Publisher's Sign-off

March 13, 2008
A Look at Critical Issues

This is my first column in my new role as publisher of AMT. I have worked for the magazine now for 10 years and it is a great honor to be in a position to continue the process of continued growth and leadership of this excellent magazine.

I want to assure you that Greg Napert is still here. Greg is our group publisher, and he will guide us and make sure that we deliver a magazine that addresses the critical issues of the aircraft maintenance professional.
Speaking of critical issues, the following is a list of what we believe you are concerned about. I need your input to see if we are right. You are the experts in the field doing the work and great work at that. Do we have the top five here? Are there other issues we need to talk about? Are some of these off the mark? Please take a few moments to read through these and tell me what you think.

Criminalization of mistakes: There has been a disturbing trend of criminalizing honest mistakes made by mechanics. Attorneys approach accidents with a shotgun approach, suing all manufacturers and people who touched the aircraft. Mechanics are often left without the resources to defend themselves and face suspension or revocation of their FAA certificates.

Lack of training: As companies cut budgets to meet revenue expectations, aircraft maintenance is often seen as a cost center and is the first to be cut. Training is often the first to go, forcing mechanics to either pay for training themselves or go without.

Shortage of qualified technicians: The turmoil in the airline industry over the past few years has led to thousands of displaced airline mechanics. Although the airlines have settled down, many of the displaced workers have left aviation for good, tired of the cyclical economic ups and downs. Many companies that are looking for experienced technicians are having a difficult time filling those jobs.

Offshoring work: The airlines continue to send more work to foreign repair stations. U.S.-based companies can’t compete with their foreign competitors because of an uneven playing field. Foreign repair stations see less oversight by the FAA and are not held to drug and alcohol testing standards.

Less students picking aircraft maintenance as a career: Fewer students are entering aircraft maintenance schools. They are attracted by other industries where higher pay, indoor work, and more opportunity for professional development are present.

You can email me at [email protected] or send a letter to:

Danny Faupel, AMT, 1233 Janesville Ave., Fort Atkinson, WI, 53538

Proud to know A&Ps,
Danny Faupel