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Maintenance Matters
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Welcome to Maintenance Matters eNewsletter
Master Technician: Still the World’s Best, Most Comprehensive Maintenance Training
Rolls-Royce Names FlightSafety Authorized BR725 Training Provider
Customer Highlights
Emergency Safety Training for Technicians & Business Aircraft Passengers
Our eLearning and LiveLearning Catalogues Continually Expand
New PT6A Series OMP (Operational Maintenance Practices)
Advanced, Elite Cabin Systems Training Designed for Technicians
FlightSafety Continues to Expand Pratt & Whitney Canada Engine Training
Center Updates
Make Your Plans for AMT Day in May


Customer Highlights

John Deere Technician Nominated for AMT Honor
FlightSafety and John Deere Global Aviation Services recently worked together to nominate Cessna Center-trained technician Tyler Cook for recognition as one of 40 under age 40 technicians who are making a difference in the aviation maintenance industry.

Student Champion Trains at FlightSafety
Grady Stephenson, the Kansas champion of the SkillsUSA student competition, recently attended a Principles of Troubleshooting Course at the Hawker Beechcraft Center. SkillsUSA showcases the nation’s best career and technical students. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. The philosophy of the Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve the industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs.

Kansas SkillsUSA Several FlightSafety maintenance instructors – all Master Technicians – participated as judges at SkillsUSA state championship for Kansas. From left, instructors John Sanchez, Ed Gagne, Lou Gollin; Kansas SkillsUSA champion Grady Stephenson; and instructors Jeff Richards and Andy Boehlke.

By Matthew Lutes, AMT
Endeavor Air Tech Ops

I recently attended Principles of Troubleshooting, a class developed by FlightSafety and offered through Endeavor Tech Ops Training.

We worked through wiring schematics, system diagrams and system/logic circuit charts, a process that helped me gain a better understanding of the fundamental steps needed to accurately and efficiently troubleshoot a fault, even if you have little to no experience working on a particular system.

These concepts can be broken down into four simple steps.

  1. Define the situation
  2. Find the paths of influence
  3. Test
  4. Take corrective action or repeat the process/redefine the situation

Applying the Principles
Then I had an opportunity on a recent road trip to put those principles to a real-world test.

The situation: the aircraft was showing multiple EICAS messages. Upon arrival I was told that various parts were being sent for possible replacement, but we weren’t sure exactly what was wrong. Outstation maintenance had done various tasks in accordance with the fault isolation and aircraft maintenance manuals in attempts to isolate the problem, even replacing parts, to no avail.

Another technician and I began to troubleshoot. Having no experience with this particular system, we went to the maintenance manual and schematics to understand how the system functions normally. Finding the paths of Influence common to the fault message, we began the test phase. All the tests were checking normal. We could not find an issue with any of the components in the system related to the messages.

Redefine the Situation
At this point I stopped and remembered back to our troubleshooting course. I realized I had to redefine the situation. That’s when I discovered that the captain’s and the first officer’s EICAS reversionary pages were not indicating the same.

I knew then that we’d been troubleshooting the symptom rather than the cause. We redefined the situation and traced the components that were common to what we were seeing on EICAS.

That told us it most likely was a DCU failure. We went back to testing paths of influence and isolated a bad DCU. To confirm, we swapped from right to left and the fault followed. The message we were initially troubleshooting was an effect of the DCU failure, not the actual problem.

A Quick, Effective Resolution

Using these fundamental principles we found the issue rather quickly. Had we not been able to accurately read the wiring diagrams, system schematics and effectively understand system logic, we may have spent a lot more time troubleshooting the wrong messages and unsuccessfully throwing parts at it.

Principles of Troubleshooting helped me learn and grow as a technician, and I’m confident that the knowledge I gained will continue to benefit me throughout my career. By taking a little extra time to think back and apply what I’d learned, I significantly reduced the out-of-service time and saved Endeavor a considerable amount of money.