bill Biermann retired last December after more than six decades of working in the aviation industry. Biermann took his first job in 1951 as a field agent for Pan American World Airways. Years later, he implemented a program in 1979 for the operation of 600 electric bag tractors for Eastern Airlines. Ultimately, Biermann wrapped up his long career at Charlatte of America in 1995.

Read more about the Softcapture Jetporter on page 6. We’ll also publish cover stories on Blair in our May issue, and on Biermann in our June/July issue.

20th Birthday

We threw a party for ourselves to mark 20 years publishing the leading voice of the ground support community. We had our February cover story on “The History Of Ground Support Equipment,” blown up to form a 7-foot tall display.
We also arranged for Chuck Maire, a retired Northwest Airlines captain who is also the chairman of the National Museum of Commercial Aviation. Maire had a chance to discuss his museum, which in the process of developing its own history of GSE. The last we heard the museum might be receiving an old jetbridge from Ameribridge. We do know that our big display was shipped off to the museum after the show.

Live Streaming

For the first time, we provide live webcasting of the AMT Society Maintenance Skills Competition. We were able to provide live webcasting of the events throughout the show, plus sponsor Snap-On Industrial also caught the interest of the local FOX news channel to come out and do a live report.
Finally, we tweeted highlights of the competition and received many responses posted to AviationPros.com, including:

  • “What a fantastic representation of our profession!! I wish that EVERY person who has EVER flown an airplane and not given a second thought to what goes into maintaining it could see this competition.”
  • “Gentlemen, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for representing WestJet in the 2013 AMT Skills Competition. I truly hope you all enjoy this experience, have fun and create new friendships / contacts with your fellow participants.”

Check out #AMTS2013MSC for more congrats.

A list of winners this year is as follows:

Commercial Aviation Category

  • 1st Place: FedEx Team LAX
  • 2nd Place: FedEx Team INDY
  • 3rd Place: UPS

MRO/OEM Category

  • 1st Place: Team Boeing
  • 2nd Place: TIMCO
  • 3rd Place: Lode Technology

School Category

  • 1st Place: Team Redstone College
  • 2nd Place: Spartan College of Aerospace & Technology
  • Salt Lake Community College
  • 3rd Place: Aviation Institute of Maintenance Team Dallas

(NOTE: The 2013 AMTS MSC is the first year of the six years of competition that there was a tie for 2nd Place.)
Military Category

  • 1st Place: United States Coast Guard

General Aviation Category:

  • 1st Place: Constant Aviation

The William F. “Bill” O’Brien Award for Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance, which is earned by the team with the lowest overall score, was given to the FedEx Team LAX.
The AMTSociety also presented the Charles E. Taylor Professional AMT Award, which is given to the single most professional looking, professional acting and highest team spirited competitors to United States Coast Guardsman AET 2 Michael Bosch from Air Station Clearwater FL.

Make A Date

We’ll be holding next year’s AviationPros LIVE, March 25-26 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV.

About the Author

Steve Smith | Editor