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MAINTENANCE MINUTE By Mark Tyler Tools


I clearly remember that life-changing day in April 1990. It was my first day working as a helicopter mechanic at Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama. The radio call dispatched the helicopter, the pilot brought the machine to life and the medical crew strapped in as the Bell LongRanger took to the air. It seemed like only minutes later the aircraft returned, and the patient was rolled past me to the Level I trauma center. From that moment on, life was different as the purpose for my work became clearer in that instant.


As I look back, I can see that my why ‘tool’ was received that day and I began to implement and use a different set of tools. Last edition we looked at the tool of integrity, doing the right thing no matter the cost. Now, let us look at the action that is required for integrity and all other tools to work as they were designed.


Aviation, whether flying or maintenance, is a career filled with decisions. While performing our jobs we literally make thousands of decisions a day. Some of these decisions come easily while others


require research and assistance from others. Decisions lead to actions, but just like our best sockets they are useless without a ratchet or driver. The driver for decisions that lead to action is commitment.


The tool of commitment will drive us to do our best and perform to a level of excellence. As helicopter mechanics, we must commit daily to excellence because lives depend on it and business depends on it. Coach Vince Lombardi once said, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” We owe it to others to always perform at the highest level, and the only way to achieve this is through commitment.


Another attribute of commitment is perseverance. Once we tell ourselves it is OK to quit or accept substandard, then we will perform down to that level. A decision to commit will originate in the heart where quitting is not an option. In our line of work, saying “no” is sometimes a viable answer but anything less than excellence is not. It is always our responsibility to provide a


safe and legal aircraft for our customers to operate. At the end of the day, take one last look at the aircraft and know that you performed your best. Take pride in knowing that because you utilized your special tools, someone was transported to the hospital, criminals were apprehended, business owners attended important meetings, and everyone returned home safely.


Commitment is the driver for action and the fuel for perseverance. When used in conjunction with your why tool, your commitment tool will separate you and your team from the ordinary and set you on the path of excellence.


About the author: Mark Tyler dedicated the majority of his career serving the helicopter EMS community, from base mechanic to director of maintenance. As vice president & general manager of Precision


Aircraft Services, Tyler now


serves helicopter operators from many sectors including air ambulance, law enforcement, private owners, etc. When not at work, Tyler can be found spending time with his family or sitting in a tree stand.


20


Sept/Oct 2020


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