Cool Events to See at the AMC

March 15, 2019
Competitors will tackle 31 events in the AMC; new challenges to troubleshoot, analyze, and repair

Being an aircraft technician means you’ll likely never be bored on the job. Each day brings new challenges to troubleshoot, analyze and repair.

Competitors will be facing those three objectives as they tackle the 31 events in the Aerospace Maintenance Competition Presented by Snap-on (AMC). Coinciding with the MRO Americas convention, April 8-11 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, the AMC (( is a true test of maintenance skills.

Ninety maintenance teams from around the world will have 15 minutes to complete each of the 31 events. Here’s a sneak peek at five of the challenges that await the competitors.

Airframe Damage Inspection - Sponsored by 8tree and Alaska Airlines

Reliable and accurate dent mapping on an aircraft skin occurs under immense time pressure, especially in a line environment. The Sheet Metal Inspection event, sponsored by 8Tree and Alaska Airlines, simulates those same measurement and time challenges in a real-life dent mapping activity.

Each two-member team measures the dent and decides whether it is within allowable limits. They are provided with two sets of tools:

·  Traditional measurement tools such as the depth micrometer, 6-inch  ruler, and flashlight

·  A new handheld inspection technology tool, called dentCHECK, which is a unique addition to the competition.

Created by 8Tree, the dentCHECK tool helps technicians quickly and accurately map dents. It is approved by major OEMs and is currently used by several major MROs, airlines, and OEMs in line, base and aircraft-on-ground environments. With one button, dentCHECK delivers ‘go/no-go’ answers in real-time using augmented reality (AR) to superimpose results on the skin of the aircraft.

Improper dent-measurement compromises safety. By stressing proper measurement techniques, this event shows the subjectivity and inconsistency inherent in traditional measurement methods, while showcasing the reliably consistent and accurate measurements delivered by new technologies like dentCHECK.

To be successful, teams must complete the inspection process correctly and efficiently. However, reckless speed, paired with incorrect measurement technique and improper tool handling will degrade the accuracy and quality of the inspection. Participants must follow prescribed procedure and handling guidelines that are meant to encourage teamwork, strengthen effective communication, and foster a safe work environment.

ADS-B Troubleshooting - Sponsored by JetBlue University

Technicians use modern test equipment, such as the IFR 6000 by Aeroflex, to validate proper operation and reporting. All aircraft operating in regulated airspace will need to comply with these upcoming regulations by 2020. For the ADS-B Troubleshooting event, sponsored by JetBlue University, each two-member team will set up the mock aircraft to be tested and demonstrate proper testing procedures and document results for completion. The goal of the event is to raise awareness and prepare technicians for the challenges they will face in the field.

The electronic flight instrument panel is set up with GPS and encoder simulators to represent a working modern flight deck. Technicians are tasked with using modern test equipment (the Aeroflex IFR 6000 and the Aeroflex GPSG-1000 Simulator) to validate proper operation and reporting. Troubleshooting categories include aircraft identity, altitude, and position.

To be successful, teams must use their equipment to validate proper operation and reporting on their simulated flight deck. Through deductive reasoning, they follow procedures to classify the trouble, isolate its location, correct the trouble, and conduct a final operational check.

E-Drill Fastener Removal – Sponsored by Perfect Point

The E-Drill Fastener Removal event, sponsored by Perfect Point, tests a technician’s ability and speed when removing titanium fasteners from an aircraft structure. This is a required process in aircraft lifecycle maintenance, but the industry hasn’t seen significant disruption for the last 50 years. It’s a time-consuming task that, if done improperly, can lead to costly damage.

The event requires technicians to each remove five fasteners using a Perfect Point E-Drill, and one fastener using a standard twist drill. Fasteners are of a blind-bolt configuration and exact part numbers are presented at the competition.

Each one- or two-person team will remove one of the industry’s most difficult-to-remove fasteners from a recently refurbished Global 5000 inboard flap. In the first phase, technicians will use industry standard tools and best practices to remove a single fastener. Those traditional tools include ball grinders, pneumatic drills, cobalt drill bits, and parallel punches.

Following this, the technicians will use an E-Drill to remove five additional fasteners. Typically, an E-Drill is five times faster than traditional methods, far less likely to damage aircraft structures, and is less strenuous on the technician. An E-Drill can cut down fastener removal process time significantly, while reducing FOD and protecting both the worker and the aircraft.

To be successful, teams need to be proficient in removing Composi-Lok style flush fasteners by mechanical methods, and they need a basic understanding of how to use the E-Drill tool. Job cards for both methods will be provided during the preparation time and during the event. Points are accrued for process time, quality and the ability to complete the task.

Thermal Imaging – Sponsored by Barfield

The Thermal Imaging event, sponsored by Barfield, tests the skills of each team in troubleshooting an aircraft pitot-static system. Technicians need to fully understand a basic aircraft pitot-static system and the potential issues that could be found.

The two-member team will leak test both the pitot and static system, record the results, and make sure they are within tolerance levels. They will also isolate, ID, and document any trouble they find. The faults found during this timed procedure will test each team’s overall knowledge and skill.

GTF Engine ACC Valve Task – Sponsored by Pratt & Whitney

Helping to launch a new generation of commercial aircraft, the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine brings game-changing performance to the table. Ranging from 14,000 to 33,000 pounds of thrust, the GTF engine powers five new aircraft platforms and connects families around the world.

In this year’s competition, the GTF Engine ACC Valve Task event, sponsored by Pratt & Whitney, features its PW1100G-JM GTF engine model utilized on the Airbus A320neo family of aircraft. The task involves the removal, inspection, and replacement of an Active Clearance Control (ACC) valve installed on the engine, which aids in the 16 percent reduction in fuel burn observed by operators.

In order to be successful in this two-person task, teams should focus on teamwork in addition to proper use of the provided hand tools. This task highlights the ease of maintenance of the GTF engine, with a focus on line replaceable units.

Admission to the AMC is free with your MRO Americas convention credentials. If you’re in Atlanta next month, check out these and other AMC competitions … and cheer on the contending men and women working to keep air travel safe and secure.

Mike Isaacson is a senior account executive at LePoidevin Marketing, a Brookfield, Wisconsin-based business-to-business marketing firm that specializes in the tooling and aerospace industries. He can be reached at [email protected]; 262-754-9550;