Heather Baldwin

Heather Baldwin
Articles
EASA Refines Human Factors Competencies For Inspectors 

Travel around the world, or even within a single country, and you'll find human factors principles applied unevenly in aviation maintenance due, in part, to uncertainties among maintenance leaders and inspectors as to what this field is all about.

EASA Outlines New Human Factors Roadmap 
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) released an updated road map to tackle key aviation safety risks on Jan. 30.
Stress Can Be Crucial To Maintenance Performance 

The recent announcement of a merger between US Airways and American Airlines does far more than create the largest airline in the U.S. (see page MRO28). It may be releasing vast amounts of cortisol into the brains of workers who are unsure what this combination may mean for their jobs and future.

PowerJet Aviation CEO Discusses Engine Aftermarket 

Luxembourg Airport-based PowerJet Aviation specializes in aircraft sales and recycling, spare parts and airline consulting. Its disassembly and recycling facility is located at Chateauroux Airport, France. Aviation Week Contributing Editor Heather Baldwin spoke with CEO Karl Rickard, who is involved in the overhauled engine and engine parts business daily, to understand the market for engines coming off parked aircraft.

Aviation Week: Which engine parts are moving most quickly out of the shop today after an engine is dismantled?

New Groups Of Aircraft Reach Teardown Tipping Point 

Industry predictions call for 12,000 aircraft to be replaced in the global fleet over the next 20 years as they reach the end of their service lives. As airlines move to more fuel-efficient, quieter and more environmentally sensitive aircraft, older ones are shuffling downstream, often to be parked or dismantled. This may be happening faster than in the past, since operators appear to be deciding more quickly to disassemble, taking advantage of the spare parts market for early end-of-life aircraft and engine models.

Deleting Distractions To Decrease Maintenance Errors 
Every day, in maintenance hangars all over the world, technicians are interrupted or distracted during safety-critical maintenance tasks.
How To Use Continous Improvement To Improve Efficiency
Buy-in is important for continuous improvement
Parsing Errors To Improve Safety 

The initial move away from punishing good technicians for maintenance errors began about two decades ago as savvy leaders began to understand the downside of disciplining to “fix” errors—and the upside of instead conducting a thorough evaluation of the “why” behind those errors. Since then, leading maintenance organizations have created non-punitive cultures in which committees dig into the causes behind errors with the aim of identifying whether changes in policy, process or documentation should be made to prevent future occurrences of the same errors.

Turkish Technic Implements Tracking Technology
Turkish Technic is in the process of networking its entire MRO operation to better track, measure and control its resources.
How Supervisors Can Help Technicians Operate At Their Best 

Error reduction in a maintenance operation demands optimal performance from technicians. But in this era of downsized workforces, aggressive cost-cutting and constant time pressures, it's tougher than ever to extract peak performance from mechanics every day.

The A&D Industry’s Rising Young Stars 
Aviation Week & Space Technology spotlights 40 rising stars under the age of 40, including several involved in the aftermarket.
Rethink How Signs Impact Safety And Compliance 

Lack of effective communication, one of the Dirty Dozen root causes of human error in maintenance, is to blame for many of the problems that crop up in the hangar. When organizations address this topic, typically they zero in on handovers between shifts and clarity of written items in logbooks. Rarely do managers step back and consider how they are communicating through the signage posted around the workplace. It may seem a small thing, but the words on your walls matter.

Forging A Safety Plan In The Workplace 

There are two types of strategies when it comes to safety. The first can be implemented by a verbal or written command, such as a change to a reporting procedure or a new training program. The second requires a change in human behavior—a far more difficult undertaking. Human factors initiatives tend to fall squarely into this second bucket.

Reducing Human Factors Errors Means Asking Relevant Questions 

In the quest to reduce errors and improve safety, managers too often focus on the wrong questions. They ask things like, “How can we reduce our incident rate?” and “How can I get workers to pick up debris on the shop floor?” What they should be asking is something like: What is keeping technicians from doing what they already know is right?

What A Character! 

Consider these two real situations:

• Two technicians were discussing last night's hockey game while a third wrestled to maneuver a piece of heavy equipment. Although within 10 ft. of each other, the talking pair never volunteered to help and the technician handling the load never asked for it.

• When a large MRO switched its safety reporting initiative from a phone-based system to an Internet-based system, input from technicians skyrocketed from six calls in eight years to more than 800 reports in the first year alone.

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