District 142 Flight Safety Conference Reaches New Levels of Training


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Former NTSB officials, from right, Greg Feith and John Goglia (also an IAM member at US Airways) teach participants how to conduct an accident investigation, and protect themselves from site contaminants, as part of the District 142 Flight Safety Committee training at the William W. Winpisinger Center in Southern Maryland.

The IAM’s pioneering Flight Safety Committee Program helps Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) keep industry maintenance standards high, deal with their ever-changing regulatory work environment and has a special program to train AMTs to participate in accident investigations. District Lodge 142’s Flight Safety Committee met at the Winpisinger Center and set a new level of training with instruction by former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials, other airline professionals and practice on an actual damaged aircraft.

Click here to view a video about the class.

The conference included participants from Air Wisconsin, US Airways ExpressJet, and Transport Workers Union (TWU) Representatives from American Airlines.

“This year we took the training to the highest level yet. We could simulate an on-site investigation with the addition of an actual aircraft and the veteran NTSB investigators,” said District 142 Secretary-Treasurer Dave Supplee. “It has also been a great opportunity to work with our counterparts from TWU. This cooperative effort will benefit all our members at the ‘new’ American.”

Flight Attendants from ExpressJet learned about the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) program that is designed to meet the needs of Flight Attendants who are involved in aircraft accidents. Railroad representatives were briefed about expanding NASA’s Safety Reporting system use in the railroad industry.

Participants learned from former NTSB officials, including a hands-on investigation of a damaged aircraft, to become members of “Go Teams” that respond to aircraft accidents. AMTs bring a unique knowledge of aircraft systems that can help investigators determine the causes of an accident so it won’t occur again.

“No other union representing ground personnel in the aviation industry does what the IAM does,” said John Goglia, a former US Airways AMT. Goglia was also the first A & P mechanic to serve on the NTSB. “And at this level, this is far above anybody else.”

“The Flight Safety program is another example of the IAM’s commitment to education, training and maintaining a high standard of professionalism in the transportation industry,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “From our cooperative effort with Aviation High School to having a an IAM member serve on the National Transportation Safety Board, the Machinists Union sets a standard that is unmatched by any other transportation union.”