PAMA Headquarters - January 2007


From the President - Brian Finnegan, A&P

SAE International and PAMA Announce New Maintenance Certification Program
Under the auspices of the SAE Institute, PAMA, in its affiliation with SAE International and the Performance Review Institute (PRI), has committed to develop a comprehensive safety and quality certification program for aviation maintenance professionals. Organized into a series three certification groups, Technician, Professional, and Leadership, our inaugural certification will establish and validate basic aviation maintenance skills for the entry-level technician, both FAA certificated and non-certificated.

PAMA's SAE Institute program will create a path for energetic, young students and others to learn about and embark along their chosen aviation maintenance career path. The program will also document training throughout one's career, provide a menu of career options to follow, and establish industry consensus standards for many essential specialties and disciplines that are currently left to individual maintenance shops and training providers.

Details on the certification and its future will be forthcoming over the next few months. Please stay tuned for updates on these exciting and important new developments.

Wanted: PAMA/SAE Certification Program Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
To develop our standards of excellence, PAMA/SAE needs FAA certificated A&P Mechanics to participate in the development of our industry consensus standards.

  • Test Definition - 12-15 professionals - Conference Call
  • Job Task Analysis - 12-15 people for 3-day Workshop
  • Test Item Writing Workshop - 12-15 people for 3-day Workshop
  • Virtual Technical Review - 12-15 professionals - Conference Call
  • Certification Beta Testing - 200-plus industry professionals - Take initial test

All Subject Matter Experts will be selected from the SAE International Aerospace Maintenance Committee, chaired by the Honorable John J. Goglia, PAMA Vice President, Government and Industry Relations, and former Member, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The SAE International Maintenance Committee is open to all interested maintenance professionals. The members of the prestigious Aviation Maintenance Certification Standards Committee will be chosen from the members of the SAE International Aerospace Maintenance Committee.

The Honor of Selection - We Invite you to Join
It is important we attract as many qualified professionals, both highly experienced and those certificated in the recent past, to donate their time and expertise to the Aviation Maintenance Certification Standards Committee. In addition to providing widespread industry recognition for all participants, to encourage and enable active participation, PAMA/SAE, through the SAE Institute, will cover all travel, hotel and meal expenses, as necessary, for those selected to participate in our Job Task Analysis and Test Item Writing workshops.

Joining the SAE International Aerospace Maintenance Committee
The SAE International Aerospace Maintenance Committee is open to all. To be included as a member, please forward your name and contact information to Frank Bokulich, SAE Standards, at If you are interested in participating in either or both of the Job Task Analysis and the Test Item Writing workshops, please provide a paragraph identifying your experience and why you would like to participate. Remember: we need both highly experienced (10+ years) and less experienced (2-3 years) individuals to participate.

Timeframe...and the Future of PAMA/SAE Certification
Once we get underway in February, we will complete our work rather quickly with both workshops completed by late April. We expect the remainder of the certification, including Beta Testing, to be completed by the end of summer with official launch of our first Certification Test in October. PAMA, SAE International, and PRI, through our Aviation Maintenance Certification Committee, will continue developing safety and quality certification standards which add depth, stability, portability, and professionalism to our careers.

Opportunities for Corporate Partners and Underwriters
PAMA/SAE will soon unveil a system of corporate partnerships to allow maintenance providers, training providers, manufacturers, insurers and others to align themselves with our new standard of safety and quality certification.

We are all very enthusiastic about the opportunities that await us with this new initiative and we seek your input and suggestions at any time. Please feel free to writ me directly at

Stay Strong!

Aviation Maintenance Safety "News of Note"

Charter flight safety at issue in crash suit
NEW HAVEN, Conn.(AP) - Travelers who pay a premium for the convenience of charter air travel could unknowingly end up on a flight without direct federal oversight. That fact is central to a lawsuit filed by NBC Sports executive Dick Ebersol and actress Susan St. James over the 2004 crash that killed their teenage son.

Charter flights have gained in popularity among executives and the wealthy as an alternative to the long lines for commercial flights. They have become safer in the last two decades, but the accident rate is still higher than for commercial airlines.

Not all charter operations are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. Those outside the FAA umbrella aren't required to give flight crews the same training required of certified companies, and it isn't always obvious which aren't certified. In Ebersol's case, the family says it wasn't told that charter operator Key Air had hired another operator, Air Castle of Millville, N.J., to make the flight. Just before takeoff from Montrose, Colo., on Nov. 28, 2004, Ebersol saw slush sliding off the fuselage. Moments later, the plane crashed, killing his 14-year-old son, Edward "Teddy" Ebersol, the pilot and a flight attendant. According to the Ebersol lawsuit, the Air Castle pilots were unqualified to fly in the weather when the plane crashed.

"This is an issue Dick Ebersol thinks needs to be at the forefront of commercial aviation in America," said his attorney, Robert Clifford.

Air Castle officials declined to comment. Key Air Chief Executive Brad Kost said Air Castle had an excellent reputation and the crew possessed all the required certificates.

Doug Carr, vice president of safety for the National Business Aviation Association, which claims 7,000 members, said charter flights are not inherently more dangerous, but he said some charter operators rely on planes that are more susceptible to poor weather and higher altitudes.

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded in May that the pilot's failure to carefully examine the wings for icing probably caused the crash that killed Ebersol's son.

Board members agreed that the pilots should have taken several safety precautions before flying in icing conditions and that their lack of experience in such weather contributed to the crash. They are now urging the FAA to require more training for charter crews and better disclosure to customers.

The safety board also cited a 2005 charter jet crash in New Jersey that injured 10 people as a need for reform.

In that case, a small jet was unable to get airborne and overran a runway at Teterboro Airport because the flight crew failed to properly calculate the plane's center of gravity.

Chalk's pilots feared the 'inevitable' before crash
A year after the deadly Chalk's seaplane crash in Miami, it's clear that some of the airline's pilots were worried about plane maintenance. In November 2004, the cable controlling the pitch of a Chalk's Airways seaplane snapped as it climbed 1,000 feet over Nassau Harbor with 16 passengers aboard.

Capt. Jai Guidry radioed an emergency to Nassau airport, warned them to have firetrucks standing by and -- with only minimal control of the tail wing -- managed to land without serious damage to the plane or the passengers. Then he resigned.

Guidry had just received a job offer from another airline. But two of Chalk's other six captains would resign in the months ahead without other jobs to go to. Both cited similarly terrifying near-misses, and what they called the company's miserly approach to maintaining its beautiful, but aging, World War II-era seaplanes. One warned in his resignation letter of "inevitable" disaster.

A year ago today, a wing snapped off a Chalk's plane as it climbed over Government Cut in Miami on its way to Bimini in the Bahamas. Both pilots and 18 passengers died instantly when the nearly five-ton fuselage slammed into the water off South Beach.

The National Transportation Safety Board has not announced an official cause of the crash yet. But when investigators pulled the charred, severed wing from the water, they immediately noticed a "fatigue crack" on a wing spar -- a crucial support structure connecting the wing to the fuselage. So far, the crack is the only possible cause of the crash investigators have discussed publicly.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, which approves standards for maintenance and inspection, would not say on Monday how frequently such spars had to be inspected on the old planes. "That's not considered a public document," said spokesman Les Door, suggesting a reporter check with the airline.

"I don't have time to talk to you right now, I'm very busy. I'm trying to be polite," said Chalk's owner Jim Confalone.

After the crash, however, the FAA required a detailed inspection of the spars on all remaining Grumman G-73T Turbo Mallards -- most of which are owned by wealthy history buffs. Chalk's was the only airline using them.

But to do those inspections, owners would have to peel the metal skin from the wings, which could cost more than the planes are worth. In recent days, Chalk's has requested an FAA review of an alternative method for performing the inspections, Door said.

After Guidry's near-miss, the company told pilots that the corroded cable broke in a place that was difficult to inspect -- where 17 screws had to be taken out to remove a panel covering it, according to a resignation letter written by fellow Capt. Grady Washatka.

Costs have been a major hurdle for the often cash-strapped airline since Confalone bought it out of bankruptcy in 1999.

When Capt. Eric Weber went to work for Chalk's in April 2001, he was impressed with the company's maintenance program, which included 12 mechanics, he told NTSB investigators. By late 2004, the company had half that number of mechanics, Weber said.

After the Miami crash, former pilot Washatka told investigators that in October 2004, a mechanic said the maintenance department was not allowed to buy any new parts for the rest of the year.


The reported decline in maintenance coincided with a series of frightening in-flight problems.

On Jan. 16, 2005, Weber was flying from Fort Lauderdale to Paradise Island in the Bahamas at low altitude -- 1,500 feet -- when he noticed that the left engine was slowly losing power. The problem only lasted about 15 seconds, but Weber put the plane down on Bimini Island.

On Feb. 12, Weber was climbing 8,900 feet in the same twin-engined aircraft when one of the power plants suddenly stopped. A key section of the engine had "disintegrated," an NTSB report said.

After his second emergency landing on Bimini in less than a month, Weber "took several days off from work, thought about things, and resigned from Chalk's," the report said.

Both emergencies happened in the plane that later crashed on Dec. 19, 2005. That same plane, which carried tail No. N2969, had a history of leaks from its wings, which served as giant fuel tanks.

Cracks and missing rivets on the right wing had become such a concern for pilots in the fall of 2004 that a group of pilots took the company's director of operations, Roger Nair, to the hangar and pointed them out from the top of a ladder, Washatka told the NTSB.

Nair promised to have them all fixed, according to an NTSB report.

"Airplane N2969 was the focus of concern for structural issues," investigators noted.

Chalk's mechanics repaired corrosion on the doomed plane's right wing spars in 1991, and on the left wing in 1992, FAA records show. Chalk's repaired a cracked rod in the right wing in 2000.

Chalk's other planes also had problems. Weber told investigators he often noticed leaks along rivets under the right wing of tail No. N142PA, and in ''a pocket where the wing and fuselage meet."

After complaining about the same problem several times in January 2005, former Chalk's First Officer Robert Lutz found a rag stuffed into a leak at the crucial juncture of the wing and fuselage. His captain that day, Washatka, refused to fly the plane.

Nair "said he was sure that the rag was a mistake" and promised a more permanent solution to the problem, Washatka told investigators.

Nair did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Washatka, who told investigators that Nair threatened to discipline him for pointing out so many maintenance problems, warned of impending disaster in his January 2005 resignation letter.


But not all the pilots were as concerned.

First Officer Paul DeSanctis was reportedly in a great mood as he waited for a morning fog to burn off on Dec. 19, 2005. The 34-year-old former high school football player had worked his way through several attempts at college, then flight lessons, at a buddy's heating and plumbing business in Reading, Pa.

He had started at Chalk's in April 2005 and enjoyed the job, despite the low pay, said his father, Joe DeSanctis.

Capt. Michele Marks, 37, had just skippered a 38-foot sailboat from Naples to Vero Beach with her husband. It was no pleasure cruise. They were in the midst of a divorce, and the boat was for him to live on, her father said. The passage had been choppy.

Her job, which she adored for its combination of boating and hands-on flying -- no autopilot -- had become complicated, too. She had begun to worry constantly about maintenance troubles, her ex-husband told investigators after the crash.

The flight from Watson Island to Bimini that afternoon was straight and level -- there should have been no undue stress on the wing, Guidry told investigators.

Still, at 2:39 p.m., as a tourist on South Beach trained his video camera on the iconic plane climbing into the sky, the right wing tore off in a blur of orange flame and black smoke. The fuselage remained largely intact until it slammed into the water.

Marks' father, Jack McCormick, watched the live coverage on CNN. "At first, they kept talking about survivors," he remembered from the hours spent staring at his TV. 'She was such a strong swimmer, I actually caught myself thinking, 'Maybe.' It was terrible."

NTSB Calls For New Oil Guidelines After 2003 Engine Failure
Switching Types Led To Coke Formation In A330's Turbines In its latest round of recommendations for the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday asked the FAA to amend its guidelines for engine oil use, and inspections when a new type of oil is used.

The recommendations come after an Edelweiss Air Airbus A330-200 experienced an uncontained turbine blade release from its No. 1 (left) Rolls-Royce Trent 772-60/16 turbofan engine, while climbing through FL230 after departing from Miami International Airport in October 2003. The flight crew declared an emergency and returned to Miami, where the pilots successfully landed the airplane. No injuries to the 12 crewmembers or 171 passengers were reported.

While the NTSB says the engine fire made it nearly impossible to examine the No. 1 engine, a borescope inspection of the No. 2 engine revealed the HP/IP turbine bearing chamber internal vent tube was obstructed with a black substance, later determined to be nodules of carbon deposits (also known as coke) left from the engine's lubricating oil. Such nodules aren't uncommon, but the engine showed a much greater amount of deposits than was considered normal.

Investigators then learned the airline had recently changed engine oil types... and the pieces started to fall into place. Based on its findings, the NTSB recommends the FAA:

Revise Advisory Circular (AC) 20-24B to include guidance to ensure that each time a new engine/oil combination is introduced, procedures are developed and implemented to inspect, at appropriate intervals, those areas within the engine where testing or in-service experience has indicated porous carbon formation is likely and has the potential to result in hazardous oil system or engine behavior. AC 20-24B should also provide criteria for evaluating the results of these engine inspections to aid operators in determining whether continued operation is safe or whether the engine/oil combination should be discontinued.

(A-06-85) Review the maintenance programs for all engine and oil combinations currently in service, with particular emphasis on the evaluation of airplanes approved for extended-range operation with two engines, to determine that operators have gathered and evaluated sufficient data, including operational experience and engine hardware disassembly inspection findings, to ensure that these combinations are not at risk of producing potentially hazardous porous-coke conditions. If such data do not exist or are insufficient, require operators to implement appropriate measures, including periodic inspections, to collect and evaluate the necessary data until the safety risk associated with the presence of porous coke is either ruled out or properly controlled.

(A-06-86) Coordinate with international regulatory agencies to inform them of the circumstances of the event involving Edelweiss Air flight EDW 565 and to encourage them to develop and adopt comprehensive standards and procedures regarding the introduction of new engine/oil combinations, including the inspection at appropriate intervals of those areas within the engine where testing or in-service experience has indicated porous carbon formation is likely and has the potential to result in a hazardous engine condition. This coordination effort should also ensure that sufficient data, including operational experience and engine hardware disassembly inspection findings, have been gathered and analyzed, with particular emphasis on airplanes approved for extended-range operation with two engines, to support continued operation of engine/oil combinations. (A-06-87)

Criminalizing Aviation Accidents Only Assures Repeats
Dec. 7, 2006— On the clear, late afternoon of Sept. 29 , two sophisticated jets approached each other along an airway known as UZ6. Their combined speed was in excess of a 1,000 miles per hour. Both were at 37,000 feet over the Amazon jungle, and neither set of pilots were aware of the other.

No alarms went off. No air traffic control warnings were given. And no rules were broken because both crews had climbed to their assigned altitude.

In a micro-second, the left, upturned "winglet" of the brand-new Embraer Legacy 600 business jet sliced into the left wing of the Boeing 737. The Embraer's pilots knew only that an explosive force of some sort had rocked them, and that they now had a marginally controllable airplane.

For the pilots of the commercial airline flight known as Gol 1907, however, the situation was far worse. Their essentially new Boeing 737 was becoming uncontrollable. As the business jet they'd hit limped toward an emergency landing, the 737 impacted the dense forest below. All 137 people aboard died.

Within hours of the crippled business jet's safe landing at an airfield just north of the collision point, the Brazilian government began investigating the accident with a painfully obvious emphasis on finding someone to blame, rather than finding an explanation for the tragedy.

The passengers and owner of the damaged Embraer 600 — held and questioned for 36 hours — were eventually released.

But even as another arm of the Brazilian government began to suspect that the crash had been nothing more than a tragic accident and not a result of any purposeful or negligent act by either set of pilots, an overzealous prosecutor was asking a Brazilian court for authority to confiscate the U.S. passports of the two American pilots.

In the weeks afterward, Brazilian authorities confronted the truth — that their own air traffic controllers had made a massive human error by placing the two jets at the same altitude in opposite directions along the same airway.

Yet no effort was made to present that evidence to the court and release the crew. Instead, the two American pilots — both personally devastated over the loss of the 737 — found themselves threatened with prosecution for 137 counts of manslaughter.

Beyond the outrage that Brazilian officials have richly earned, Brazil's willingness to criminalize an aviation accident also dealt a serious blow to aviation safety worldwide. Why? Because most air accidents result from unintended human mistakes, and the only way we find out about such mistakes, and give ourselves the chance to change our human systems in order to prevent further incidents, is by asking surviving crew members to speak openly.

But, if telling the truth about your own errors may land you in prison and ruin your life, who in their right mind would rush to give a prosecutor information that could be used against you? The result is that the mere threat of criminal prosecution for mistakes made in the cockpit (or the maintenance hangar or the control tower) utterly shuts down the flow of vital safety information we need.

When a pilot flagrantly disregards rules or procedures or instructions and knowingly puts his or her passengers and the public below at risk, it's "pilot error."

When a pilot fails because he or she is human — failures such as starting a takeoff on a runway clearly too short to sustain flight (such as in Lexington, Ky., earlier this year) — the problem is "human error." The two are markedly different.

Human error problems account for more than 85 percent of all aviation accidents. Disasters often result from pilots being imperfect, making mistakes despite their best efforts. Blaming humans for being human is at once absurd and wholly ineffective in preventing accidents.

The best way to prevent the same human errors from happening in the future is to understand everything we can about how the system supported the error, and then change that system to safely absorb such errors.

Criminal prosecution of pilots for making human errors only shuts down the flow of information we need to get even safer; it does nothing to prevent recurrences.

This does not mean that a pilot who purposefully does something unsafe (such as drink and fly) should not be held criminally liable. Subjecting such fringe-element airmen to prosecution in no way worries the 99-plus percent who would never do such things.

But equating human mistake with crime, as some nations have tried to do too often over the years, is a trend that must be stopped cold.

As the internationally respected Flight Safety Foundation said just this week in a joint resolution issued in response to Brazil's outrageous behavior: "...criminal investigations and prosecutions in the wake of aviation accidents can interfere with the efficient and effective investigation of accidents and prevent the timely and accurate determination of probable cause and issuance of recommendations to prevent recurrence."

Toyota engineer who helped develop Prius dies in plane crash
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Toyota executive engineer described as the "American father of the Prius" and who was among the country's top experts on gas-electric hybrid vehicles died in a plane crash, officials said Sunday, November 26. David Hermance, 59, was piloting an experimental plane when it went down Saturday afternoon about 50 yards off Los Angeles' San Pedro area.

A search team found the wreckage of the two-passenger Interavia E-3 aircraft submerged in 60 feet of water Sunday morning, county Fire Capt. Mark Savage said. "The plane was coming straight down, like it couldn't pull out of a steep dive, and it just hit the water," a witness, Rick Wadlow of Palos Verdes, told KABC-TV.

Hermance was executive engineer for Advanced Technology Vehicles at Toyota's(TM) technical center in the Los Angeles area, company spokesman Mike Michels said. There, he was key in developing the gas-electric Prius and bringing it to the American market, where it gained popularity for its fuel efficiency.

While much of the car's technology was developed in Japan, Hermance was perhaps the "American father of the Prius" for his tireless work evaluating and promoting it in the U.S., longtime colleague Bill Reinert said.

"When that car came out, no one knew what it was," said Reinert, a Toyota national manager. "Dave dedicated his life to championing this technology." Hermance joined Toyota in 1991 as a senior manager, the became a general manager in the company's powertrain department. Before that, he worked for General Motors.

"He was widely recognized as the most authoritative individual on hybrid power vehicles in the U.S.," Michels said. Hermance, who was married with two grown children, was believed to be the only person aboard the plane. His single-engine plane is classified as experimental by the Federal Aviation Administration. It is based on a Russian design and often is used in aerobatics.

The plane may have taken off from Long Beach but it was unclear where it was heading, Savage said. The plane was built in 1993 and registered to Yakety Yak, Inc., in Wilmington, Del., the FAA said.

Delta Recalling Additional Maintenance Staff
In Addition To Previous Call-Backs of Pilots and FAs, Delta Air Lines has announced plans to recall approximately 700 additional maintenance employees beginning in mid-December. This latest recall expands on the approximately 200 previously furloughed maintenance employees that have been recalled during the last few months.

"Our plan is working. Our goals continue to be profitable growth and expansion as we work towards becoming a world-class maintenance service provider," said Tony Charaf, senior vice president of Technical Operations.

"TechOps is in a position to achieve profitable growth and is already exceeding insourcing expectations for next year."

"The Technical Operations division has worked very hard to become competitive in the core aspects of the maintenance service business, and the recall of 700 maintenance professionals shows the significant progress they have made," said Jim Whitehurst, Delta's chief operating officer.

Earlier this month, Delta announced a recall of 1,000 flight attendants, in addition to the more than 200 who were recalled in September. Also in September, Delta announced its second pilot recall of 2006, with a total of approximately 130 pilots recalled this year. The company expects an additional pilot recall this year and is hiring in its Airport Customer Service and Reservations divisions.

Delta notes that it, "continues to make significant progress in all areas of its restructuring and remains on track to emerge from Chapter 11 during the first half of 2007 as a stand-alone carrier."


Airplane parts 'could be RFID tagged' Back to News
Researchers at Boeing and Airbus are proposing RFID tags on airplane parts in order to speed up inventory and lifespan management checks. It is hoped that inspection teams with handheld readers will be able to collect data from parts with RFID tags, which will help to reduce ground inspections and flight delays, reports IT World.

"These tags will allow ground crews to check the remaining life span of parts without having to open access panels or do visual inspection," said Boeing's Kenneth Porad.

"It's a read and write technology that can allow personnel, based on security clearance, to input data," he added.

A further advantage is that the tag will contain a service history as it goes through its life cycle.

Art Smith, from Electronic Product Code global, is reported by IT World as saying that RFID tags provide "an electronic trail" that "can precisely tell the repair crew which part should go where".

TUV Product Service, part of the T�V S�D Group of companies with 1bn Euros turnover, in excess of 9,500 employees and 500 locations worldwide, is a leading provider of Compliance and Assurance Solutions for the RFID sector.

Please contact us ( for further information.

NASA aviation safety system turns 30
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System is now 30 years old and widely used by pilots and other airline employees to identify potential safety hazards. Established in 1975 in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration, the confidential reporting system collects, analyzes and responds to voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident reports.

"Since the implementation of the Aviation Safety Reporting System in 1976, more than 474,000 reports have been submitted by pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers, flight attendants and other airline personnel," said Linda Connell, ASRS director.

During its 30-year existence, ASRS has issued more than 2,500 safety alerts to the commercial and private aviation community and approximately 42 percent of the alert recipients have taken action to correct the hazardous condition and improve safety.

"The ASRS is the largest repository of aviation human factors incidents in the world," Connell said. "The system has conducted more than 5,800 database searches for government agencies, students, research organizations, aircraft manufacturers and a wide variety of other organizations.

"We're particularly proud that in the 30 years of its existence, the ASRS has never breached the confidentiality of its reporting system."

Tennessee Governor's Plane Aborts Landing
Hydraulic Malfunction Makes Him Miss Last Campaign Stop A chartered airplane carrying Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, his wife, and eight staffers to a campaign event Monday night experienced mechanical problems just as the plane was preparing to land in Jackson.

Pilots of the 12-seat turboprop aircraft, type unknown at this time, reported problems with the plane's hydraulic system after they extended the landing gear. The plane's crew opted to abort the approach and head back to Nashville, and its longer runway.

The plane landed smoothly, and there was just enough hydraulic pressure for the brakes to bring the plane to a normal stop. The governor told the Associated Press, "The two pilots on the plane were extraordinarily professional"

Bredesen, a Democrat, is running for reelection against Republican state Senator Jim Bryson. Tuesday morning, he was back at work in Nashville, encouraging people to vote him back into office. FMI:

FAA Issues SAIB On ECi Cylinders - Cracking Could Lead To Power Loss
Owners of certain Continental engines with Engine Components, Inc. (ECi) cylinders installed might want to read a new special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) from the FAA.

The FAA reports service difficulty reports since 2003 show problems with fatigue cracks on those cylinders. The FAA received 179 Malfunction or Defect Reports of cylinder head cracks, from engine repair stations and aircraft operators.

Loss of cylinder compression in one cylinder of a six cylinder engine will result in a partial loss of engine power and will cause the engine to run rough. Reports show that the cylinder head crack with a loss of cylinder compression can occur between 253 and 1,483 hours-inservice (HIS). Based on the reported data, the average time-to-crack was 891 HIS.

The FAA issued a SAIB, instead of a mandatory airworthiness directive, because the cracks don't appear likely to cause a head separation. Loss of cylinder compression in one cylinder of a six cylinder engine will result in a partial loss of engine power, though, and will also cause the engine to run rough.

To be on the safe side, the FAA recommends owners inspect cylinders with more than 500 hours within 10 hours of receiving the bulletin... and then every 50 hours thereafter.

FMI: Read The SAIB

NY Senator Asks FAA For MacArthur Airport Safety Audit
Did Contractor Do Shoddy Work...Or Is This Just Grandstanding? Calling Long Island's MacArthur Airport "a model of exactly how we should not run our airports," on Tuesday New York Senator Charles Schumer called for the FAA to launch a safety audit of the facility.

Newsday reports Schumer's request comes on the heels of recent safety concerns following -- and, Schumer says, related to -- a recent $65 million expansion at the busy airport. The senator claims that expansion was "done so poorly and, quite possibly, crookedly" that the FAA needs to get involved.

"As a result of the town's poor job managing the airport, safety has been imperiled, corruption has run rampant and the precious economic value to the region has been needlessly threatened," Schumer wrote in a letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. "Therefore, MacArthur is in desperate need of not only a comprehensive, one-time safety audit, but also careful and continuous oversight by the FAA."

In particular, Schumer and others at the airport are concerned with cracking asphalt on airport aprons laid down during an expansion of the airport two years ago. Cracking in asphalt can cause chunks of the paving material to break free... which could then get drawn into an airliner's turbofan engines.

As Aero-News reported in August, Southwest Airlines sued the paving company, Pav-Co, for substandard workmanship. The Dallas-based airline, which is the largest carrier at MacArthur, funded most of the expansion.

At the time, a lawyer for Southwest acknowledged the carrier knew the cracks were "not an emergency... [b]ut we also know that whatever it is, we're going to want it fixed."

Officials with the city government of Islip, NY -- which oversees the airport -- declined to comment on Schumer's accusations. The town referred all questions to the PR firm hired to promote the airport.

"We would welcome any and all regulatory oversight and we would cooperate with any and all calls for further examination of how this airport operates," Rubenstein and Associates spokesman Gary Lewi said.

Schumer's comments have drawn fire from other area business officials, including the vice chairman of the Long Island Business Aviation Association, Bill McShane -- who said the apron cracks were not a public safety issue, and if the airport was unsafe it would have been shut down already.

Furthermore, some Islip officials hinted Schumer's news conference -- held in front of the short-term parking structure at the airport -- was nothing more than political grandstanding... as the Democratic candidate for Islip supervisor stood alongside Schumer during the event. The senator also endorsed Phil Nolan in his three-way race for the position.

Schumer, of course, is no stranger to a microphone when it comes to aviation safety issues... most recently in the aftermath of October's crash of a Cirrus SR20 into a Manhattan highrise.

"I do think that every flight should have to fly a flight plan, every plane should be identified, every plane should not be allowed in willy-nilly," New York Senator Charles Schumer said in response to that accident.


PAMA Communications

PAMA Maintenance Symposia - Orlando, FL - March 18-23, 2007

Aviation Industry Expo Symposium Sponsorship Opportunities
Sponsorship of PAMA's 36th Annual Symposium is a great way to reach our members and other show attendees. Title sponsorships are available for the Awards Breakfast, Chili Cook-off, Member Welcome Reception, and Audio Visual. Gold, Silver, and Bronze sponsorships are available, as well as Chili Cook-off booths and Awards Breakfast tables. Click here for the sponsorship menu.

Another major benefit to our PAMA members resulting from our affiliation with SAE:
Another SAE affiliate, PRI is world renowned for its work with the aerospace industry in supplier quality. An important piece of this effort is the PRI Registrar. PRI Registrar is accredited to audit and issue certificates to ISO9000, the AS9100 series and ISO14001. True to the SAE mission, PRI Registrar is committed to best-in-class customer service and a program designed to improve client quality and productivity through the implementation of these internationally recognized standards. PAMA has negotiated with PRI Registrar some unique benefits for our members. If you are considering anything in the AS9100 series, ISO9000 or ISO14001 registrations, check out PRI's website at or contact Scott Burkholder at 724-772-1616, extension 8142 or via e-mail at

African Maintenance/Missionary Opportunity
Marine Reach Aviation is urgently seeking a mechanic to join their project in Tanzania. They are supporting medical work in the West of the country and solicit a reliable person to maintain their Bell 206-B3. The selected individual will have further Christian mission responsibilities dependant on his/her experience and desires. FMI - Contact Aviation Director Bob Gillan:

The next JetBlast! will be sent on February 9, 2007. If you have a job opening, event listing or other submission to JetBlast! please send to by February 5, 2007. We cannot guarantee placement of any submission and all placement is at the sole discretion of PAMA.

Career Opportunities
PAMA's job bank is now available online. Go to and login and then click the "Members Only (Job Bank/Resources)" button. Please note that only active PAMA members have access to the job postings.

  • Aviation Department Head (December 6, 2006)
  • Manager, Vintage Aircraft Maintenance (Flying Heritage Collection) (November 16, 2007)
  • Senior Technical Manager for Process Development (October 30, 2006)

Job Postings on - Company Member Benefit
Don't forget to take advantage of free job postings on's online Job Bank, available to you if you have a PAMA Company Membership.

Have a job that you would like to post? Email the job posting to

Interested in Company Membership?
Contact PAMA's Customer Service Department (724.776.0790 or for more information on how to take advantage of this and other benefits.

Interested in posting a job on PAMA's website, but not a company member?
Post a listing for $250 for 2 months (includes a reminder link to the job bank in JetBlast! each month). Email the job posting and payment details to

Stay Strong!

Brian Finnegan & the PAMA Staff

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