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the place was packed. Aircraft were lined up in a circuit type arrangement through From aircraft just beginning the rebuild process, all the

the hangar.

way around the facility, to the aircraft being readied for test flight and delivery back to the customer. Taking a tour of the produc- tion line turned out to be a very interesting lesson in the process of rebuilding a helicopter.

through the airframe jig, and on through the build up process sev- eral things really stood out.

From initial inspection and tear down, Each stop along the line was careful-

ly detailed in a work plan, the crews had their manuals within easy reach for reference, and each member of the crew had everything they needed to perform the task.

THE PEOPLE FACTOR Any company is only as good as its employees will allow it for, and motivated your company will do well.

to be.

Simply put, if your team is well trained, well paid and cared It is not at


unusual for a company to forewarn their folks when a magazine editor is going to be snooping around and asking questions. Ask them to go the extra mile to present the company in a good light. I had the sense this was not really necessary here. Other than a few expected glances in our direction, most folks simply went about their routine. Another thing that thirty years in this business has given me is the ability to sense if an employee is truly happy in the workplace, or just going through the motions for a paycheck. Again, they did not disappoint. What we found were people who were truly happy with their jobs and fully committed to quality and safety.

“There are plenty of jobs closer to where I live, but I like it here and will stay as long as they’ll have me” said one.

“I live

south of Dothan, takes me an hour and half each way to get to work, but it’s worth it”, he continued. Comments such as those were common, so much so I got tired of asking.

PROJECTS AND PLANS Although many of the projects on the board at Vector are still

in the planning and development stages it would be safe to say many of them mirror the upgrades and enhancements currently popular in the mainstream civilian market.

Glass cockpits, satellite

tracking and communication, integrated GPS navigation systems, if there is an upgrade going on you can bet Vector is in on it.

FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE Ronnie Kearns only had it half right when we first met two years

ago. He had the new facility and “we’re gonna fill it” part pretty much right. But he had the timeline and scope a little wrong. Within two years of moving to the new 40,000 square foot facility they had grown their business to the point where they again needed more space.

the initial expansion”, claimed Ronnie Kearns.

“It would be safe to say our business here has doubled since “And I’ll go you one

better, we are going to double our footprint in our next stage of expansion”, he added. Why am I not surprised? abcd

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