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March 05, 2008


Cindy Foreman

Gee, it seems like this effort has been done before. Was it the late 1990s that the FAA was actually going to vote on whether there should be a license for repair men, those who didn't have an A&P? It seems to me that PAMA encouraged it's members to vote against it, and it didn't pass. Yes, because of outsourcing of maintenance by airlines, we need to have some sort of reasurance that the people performing the work actually know what they are doing. I'm glad to see PAMA coming to it's senses.
This work was pretty much completed, and I'm afraid you are spinning your wheels again by using what the CACRC has already developed. You can have numerous meetings, and hash over the same stuff, but if you don't involve more of the airlines, repair stations, and FAA into the process, it will go the same place it did in the 90's. Nowhere.

Brian Finnegan

Cindy - you are right about the 1990s and the ill-fated Part 66. However, its demise in the United States was because it imposed onerous regulation on the safest aviation community in the world. While it is not required in other countries, cost-benefit analysis and the safety issues being addressed are keystones for new American regulation. Our system does not permit new regulation capriciously. So, while we at PAMA have always supported advancing safety through continuous education, it was a tough case to make (at that time) in trying to regulate that training.

What a difference 10 years makes. The performance of maintenance by third-party contractors, as you mentioned, and a radical increase in the use of non-certificated technicians, coupled with an unstable job market and the greying of our maintenance workforce, has put great pressure on our technical braintrust to stay current with advancing technology. It really is a merging of worst case scenarios.

Our approach now is to do exactly what you suggest by involving as many manufacturers, operators, and repair facilities as possible from the outset. You seem familiar with CACRC, so you may know each of those groups are represented there. It is not an exhaustive memebrship, though , and my job is to expand industry involvement and include as many as possible. I have begun that task now and would welcome any assistance you might provide in achieving that essential industry consensus. Please continue to weigh in and offer suggestions. Thanks very much.

Steve Hoy

I'm a technical instructor with Lufthansa Resource Technical Training (Aircraft Structures) and have been reading with interest the developments of the CACRC. I too am of the firm beleif that composite repair capability needs some form of standardisation and oversight, especially when we are seeing an ever increasing percentage of these materials in aircraft structure.
The certification track matrix looks like a good start. I'm not aware of what was discussed during the recent meeting in Athens - however, the way I see repair certification working from this point is by having a "Technician 1" trained and authorised to carry out repairs to minor damage on secondary / tertiary structure under the supervision of "Technician II". Defining the limits in which a TechI and TechII can operate will provide clarity. Is this the CACRC proposal?
The composite skills association (CoSkA), which is an industry led forum for the training and development of aircraft composite design and manufacture skills for the north west region of England, is looking now at launching their next phase which is - yes - development of a standardised repair capability. I've recently become involved with this initiative and would be keen to see this follow the lead provided by CACRC.

Brian Finnegan

Hello Steve -

It would be great to have CoSkA involved with the CACRC effort. Please contact me directly at [email protected] to provide any insight about the best wat way to involve them.

The Tech I, II, and III certifications are really two levels of technician with a strong knowledge foundation established at the Tech I level (soon to be renamed). This could change to 3 distinct levels of Technician certification, but there is strong feelings that repair technicians need to be pretty capable. There has been a reluctance to to have a technician certification that is too basic.

I'll be happy to include you in future CACRC discussions and I look forwrd to hearing from you soon.

Brian Finnegan


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