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2015 Aerospace Maintenance Competition

The 2015 Aerospace Maintenance Competition was held in conjunction with the MRO Americas 2015 Trade Show and Conference April 14-16 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

This year’s AMC event was the biggest ever, with 39 teams from seven countries competing in 20 team events. Each event had a 15-minute time limit. Teams were trying to complete each event in the shortest time without errors (time penalties were added for errors). The team with the lowest time for each event was awarded prizes, and the team with the lowest combined score overall took home the traveling trophy – the William F. “Bill” O’Brien Award for Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance. The overall winner each year gets to take the trophy home with them to display in their maintenance facility until the following year’s competition. Team Boeing won last year and was back to defend its title.

Here are the events and the winner for each event.

Charles E. Taylor Exam(Sponsored by AMTA)

This event consisted of two written tests. The first test consisted of 20 multiple-choice questions relating to Charles E. Taylor’s life. All answers could be found in the autobiography on Taylor titled “Charles E. Taylor; 1868-1958; The Wright Brothers Mechanician” written by Howard R. DuFour with Peter J. Unitt.

The second test consisted of multiple-choice questions relating to “Pioneer Mechanics in Aviation” by D.O.M. magazine contributing writer Giacinta Bradley Koontz.

Each wrong answer in the event resulted in a 6-minute penalty assessment.

Event winner: Team Alaska

Regulatory & Maintenance Technical Publication Research (Sponsored by ATP)

This event tested an individual’s skill and speed in locating and correctly interpreting regulatory and maintenance information used in a typical inspection and approval for return to service. Individuals were given a series of questions to research and answer using ATP NavigatorV(R) software and digital libraries. A special link was provided for competitors to access ATPs database.

Event winner: Team Virgin Galactic

Aircraft Power Distribution Troubleshooting (Sponsored by Nida Corporation)

This event challenged the team’s ability to troubleshoot a general aviation power distribution system.

Event winner: New Zealand Air Force

External Power Receptacle Simulator (Sponsored by Alaska Airlines)

In this event, the competitors needed to:

• Identify the aircraft and aircraft type they were tasked to work on.

• Understand the discrepancy provided on the logbook sheet and determine planned action for corrective action.

• Identify the appropriate sections of the Simulated Aircraft Structure (SAS) Maintenance Manual to accomplish corrective maintenance action.

• Identify components, determine effectivities, utilize tools, hardware, technical data and standard aircraft maintenance practices to complete the task.

• Complete logbook entry filling in required areas with appropriate information.

• Consider completed task onSAS Simulator same as completed task on live aircraft.

• Tool collection and accountability.

• FOD Survey within work location.

• Document completion.

Event winner: Team Alaska. (Team Alaska stepped aside since they helped develop the event, and the prizes for the event winner were presented to the team with the second lowest score – Team UPS.)

Wiring & Cannon Plug (Sponsored by Redstone College)

This event and tested each team’s ability to build a wire harness. The team was given a wiring diagram, and standard wiring practices were used in creating the harness. The team built a wire harness using provided wire, pins, electrical connectors, snake skin wire cover, zip ties, and special tools. The harness was built per manufacturer instructions. All tools needed to be reinstalled back into the shadowed tool holder prior to completion of the event.

Once the harness was completed, the team installed the harness in a mock-up and the evaluator applied power, if the power light illuminated the harness was wired correctly.

Event winner: U.S. Coast Guard

JT8-15 Pressure Ratio Bleed Control (PRBC) Event(Sponsored by FedEx Express)

This event required the participants to remove, inspect and then reinstall the Pressure Ratio Bleed Control (PBRC) unit on a Pratt & Whitney JT8-15 turbofan engine.

Event winner: Team FedEx (Team FedEx stepped aside since they helped develop the event, and the prizes for the event winner were presented to the team with the second lowest score – Team Southwest Airlines.)

GIV Wheel and Brake Removal & Installation(Sponsored by Alberth Aviation)

This event tasked the abilities of participants to remove and reinstall a mock G-IV wheel and brake assembly.

Event winner: National Aviation Academy Team 1

Safety Wiring (Sponsored by Aventure Aviation)

This event tested each participant’s skill and speed while accomplishing a series of safety wire patterns.

Event winner: Team Alaska

Cockpit and Wing Sealant(Sponsored by PPG Aerospace)

Teams had to complete a circuit of sealing 12 overhead fasteners. Six fasteners had to be sealed by hand, six had to be sealed by cap. Mechanics could only work on one section at a time. They had to complete the hand sealing section before moving on to the cap sealing portion.

Event winner: Team Air Canada

Human Factors Exam(Sponsored by Grey Owl Aviation)

Technicians took a multiple-choice test on various human factors including the “Dirty Dozen.”

Event winner: Team UPS

Airworthiness Documentation Review (Sponsored by ASA)

This event tested the team’s ability to spot issues in documentation that commonly accompanies aircraft parts. This is the sort of documentation that is important to the airworthiness determinations made by aircraft parts installers.

Event winner: Team Air China

Composite Skill (Sponsored by Abaris Training)

This skill event was based on an elevated high temperature, vacuum bagged, composite repair scenario. Each team of two was provided a work packet which included; Job card, repair ply material, bleeder/ breather kits, and vacuum bag. Since no grinding of fiberglass/carbon fiber was allowed in the competition area, the repair panel was assumed to be ready for layup. Mixing of resin in the competition area was also not allowed, repair plies were laid up dry. A vacuum source was available along with all needed hoses/ports/fittings etc. A HEATCON single zone hot bonder was be pre-programmed, but teams needed to start the cure cycle. This skill event ended with the start of the printer on the bonder.

Event winner: Team Air China

Space Vehicle – Vacuum Loading Operation (Sponsored by SpaceTEC)

This event simulated the loading of a small quantity of a hazardous commodity from a holding tank into a space vehicle flight tank. Each team consisted of two individuals who were required to don the proper PPE, assemble a mobile fluid transfer station per schematic and transfer 200 grams of a commodity from a holding tank to a flight tank using a vacuum loading operation. A command/response protocol needed to be followed when completing the operation. Upon completion of the fluid transfer all system lines were evacuated using compressed air and disassembled from the station.

Event winner: Team Utah State

Pneumatic/Hydraulic Lines and Fittings (Sponsored by National Aviation Academy)

This event tested each team’s ability to fabricate replacement rigid lines and to identify a possible leak in a low pressure gaseous oxygen system using acceptable methods, techniques & practices as outlined in AC 43-13-1B CHG 1, Chapter 9.

Event winner: Salt Lake College Team Yellow

NDT(Sponsored by AAR)

Teams competed by using NDT methods to detect cracks on test pieces. Teams followed a written procefure to locate defect using the magnetic particle method.

Event winner: Team FedEx Team 1

Weight and Balance(Sponsored by Indian Hills Community College)

This event challenged the competitor’s ability to properly calculate and aircraft’s weight and balance.

Event winner: Team Indian Hills (Team Indian Hills stepped aside since they helped develop the event, and the prizes for the event winner were presented to the team with the second lowest score – Team UPS.)

Pitot Static(Sponsored by Barfield)

This event challenged competitor’s ability to troubleshoot a pitot static system.

Event winner: Team Utah State

Fuel Quantity(Sponsored by Barfield)

This event challenged competitor’s ability to troubleshoot a fuel quantity system.

Event winner: Team FedEx Indy

Bonding Event(Sponsored by Boeing)

Event winner: Team Air China

Fiber Optic(Sponsored by Boeing)

This event will test the competitor’s ability to properly read and record optical measurements using a provided power meter, light source, and test probes.

Event winner: Team Boeing (Team Boeing graciously stepped aside since they helped develop the event, and the award was presented to the team with the second lowest score – the New Zealand Air Force.)

Category Winners

Here are the winners of the different competition categories:

Space Category:

1st Place: Virgin Galactic

General Aviation Category:

1st Place: Flight Options

School Category:

1st Place: Salt Lake Community College Team Yellow

2nd Place: Indian Hills Community College

3rd Place: Utah State

Commercial Aviation Category:

1st Place: Southwest Airlines

2nd Place: Air China

3rd Place: Alaska Airlines

Military Category:

1st Place: New Zealand Air Force

2nd Place: United States Army

3rd Place: United States Coast Guard

MRO/OEM Category:

1st Place: FedEx Team Indianapolis

2nd Place: Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA)

3rd Place: Boeing

International Commercial Aviation Category:

1st Place: Air China

2nd Place: China Southern

3rd Place: China Eastern

Charles E. Taylor Professional AMT Award(nominated by event judges as a competitor displaying exceptional professionalism and team spirit):

Brandon Dubberly (Student at Eastern Florida State University)

William F. “Bill” O’Brien Award For Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance:

FedEx Team Indianapolis