PAMA Headquarters - March 2007


From the President - Brian Finnegan, A&P
Join us in Orlando for PAMA 2007!

Aviation Industry Expo PAMA Maintenance Symposia - Orlando, FL - March 20-22, 2007
PAMA's Symposium offers full-day and multi-hour sessions, taught by leading industry experts. In all, over 100 hours of technical training sessions! In order to receive IA/AMT Awards credit for attending qualified PAMA technical sessions, you must be registered for the PAMA Symposium.

The Symposium is held in tandem with Aviation Industry Expo. This offers attendees the opportunity to visit with hundreds of exhibitors and network with thousands of industry professionals.

SAE International/PAMA Safety and Quality Aviation Maintenance Certification Efforts Underway
SAE International, through its affiliation with the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA), and the Performance Review Institute (PRI) have undertaken to establish industry safety and quality consensus standards for basic and advanced certification of aviation maintenance and production professionals. Our accreditation process identifies a system of comprehensive learning and certification tracks along which professionals can follow personalized individual career paths. The certification standards themselves are being developed by industry stakeholders from within the aviation maintenance community.

Following our call for industry volunteers to participate in the standards setting process, SAE and PAMA held a series of Certification Test Design conference calls. That process began in February and was completed in early March. Soon, we will convene our team for to develop the Job Task Analysis for our first Core Competencies test and we anticipate beginning writing our examination questions by summer with the certification to be available by the end of the year.

This initiative has strong industry involvement and together with the SAE/PAMA Aerospace Maintenance Certification Team we have developed a comprehensive career infrastructure. This broad system of technical career paths quantifies knowledge at many levels - from essential core competencies necessary for both FAA certificated and non-certificated technicians, through highly skilled professional specialties. In concert with well-established K-12 educational programs that focus on introducing students to science, technology, engineering, and math, our certifications welcome motivated talented high school students and others to our profession by establishing and certifying a broad range of specific core capabilities.

SAE International/PAMA Certification:

  • Establishes the state of our art for advanced knowledge, skill and ability.
  • Provides a method of continuous qualification and monitoring.
  • Addresses the looming shortage of technicians by focusing on youth.
  • Documents minimum regulatory compliance.
  • Identifies or creates a consensus-driven baseline.
  • Validates the growing use of "specialists" to accomplish specific tasks.
  • Recognizes the shifting role of the certificated technician to one of technical oversight.
  • Is synonymous with quality workmanship, reliability, customer care, reduced rework, lower insurance premiums, and increased employee loyalty and career stability.

Now that we are formalizing our program offerings, I will continue to provide regular updates. If you have any questions, please write me at

PAMA Members solicited to participate in an important industry effort
The SAE AE-8A/D committees on Aircraft Systems Installation, Wiring, and Cable have invited all PAMA members to take part in an effort to draft standards for handheld wire diagnostic equipment and processes. The PAMA/SAE standards for wire diagnostics equipment will define technical requirements as well as operational and functional capabilities. As the leading experts in the aviation maintenance profession, PAMA input into the standards process is critical to the success of this activity.

The standards effort will kickoff at the next SAE AE-8A/D meeting, which will be held April 24-26 at the Tremont Suite Hotel located at 222 Saint Paul Place in Baltimore, MD 21202. PAMA members will be admitted to the meeting free of charge.

Participation in this activity will provide PAMA members and maintenance professionals with a number of benefits. These opportunities include: providing operational input into the equipment used by maintenance professionals; learning about industry best practices; and networking with others involved in the aviation maintenance profession. Benefits your company may realize from your participation include: opportunity to influence industry standards and best practices; a more knowledgeable workforce; and a chance to work in an open forum with industry partners, competitors, and customers.

To register for the meeting please contact Frank Bokulich at 724-772-7516 or email For those needing hotel accommodations for the meeting, SAE has reserved a block of rooms at $148/night. Please contact the hotel at 410/727-2222 and ask for the "SAE International AE-8A/D Committee Meeting" sleeping room block. The cutoff date for hotel reservations is April 6.

Aviation Maintenance Safety "News of Note"

DHS Bill Would Require Screening Of Airport Employees
Federal lawmakers introduced legislation yesterday that would force baggage handlers and other airport employees to face the same strict screening procedures as passengers. Members of the House Committee on Homeland Security are sponsoring the bill.

Two men are facing charges for allegedly smuggling 13 guns and eight pounds of marijuana on board a flight out of Orlando International Airport to Puerto Rico. Authorities say one of the men used his ComAir employment badge to bypass security. The Associated Press reports two air marshals were on the flight, but doesn't say if either knew the guns were there. Investigators believe this is part of a larger smuggling operation, but no security changes at OIA have been made since the arrests.

Spotlight on Indonesia aviation safety
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - One Indonesian jetliner plunged to sea from 35,000 feet, killing everyone on board. Another's fuselage split in half after a hard landing. This week, a Boeing 737 careened off a runway and burst into flames, leaving 21 people dead.

Three accidents in as many months have raised urgent concerns about the safety of Indonesia's booming airline sector, with experts saying poor maintenance, rule-bending and a shortage of trained professionals may be behind the disasters.

Dozens of airlines emerged after Indonesia deregulated its aviation industry in the 1990s, making air travel affordable for the first time for many across the sprawling island nation, and luring passengers away from ferries and trains.

Passenger numbers have risen more than 20 percent every year since 2000, putting the system under strain, according to the Indonesia's Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Last year, a plane crashed, had a near-miss, skipped a runway, made an emergency landing or reported a technical problem every 12 days on average, government statistics show.

"I'm terrified to fly," said Barry Tontey, 50, who lost his daughter in the New Year's Day crash at sea. She was supposed to graduate from medical school in July.

"I don't believe the government or the airlines are committed to safety," he said.

Indonesia's safety record in 2007 was worse than the average African nation, according to Ascend, a London-based global aviation consultancy firm, basing its figures on the rate of passengers killed per million departures.

"Fixing a safety record is a long-term cultural challenge" that requires improving discipline and communication between pilots and crews, said Martin Craigs, president of Hong Kong-based Aerospace Forum Asia. "It's not about quickly ticking boxes in a technical manual ... It's got to be inbred in the system."

Investigators probing Wednesday's crash-landing of a Garuda Airline jetliner said its front wheels snapped off as it touched down, but declined to speculate on the cause of the accident.

Garuda has had nine plane crashes in the past 30 years, killing 330 people, but has made progress recently in improving its safety regulations and training of pilots, experts said. Before Wednesday, its last major incident was in 2002, when a plane made an emergency landing on a river, with the loss of one life.

"As a whole, it is one of the best airlines in Indonesia, probably the best," said aviation analyst Dudi Sudibyo.

The flight data recorders of the Adam Air plane that crashed into the sea on New Year's Day, killing all 102 people on board, have not yet been recovered and the wreckage is still lying on the ocean floor. And when another of the airline's planes broke apart on landing weeks later, without causing serious injuries, company spokeswoman Natalia Budihardjo tried to downplay the incident, at one point telling a reporter it was "normal."

Video footage taken by a passenger aired on local television Thursday showed panicked passengers on another budget carrier, Lion Air, taking safety into their own hands this week. They scrambled to put on life vests after the jet hit heavy turbulence, ignoring flight attendants' pleas that they not do so.

The main concern, experts say, is failure by air carriers and aviation officials to comply with Indonesia's regulations, which are considered by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to be quite strong.

"There is always collusion between operators and regulators," said Frans Wenas, the head of Indonesia's transport ministry's safety committee.

"Sometimes we may uncover problems, and it's only on paper that they are rectified," he said. "There is no way I can check all the aircrafts."

When an accident does happen, it is rare that anyone is held accountable, adding to public mistrust. Often, proposals made by senior government officials after a crash fail to address the root problems.

Transport Minister Hatta Rajasa, who is also facing criticism over a string of ferry disasters, announced a plan last month to ban local carriers from operating jetliners more than a decade old as part of a new government safety campaign.

"It's ridiculous. By most standards a 10-year-old plane is new," said Patrick Smith, a U.S.-based airline pilot and aviation commentator, noting that if America implemented such a regulation, half its fleet would be grounded.

"It's not the age that matters, its how it is operated," he said. "That's what makes an airline safe."

FAA Fines North Dakota Over Maintenance
The FAA is proposing $75,000 in fines for alleged maintenance violations on the state of North Dakota's three aircraft, including its King Air B200 that's regularly used to fly the governor and other dignitaries. The Bismarck Tribune says North Dakota is fighting the assessment and contends that the aircraft are properly maintained although it did "voluntarily" ground its Piper Cheyenne for more than two weeks last year when it was shown that unspecified engine tests hadn't been carried out. On the King Air, inspectors allegedly discovered that an air data computer had been replaced without the required calibration and testing. A damaged prop and oil leak were found in the rear engine of the state's Cessna 337. "We see all these events as serious events," FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory told the Tribune. However, the state, so far, sees them as "allegations" and has hired a lawyer to fight them.

The Case of Denver's Cracked Jet Windshields - Solved! Evidence Points To Foreign Object Debris
It wasn't too long ago that ANN reported the mystery of 20 front and side windshields cracking on at least 14 planes at Denver International Airport.

Well, that February 16 mystery has been solved -- and it wasn't Mr. Mustard on the tarmac with the sledgehammer. It was, instead, FOD, "foreign object debris," the stuff (substance, debris, or article) alien to a vehicle or system that could potentially cause damage, reports the Denver Post.

FOD often causes FOD -- foreign object damage -- which can be expressed in physical or economic terms and that may or may not degrade the product's safety and/or performance characteristics. All this, according to the National Aerospace Standard 412, maintained by the National Association of FOD Prevention, Inc.

Denver-based NTSB lead investigator Jennifer Kaiser said that pilots of one plane reported taxiing through "some dirt and debris" before the cracking occurred.

Airport wind gusts reached 48 mph -- at the "high end," but not that unusual, said Kyle Fredin of the National Weather Service.

FOD cracks weren't limited to one airline; they appeared within three hours on planes from SkyWest Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Great Lakes Airlines.

"The only commonality across aircraft type, operator, location, time, and phase of flight was the wind and weather," Kaiser said. She noted that windshield fractures developed on six planes as they were taking off, some of which aborted; on one just after landing; on two as they were taxiing to the terminal after landing; on three as they were parked at the gate; on one as it was being pushed back from the gate; and on one while it was at 19,000 feet.

The cracking, said Kaiser, occurred on the outer of the three layers of the windshields; microscopic analysis showed fine particles caused pitting that in turn caused cracking. Investigators were unable to determine the precise nature of the debris as there were no "transfer" marks of the material onto the windshields (think CSI), Kaiser said. "We have nothing at the impact sites to say this is definitively what it is." Want to keep FOD front and center for your crew? There are several puzzles to keep minds focused on FOD; you can download from FMI:,,

TSB concerned about Canadair Regional Jet flap failures
The Canadian TSB is concerned that, despite best efforts by the industry and regulators alike to reduce the number of flap failures in the Canadair CRJ fleet, that number is increasing. It has been shown that a CRJ flap failure has the potential to lead to a much more serious incident or an accident. The Board requests that the Canadian Minister of Transport advise the Board of its action plan, both short and long term, to substantially decrease the number of flap failures on CRJ aircraft. The Board will continue to monitor this safety issue. (TSB) Board Concern A06Q0188-D1-C1:

Runway Safety Is For Mechanics, Too
Women in Aviation, International Panel Held For Those Who Don't Fly
Runway excursions are one of the FAA's pet peeves. Pilots are not the only ones involved... line service workers and mechanics are also responsible for moving aircraft to and fro on an airport surface.

Recently, at the Women in Aviation conference, Dr. Paul Foster, Jr. presented a forum on runway safety, for those who don't fly. Foster maintains mechanics move more planes than pilots. ATC counts flights, but not surface movements. "In the morning when the crew shows up to the terminal, how did the aircraft get there?" Foster asked. "Maintenance brought it over. Last flight of the night who takes the aircraft to the hangar?"

One of Foster's first suggestions is that pilots talk to their mechanics. "That aircraft there that they're taxiing belongs to you. You want to protect it." Foster warned the pilots, the plane that is taxiing in front of you could have a mechanic behind the yolk, who may not be as familiar with signs and markings as you.

According to Foster, most of the schools he's been to are not teaching signs and markings to mechanics -- they are teaching light gun signals. When is the last time the tower gave light gun signals to a tug? This trend seems trend seems to be changing for the better, with some schools spending days on signs and marking.

The good news Foster imparts is there have been "no deaths from mechanic-led incursions."

"We have already learned to drive on the airport when we drive on the street," reminded Foster. "Some of the same markings mean the same things, with a little additional definition." Solid yellow lines mean don't cross, on the highway and on the airport; dashed lines, Foster said, mean "dash across."

At night, if there are green lights along the center of the taxiway, side lights are not necessary. The theory is, if you stay on the center line lights you are clear of the runway edge, so it's a good idea to follow those center line lights. "Be vigilant," warns Foster, as pilots have had tendencies to land on taxiways.

Foster explained the two types of areas on the airport surface, movement and non-movement areas. In non-movement areas, vehicles can move without talking to air traffic control. In movement areas, ground vehicles must talk to ATC. Clearance to taxi to an area does not give you permission to taxi back to your starting point. It's a one way ticket, not round-trip.

All conversations with ATC are recorded, so "be careful what you tell us (FAA) what you said," warned Foster.

Surface incidents are what the incidents are called until the results come back from Washington DC. Once back from DC it may then be called a runway incursion. A surface incident is defined as "An event where unauthorized or unapproved movement occurs within the movement area or an occurrence in the movement area associated with the operation of an aircraft that affects or could affect the safety of flight."

If a surface incident is classified as a Runway Incursion, it is assigned a severity category. Category D means little or no risk of collision. Category C means ample time and distance to avoid collision. Category B means significant potential for airplane collision. Category A means barely-avoided collision.

Foster also told a bit of trivia as to how the distance of hold-short lines came about, and why we need to stay behind them. The NTSB, FAA and several other alphabet groups got together. Measurements were taken of each piece of debris when airplanes crashed on the runways -- including jumbo jets, corporate jets and small props. Foster told his audience generally for the airliners, 250' was the maximum distance of debris spread, so larger airports have their hold-short lines set 250' back from the edge of the runway. At smaller airports, hold-short lines will be closer to the runway.

Signage once again mimics driving. Mandatory signs, like a stop sign are white letters on red background. Informational signs are black letters on yellow background, location signs are yellow letters on black background. Some airports use surface painted signs. These surface painted signs are used on hot spots on the airport to supplement existing signs.

Maybe considering the whole airport surface a "hot spot" is a good idea.


FAA Changes IA Renewal Requirement to Two Years
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is amending the regulations for the Inspection Authorization (IA) renewal period. The current IA regulation has a one-year renewal period. This rulemaking changes the renewal period to once every two years. By changing the renewal period, renewal administrative costs will be reduced by 50 percent for both the FAA and the mechanic holding the IA. Aviation safety will not be affected because this rulemaking does not change the requirements of the prior rule for annual activity: including work performed, training, or oral examination.

The amendment to � 65.92(a) changes the expiration date of an inspection authorization from March 31 of each year to March 31 of each odd numbered year. The rulemaking is in response to concerns regarding the administrative burden associated with the renewal of inspection authorizations under �65.93 and is effective immediately. To view the final ruling visit:

Flight Options Partners with FAA for Safety Management System
CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Flight Options, LLC, a leading provider of fractional shares in business aircraft and a Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN), announced today that the company has been selected by the FAA as the only fractional provider, and the largest of only nine aviation service providers nationwide, to partner and participate in the "proof of concept" phase of the development and implementation of a formal Safety Management System (SMS) for all air service providers.

"With a robust safety management program supported by a dedicated Safety department, Flight Options has worked continuously to build its position as an industry leader in safety," said Chuck Starkey, Vice President of Safety and Security, Flight Options, LLC. "Partnering with the FAA to develop a formal SMS gives us the opportunity not only to improve our program, but also to leverage our experience and help build the model program for the rest of the air transportation industry."

A formal FAA-accepted Safety Management System is expected to become a regulatory requirement for all air carriers in 2009. To implement this model, the FAA reached out to industry leaders to help define, implement and validate the model SMS. Implementing a formal SMS will integrate safety best practices throughout the organization. Incorporating proven quality and management principles into the practice of safety, SMS involves line management, safety expertise and employee engagement to produce a healthy safety culture in every aspect of the business.

In a November address to nearly 500 aviation industry leaders from the United States and around the world, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey highlighted the importance of SMS for continuing to improve the industry's safety record. "We've been able to amass a safety record that's unparalleled. So the safety challenge, in a nutshell, is how do you take it to the next level? What will not only maintain this fabulous record but will position us to improve on that record as operations grow? I think the answer to that is safety management systems."

Flight Options continuously strives to be the safest fractional company.
Flight Options was the first and only fractional provider to receive the prestigious ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating three consecutive times — adhering to the same safety audit standards as U.S. Department of Defense and commercial airlines. Additionally, the Company became the first fractional aircraft operator approved by the FAA to participate in an Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). ASAP enhances aviation safety practices by encouraging flight crews to voluntarily report critical safety information, helping to proactively identify and correct hazards. ASAP was previously approved only for commercial airlines.

Flight Options, LLC offers the complete spectrum of programs from fractional ownership to leasing to JetPASS Ultimate Travel membership and has received the prestigious ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating three times. The Flight Options fleet of over 140 aircraft includes the world's largest fleets of Beechjet 400As and Legacy Executive aircraft. Flight Options' fleet consists of the Beechjet 400A, Hawker 400XP, Hawker 800XP, Citation X and Legacy. More information is available at or by calling 877.703.2348.

PAMA Communications

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

The next JetBlast! will be sent on April 5, 2007. If you have a job opening, event listing or other submission to JetBlast! please send to by April 2, 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.

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

JetBlast! is a monthly email publication of PAMA, distributed on the second Friday of each month to all PAMA members with email addresses. Information contained in this email may be an advertisement or solicitation. If you do not wish to receive commercial emails from PAMA, email with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line. Your request will be processed within 10 days after receiving the request. To subscribe to PAMA emails, respond to this message with "Subscribe" in the subject line.

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