Bob Griffitts former BYU Football Player
ILIFF Aircraft Repair #1 in the #2 business James Ledbetter aiming for BEST IN SHOW
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Editors Letter I don’t know about you, but this summer went by WAY too fast. It seems like only yesterday that the days were getting longer and the nights were getting warmer. If you live in area where the winters are long and cold, like here in Utah, you can never get enough of summer. Fortunately, fall is a beautiful time a year that slowly eases you into winter. If you’ve never been to Utah in the fall, put it on your bucket list of places to visit. The mountains are gorgeous this time of year, and the outside air temperature is perfect. Speaking of beautiful places, we have an article in this month’s issue from Sebastian David, an Airbus employee that works in Hamburg, Germany, who shared with us a travel log of his family vacation to Norway and Sweden. Talk about an incredible place to visit in the summer. I’m definitely adding Norway and Sweden to my list of places to visit before I die. I had the chance to fly out to Tulsa, Oklahoma this month to meet with Brent Wells from Iliff Aircraft Repair. Visiting Tulsa wasn’t exactly on my bucket list, but meeting Brent and his team made it an experience I’ll never forget. Remember, 145 Magazine isn’t your “typical” aviation publication. So sit back, relax, and learn about some of the extraordinary people in our industry.
Ashley Fox Editor in chief
September/October Volume 2 Issue 5
Fall and Football
People in Aviation
Email: email@example.com Tel: +1.888.820.8551 Ext. 704 Fax: +1.801.772.1947
ven though automobiles got a head start on airplanes, by what year did the fastest airplanes officially surpass the fastest automobiles?
A. 1906 B. 1920
C. 1943 D. 1963
Answer: B In 1920 a Frenchman named Joseph Sadi-Lecointe set an airplane speed record that exceeded the top speed attained by an automobile at that time. During his time with Nieuport-Delage, Sadi-Lecointe set 7 speed records and 3 altitude records. While recording several unofficial records, Sadi-Lecointe set a record of 171 mph (275 km/h) while flying a Nieuport-Delage NiD 29V (see photo) on 7 February 1920. At the time, the fastest speed recorded by an automobile was 127.66 mph (205.44 km/h), set by Fred Marriott in the steam powered Stanley Rocket. By the time the 1920s were over, the fastest automobiles were recording speeds in excess of 230 mph (370 km/h) while the fastest airplanes were exceeding 350 mph (563 km/h). By the time World War II was completed, automobiles were closing in on 400 mph (643 km/h) and airplanes were exceeding 600 mph (965 km/h). This was a very eventful period of human ingenuity, progressing from an almost 7 mph (11 km/h) flight in 1903 to over 600 mph (965 km/h) 40 years later, but Joseph Sadi-Lecointe was the first person to officially fly through the skies faster than humans had ever traveled before. -Zeke Christensen
Profiles Meet THREE executives with great stories and a vision for the future.
Executive Profiles my Bachelor’s degree at night, I moved to Delta Air Lines. Delta was a far cry different from the military. At first I was shocked at the differences, but I quickly grew accustomed to how the commercial side of things work. After a brief “furlough” (first one in Delta’s history), I moved up to Delta’s Engineering Department. From there I moved throughout Delta’s different departments trying to learn all I could. Ironically, in 1993, I was on a team that hired CAS as a line maintenance supplier for Delta at Orange County Airport (SNA) for their MD90 fleet. In 2004, I took an early retirement package from Delta, and moved to Aero-mark (the holding company that owns CAS). I became the General Manager for our 145 Component Maintenance shop in Alabama. In 2005, I helped Aero-mark purchase CAS. Since that time, CAS Line Maintenance has grown from 6 stations in Southern CA, to what we are today. CAS Line Maintenance has not only grown in size but into new markets including Modification Teams, Machining, Engineering, Component Maintenance, and Engine Wash/Appearance Services. In October of 2012, I stepped in to run the entire CAS organization as the President and Chief Operating Officer. Aircraft maintenance is in my blood, as a matter of fact it’s all that I have ever really done.
BRAD CABAN President of CAS LLC.
’m 48 years old, married for 26 years, and
have two sons JB and Drew. I like to work hard and keep a sense of humor about me. My specialty is trying to solve problems for our customers, sometimes even before they may know they have a problem. How did you get started in the aviation industry? I began tinkering on my grandfather’s Cessna and my uncles’ crop dusters at the ripe old age of 14. I quickly became enamored with the environment of aircraft maintenance, as opposed to other jobs out there. At 17, I entered the US Air Force and started a professional career as an aircraft mechanic (crew chief). I started out on T-37s then moved on to F-16s. Both aircraft taught how important maintenance was, as well as the differences in how you approached maintenance on each aircraft. On T-37s, even though it was a basic aircraft, nothing was easy to get to. On F16s, the LRUs were designed to be removed and replaced quickly, and for the first time I utilized computers to trouble shoot the aircraft! After 6 years in the military, and finishing
What’s one of the biggest challenges facing your business today? There is a serious shortage of qualified manpower that’s beginning to affect how we hire and grow the business. In the old days, the constraints were typically equipment driven. Now the constraints to growth are how quickly we can find and/or train a qualified workforce. At CAS, we have become more active with the aviation schools close to our 13 locations in an effort to create a better “pipeline” of talent into our industry. What motivates you? I think the thing that motivates me the most is being able to make a difference. Whether it’s in an employee’s life, in the business, or with our customers, being able to make a difference is a huge thing for me. But this is one of the things that’s so great about working with smaller companies versus working at a large airline / company. This is also why I am drawn to our line maintenance side of the business more so than our other sectors. There’s something about working an aircraft, watching it push back after that maintenance event, knowing that you just did something to make that aircraft airworthy for those “202 souls on board” that keeps them safe.
Executive Profiles What’s your primary business focus? Most recently, I have been focused on bringing all of the attributes of our operating companies under one brand as “CAS”. It came to light as I was explaining our business to Joanna Speed of Speednews. We were organized as Aero-mark, CAS Line Maintenance, Azmark Aero Systems, and AMRO Component Maintenance, and we were trying to market it all together. It took 15 minutes to just explain the structure of the company and all its business units! Joanna suggested that we take the best-known entity and rebrand the company. So begins CAS Technical Services, which entails Line Maintenance, Aircraft Modification, Component Maintenance, Machining Services, and Engineering Services. Brad tarpon fishing in Alabama
What are your passions outside of work? My passions all revolve around the beach. With our offices being split between Southern California, and Lower Alabama, we have for the past 10 years lived between Gulf Shores, AL and Newport Beach, CA. In Newport, my sons and I were very active in surfing. My youngest son Drew (now attending FSU) was Captain of the Corona del Mar High School Surf Team, and was always willing to coach me and my oldest son J.B. (currently on deployment as an Army Airborne Soldier). In Alabama, with its amazing deep sea fishing, I have spent my whole life chasing Tarpon on the Gulf Coast. Over the past 6 years, I have been fortunate enough to place in the top 3 for Tarpon in the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, which believe it or not, is the largest fishing tournament in the world. My main passion in life, however, is my wife of 26 years, Jacky. I spend a bunch of time at the beach helping her with her art business. She’s become quite accomplished in creating driftwood artwork. It’s amazing how spending the morning looking for “the right driftwood” on the beach can be so relaxing after a tough work week. Finally, over the last few years, Brent Trotter, our GM for Component Maintenance, has inspired me to participate in sprint triathlons. I’m not as fast as Brent, but it gives me a good reason to work out and try to stay in shape for these things.
Words of advice: Work hard at whatever you do, and take pride in that hard work.
Brad’s wife Jacky with one of her driftwood artwork pieces.
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Executive Profiles me this time around. You learn a lot from the mistakes made the first time around and it’s certainly helpful going into the process better capitalized. If I had to pick out what’s been the most challenging, it’s probably what I think about most often these days: It’s how to build a really great culture. It’s critical for us to develop a culture that encourages personal development and growth within our organization. We’ve been fortunate and have experienced really tremendous growth over the last 18 months, and as part of that growth our team is constantly expanding.
President of Aero Accessories, Inc. How did the company get started? Prior to Aero Accessories, our group operated a small trading company that we were fortunate to be successful with. We all came from an MRO background though, so it wasn’t too long before we started looking for opportunities to leverage our success with the trading business to get us back into MRO. In 2012, our partner Ramces Gallego had just received his FAA Repair Station certificate for Aero Accessories. Ramces is widely respected as a brilliant engineer and has been responsible for the building of a large number of the Fuel Shops in Miami. After a few informal discussions we realized that collectively our skillsets were very complimentary and that we had all the tools needed to build a successful MRO facility. Tell us of some of the struggles you’ve gone through with Aero Accessories. Starting a business and taking it from zero to a recognizable brand brings new challenges every day. Going through the business startup process once before provided me with much needed experience to aid
How has the company emerged to being the company it is today? We’re still evolving as a company. I think both in the case of people and companies you have to always be pushing forward to see what can be accomplished next. That’s always been a huge driving force at Aero Accessories. Next month we’ll be completing our move into a brand new 30,000 sq. ft. facility in Miramar which will certainly have a huge impact on who we are. We’ve worked hard to customize the space and made investments in all the latest technologies to build a premier MRO facility for our team and customers. Even after this move we still won’t be done. We’ve already announced our expansion deeper into hydraulic components earlier this year and recently announced the addition of HMU, FMU and FFG capabilities which will be online in January of 2016. We try to always have a few interesting developments on the horizon that will shake things up. I think it keeps us looking forward as a company. What do you like about your job? I’m not even sure I think about what I do as a job anymore. I’ve been around aviation since I was a kid. I‘ve worked with my father for 15 years, met my wife working at the same company 13 years ago and my sister and stepson also work with us now. It is great though, to be in a position where we can come up with an idea or a plan and be able to work to see it take shape and come to life. Like I said, I’m always interested in seeing what we can accomplish next as a company, and enjoy the process of things coming together. I also really love to see the people around me personally and professional develop. Early in
Executive Profiles my career I was lucky to find myself in an environment that challenged me and gave me countless opportunities to grow. I wouldn’t be where I am now without those opportunities and it’s important to complete the circle. What do you like to do outside of work? With all the developments that we’ve had going on at Aero Accessories this year it’s been a bit challenging to balance work and personal life. I have a son that’s 7 who plays soccer so I spend a lot of time away from work these days
at the park for practices and games. Besides that, I’m a pretty simple guy. I enjoy going out for great meals and wine with my wife, Evelyn, and traveling as much as we possibly can.
The Aero Accessories Team.
Words of advice:
The advice I give to others is not to waste too much time beating yourself up when something goes wrong or patting yourself on the back when it goes well. This business is a grind and the landscape can shift pretty quickly. If you keep yourself grounded and moving forward, you’ll usually find success.
Executive Profiles uted to my interest in the industry. Our Part facility began after my father offered me the opportunity to build something of my own that would allow me to grow not only as a professional but as a person. I will never forget what he told me that day back in 2002 “You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, but be sure you are surrounded by the smartest people”. And indeed, at age 20, I hired the best quality control consultant and lead technician I could find to not only learn from them, but make smart consulted decisions that would set our new company down the road of success. What motivates you? Motivation is driven by many factors: family, desire, passion, necessity, results, positive influence… who said you need just one? To me motivation is a self-determining attribute. We all have the power to be moved and motivated for greatness, whether we fail to see what it is or not. As I have stated, I believe in people, and in doing so, I am motivated by people every day. Inspiration can be sought through observation of your surroundings and the world around you; all you have to do is open your eyes!
DAVID ROJAS CEO of Cool & Start Aviation
s a 31 year old Colombian native and recently married, I am more than ever excited about life and the new challenges that lie ahead. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by a wonderful family and friends who not only have supported me but believed in me and aided me in building a dream which has been Cool & Start Aviation. I like to think of myself as an individual who believes in people. From my perspective, everyone has an untapped potential for greatness and how to uncover this potential is of course the question. Having a strong team is not dependent on having “strength in numbers” but rather a focus in specialized and efficient individuals who add the most value to the group. How did you get started in the aviation industry? From a young age my father worked on the Military side of aviation providing consumable, rotable, repair management and engine services to South American countries. I believe this greatly contrib-
What’s your primary business focus? We are a high flow pneumatic specialized maintenance facility covering items such as Air Cycle Machines, Engine Starters, and various pneumatic valves. I believe what sets us apart from our competitors is our engineering and wide body
David and wife Cecilia
Executive Profiles capability in the setting of very reliable equipment as well as excellent technicians to perform quality work. We pride ourselves in having slim to none warranties which can only be achieved by the aforementioned and of course a detailed oriented quality staff which maintains proper procedures in place via quality manual so that nothing is overlooked and customers are satisfied.
What are your passions outside of work? I am a HUGE FC Barcelona fan! From traveling abroad to watching games on TV with friends itâ€™s always exciting. I grew up playing soccer which followed me through high school where I played for American Heritage in Plantation. There, I met an amazing group of friends who most have now married and are professionals in their own right. They say you meet your best friends in college, I met my extended family in high school, including my wife.
Words of advice:
Success is not an end result, rather a journey in which every professional must understand that it will not be achieved overnight; therefor, patience, dedication, and hard work is key in reaching your goals.
David and Cecilia in Barcelona
David and long time high school friends
Bet you didn’t know
Have you ever watched the annual American Kennel Club dog show on television and wondered what it takes to get a dog to that level of competition, or what criteria the judges use to select a breed’s Best in Show? It just so happens that James Ledbetter, Landing Gear Repair Technical Specialist at FedEx shows dogs as a hobby. We contacted James recently to find out more about his passion for showing dogs and to learn some of tricks of the trade.
How did you get into doing dog shows? It’s a long story, but let’s just say my wife, Pamela, and I happened into it. We had an English Setter named Rylee that was a show quality dog that far exceeded our expectations. Rylee came into our household and fit like a glove. She did everything with us and consequently we wanted to do everything we could with her. Our first activity with her was quail hunting. She became quite successful at quail hunting, and received her Junior Hunter title at just 16 month old. We knew she was special and we wanted to be able to share that specialness with others. Because we got her from a show breeder we were actually encouraged to try our hand at showing. We found it to be extremely fun, and a very competitive sport.
We decided on this breed because we were looking for the perfect family dog. The breed standard for English Setters states: “The breed is gentle, affectionate, and friendly, without shyness, fear, or viciousness.” This is exactly what we wanted. We wanted a family dog that would be just as happy in the house as it would be in the field hunting. James wife, Pamela, hunting with their dog, Tucker.
How long have you been showing dogs? For about 3 years.
What kind of dogs do you show? We show English Setters. English Setters were once one of the most popular pure bred dogs in North America.As a matter of fact, the first dog registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) was an English Setter named Adonis. Their popularity, however, has declined over the years so finding a good breeder with an available puppy can sometimes be a challenge.
How are the dogs judged and scored? Dogs are judged based upon the breed standard. Each recognized breed has a breed standard that’s listed with the AKC. The judges are supposed to judge based on which dog, or bitch, most closely
Bet you didn’t know
James and Pamela with all three Setters.
matches the defined standard. The score for each show is based upon the region of the country and the number of the same sex that are entered. You can score anywhere from 1 to 5 points with 3, 4, and 5 point wins being considered a major. To become a Champion your dog has to attain 15 points with at least two of the wins being majors.
James showing Rylee.
Most shows are 2 to 4 days with each day being a separate show. The entry fees are minimal, usually around $40 per dog, per day, but you have to factor in the other costs like travel, lodging, etc. My wife and I groom and handle our own dogs. There are, however, many professional handlers that offer their services, which can cost several hundred dollars each day based on how well your dog does.
Once a dog becomes a Champion they are still able to compete. Those that are not Champions compete in regular classes for that breed until a Winner’s Dog (WD) and a Winner’s Bitch (WB) are determined. The WD and WB then enter the ring with all of the Champions of both sexes to determine the Best of Breed (BOB). Once the BOB is determined, the Best Opposite Sex (BOS) is determined. Obviously this is the opposite sex of the BOB so if the BOB is female, a male is chosen for BOS and vice versa.
From there the BOB winner goes to the group competition to compete against all of the other BOB winners in their respective groups. There are seven competition groups in the AKC: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding. A group winner is determined out of each group and those seven dogs then compete for Best In Show (BIS).
Is it expensive? Ha! Yes! Some dogs that are campaigned actually have financial sponsors.
What do you get if you win? Immense fame and glory and the ability to retire from the aviation industry! Not really. You get a ribbon and satisfaction that others think your dog is as special as you think they are. Depending upon the show, there may be small prizes and obviously there are the titles. Once your dog finishes or becomes a Champion (CH) they can continue on to become a Grand Champion (GCH) and then Bronze GCH, Silver GCH, and Gold GCH. The purpose of conformation dog shows is to show the breeding stock of your particular breed. The titles are an easy way for perspective suitors to know the quality of the dog they are considering.
Bet you didn’t know Do you breed your own dogs? We have our first litter planned to be bred in the winter of 2015.
How old are your dogs? Our first one, Rylee, is 4, Peter is 2, and our baby, Tucker, is just 20 months old.
How many different breeds are shown at dog shows? There are about 175 different breeds of dogs recognized by the AKC. Each show may have a representative from each breed.
Peter’s champion photo.
How long does it take to train a dog for a show? As with anything some dogs get it quickly and some take longer. Training starts from a puppy in just handling and socializing a dog. To be a competitor the dog needs to be confident in itself and comfortable around people and other dogs. Most of the time is spent just allowing the dog to have a good time. I think the other side of that question is “How long does it take the handler to learn how to show dogs?” The answer to that question is: a lifetime. You are constantly learning new ways to present your dog. Each breed is different too. You wouldn’t show a pug the same way as you would show a setter. James with Rylee stacked. James showing Rylee. Grooming is another aspect of showing dogs How many shows does a dog compete in? that you are constantly refining your skills at It depends. Some dogs only compete in enough shows to as well. After 4 years of grooming my own get their championship. If all the cards are right that can dogs I am just now feeling confident enough be as few as three shows. Most of the time though it will to consider my skills somewhat adequate. take many more than that to reach championship. Some dogs are campaigned with a professional handler and those dogs may compete every week for a year or two.
Pamela showing Tucker.
What are some of the tricks of the trade? This is definitely a sport, so there are strategies to winning. You start to learn which judges favor your particular breeds’ attributes. Just like a beauty pageant, the judging is subjective. There is a standard, but it relies heavily upon that judge’s interpretation of the standard. Bottom-line The biggest part of showing dogs is to have fun. Some dogs truly love doing shows. Others don’t. As a responsible owner it’s up to you to determine which is the case for your dog. Likewise you have to determine if it is fun for you. It’s a pretty sure bet, if you’re not having fun your dog probably isn’t either.
Bet you didn’t know
It’s not every day you meet someone in the aviation industry that played college football once upon a time. Bobby Griffitts, Director of Sales, North & South America for Inventory Locator Service, is one such person that played as a Strong Safety for BYU between 1991- ’93. Bobby’s a gregarious, gentle giant, that loves people and loves socializing. But don’t let that fool you, because under that soft exterior is the guy who used to knock heads and crush people for the fun of it. Here’s a look at Bobby’s illustrious college football career:
What university did you play football for? • Ricks Jr. College-1989-90 • Brigham Young University (BYU) 1991-93 What position did you play? Strong Safety
What was your most memorable game and why? My most memorable game was when BYU played Ohio State University in the Holiday Bowl. I crossed the goal line with the ball, baby! I was voted Special Teams Player of the game.
What was the best part about playing college football? The competition was at a peak, unlike the SEC or ACC, but still solid which made it that much more enjoyable to win. Being a part of a good team and having a stage to legally unleash intensity was exhilarating. At the time, the respect that I received from playing football was staggering from the professors, the community and campus life. I have to say it greatly enhanced my social life! Did you ever get injured badly? Fortunately, no. I pulled a hamstring and was out one week, but that was it. I was lucky!
Bet you didn’t know
Holiday Bowl BYU vs. Ohio State ‘93
Was it hard to keep up with your school studies while playing football? They had all of the academic resources, advisors and tutors solely for the athletes to ensure success in the classroom. I took a lighter load during the season and made up for it during the off season. The school was great at helping us succeed academically. Note: At the time of this article BYU was ranked #19 after winning their first two games against Nebraska and Boise State. Hopefully they can continue their winning streak against UCLA this coming Saturday. Go Cougars!
How’d you get on the team? I was recruited out of high school by BYU, Washington State and the Air Force Academy. Growing up, my family raised me watching USC and BYU football. Since USC didn’t recruit me, BYU was the obvious choice. BYU didn’t offer me a scholarship and said I needed to play for a Jr. College for a while first. After playing for Rick’s Jr. College in Idaho, I went on to play for BYU on a scholarship.
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here are dirty jobs, and then there are DISGUSTING, dirty jobs. Take lavatory repairs for instance, most people would probably rank repairing ATA Chapter 38 – Water / Waste products somewhere toward the bottom of the list. Yet, Brent Wells, President of Iliff Aircraft Repair in Tulsa, Oklahoma, seems to take it all in stride. His light-hearted approach to marketing toilet repairs and his vision for building a top notch repair center literally saved Iliff Aircraft from “going down the crapper”. Continue reading to learn more about how Iliff Aircraft came out smelling like a rose. -Zeke Christensen
in aviation Brent Wells President Iliff Aircraft Repair Repair Specialization â€“ ATA Chapter 38 â€“ Water/ Waste
Where were you born? Lawton, Oklahoma
What was life like for you growing up? Growing up in a very rural, small oil field town, in southern Oklahoma was the best thing in the world. It was so small it took two towns to create one school. Velma-Alma Comets. Everything was centered around sports and agriculture. I have one brother and was in 4-H and FFA and raised cattle on a small farm. Family vacations were simple when we were smaller. We would take yearly trips to Arlington, Texas and go to Six Flags. That is when I knew Mom and Dad must have loved me and my brother a great deal, as it was evident that my Dad would much rather be doing anything else than be
around a million people, standing in a line waiting for on a ride. We laugh about it today though. We did that most every year until my junior year in high school when I started going on trips with a group of friends in the winter to going snow skiing. I am thankful for the sacrifices that Mom and Dad made to take us on those trips. Very fond memories.
What was your first job? My first job after earning my degree in college was in Ada, Oklahoma working as a Television News Reporter for KTEN. I was on air four nights a week with a stories about crime scenes, military troop activations and returns, weather events (primarily tornadoes), plane
The Iliff Team
crashes, local festivals, four part series on terminal illness, etc. I did this for a little over a year. Decided it wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I went out and got my commercial truck driver’s license and drove a truck for Coca Cola for a year while my wife finished college.
What was the worst job you ever had? The worst job I have ever had was working for IKON Legal document services in Tulsa. You had to wear a suit and tie every day, and look sharp, because you were calling on attorneys and paralegals to gain their print and copy work. I was always walking, or running, to pick up and deliver boxes of work documents. It was summer time and I worked in downtown Tulsa, surrounded by concrete buildings with very little wind circulating. The heat was brutal. Let’s just say hanging out in parking garages, traffic, waiting on elevators to get to the 21st floor, and being on call with a pager most weekends was not for me. That lasted 3 months too long, until I got a call from my old company to take a job in sales, with a promotion.
How did you get started in aviation? I started in aviation when I was born. Ok, maybe a little after that. My parents will tell you all I thought about was flying. I got to college and started flying and building remote control planes. It wasn’t until 1993 that I started working on my private pilot license.
What made you decide to get into es and apply that experience to the company. repairing lavatories? Yes, I knew it was toilets and ATA chapter 38 Chuck Iliff started the company in 1964 and components, but I was excited about the poran it up until his death February 2011. From tential for a fun twist on the marketing side of 1998 to 2009 Mr. Iliff things. Aviation has always had an employee that he been a passion for me and trusted to run his financthis job gave me an oppores, pay all the bills, etc. tunity to live my dream. She embezzled $750,000 Our facility sits on the edge over the course of those of the Tulsa International years and was finally Airport where I can see and caught, fired and turned hear airplanes taxi by our over to the FBI. Mr. Iliff’s hangar every day. When it health was starting to is time for me to fly, I just fail dramatically over pull the airplane out of the next few years and the hangar, fire up the enthe business kept declingine, get clearance and take ing. My wife Donna was off. LIVING THE DREAM!! brought into the busiWhat do you like to do ness in January of 2010 Below: Brent with kids, Jack and Madison. outside of work? to get the books and My hobbies center finances back in order around my family. I love to and to figure out where prep and cook, fresh ingrethe company really was. dient meals with my beauOnce Mr. Iliff passed tiful wife. I love attending away I was asked to come our kids’ sport activities in and co-manage the - lacrosse and volleyball. I company with Donna. like to fish with my boys, The company realand of course I like to fly ly was in the “crapper” my plane, a Cherokee 180. when we took over. At the time our turn-times were over 65 days, we were at the brink of losing the company’s only two key airline accounts, and the shop was full of junk that had to be cleaned out. Things were a mess. We’d call customers telling them we had their part in our shop to which they would reply, “Oh yeah, we sent that over a couple months ago…..” Bottom-line we had to completely change the company’s culture and the way the company was being run in order to get things back on track. I came into this business because I saw the potential to re-build a company with my wife. The plan was to take our 17 years of background and experience in building business-
Who is someone you really admire? I admire my Dad who is 76 years old and still enjoys working and being around people. After retiring from an oil company where he put in 38 years, he took the bull by the horns and started his own company doing oilfield electric work. He has done very well for himself and my Mom.
What’s a typical date night for you and your wife? First, my wife and I have been married for 25 years and have 4 children. It is a beautiful thing when we can get out of the house, so we normally go out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants - PF Changs, Zio’s, or Carrabas. We like to go to the local mall, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble and look around, then generally end up stopping by TJ Maxx. We used to go to the movies but found out you really don’t get to spend quality time together sitting in a theater.
What motivates you to succeed? My motivation comes from enjoying what I do. Find something you love and you will never work a day of your life. Some people may think working with waste water components every day is not their dream. It is if you own the business and you are able to share your success with others.
Any words of advice? Remember, the three most important things on an airplane are: fuel, a pilot, and a working lavatory!
Brent and his oldest daughter, Taylor.
From Left: Trenton, Brent, Jack, Donna, and Madison.
Slogans Iliff Aircraft employees live by: •We are #1 in the #2 business. •It’s a crappy job, butt someone has to be great at it. •We’re the only company that encourages a crappy attitude for quality work! •We don’t mind the smell of progress! 145 Magazine
Sebastian David Repair Shop Liaison Manager Material and Logistics Management AIRBUS
A few months ago we were chatting with Sebastian David, an Airbus employee, about summer vacations. Sebastian mentioned that he’d taken his family on vacation to Norway and Sweden, so we asked him if he wouldn’t mind sharing his experience with all of you.
his summer my wife and I wanted to travel to Norway and Sweden, so we decided to rent an RV and drive through both countries. This was a new adventure for my wife Anna and me because it was the first time traveling with our five month old son, Julian. Julian was born February 26th and Anna had been on maternity leave since then, so we figured we better take advantage of the free time before she had to go back to work. We had traveled to Sweden and Norway a couple of times in the past, but only by car and sleeping in a tent. This time we opted for the RV because it offered more space and luxury to cover the needs of the baby but still allowed us to do an outdoor vacation.
We rented our RV here in Hamburg, Germany, drove to the north end of Denmark and then took the ferry across to Norway. Once in Norway we continued north to the town of Stavanger to visit a nearby fjord called Lysefjorden. A fjord is a large body of water that is formed when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley into a mountainous region and then is flooded by the sea when the glacier retreats. The most spectacular part of visiting Lysefjorden was hiking up a steep cliff called Preikestolen. The trail climbs to an elevation about 600 meters above the fjord where you have an incredible bird’s eye view of the entire surrounding area. Even though it took us four hours to do the hike, the reward of seeing such a beautiful place was well worth the effort. 33
Traveling by car in the mountainous areas of Norway can be a bit challenging at times due to the large number of fjords in the country. There are a lot of car ferries that traverse the fjords since it would be impractical, and costly, to build roads around the shoreline, or build bridges that would destroy the natural scenery.
Each night when we setup camp we normally tried to avoid staying in campgrounds and instead looked to park our RV in a natural setting away from other people. Here’s a picture of one of our campsites in the mountains. You can see that even though it’s summer in Norway there is still a lot of snow on the mountains. The air temperature is still quite cold in July, but fortunately our RV was well equipped with a gas heating system.
Anna and Julian at one of their “custom” campsites.
For dinner we normally just used our small barbecue grill. One evening while we were preparing dinner, we looked out at the fjord and saw porpoises swimming. It was amazing to think that even though we were located 125 kilometers inland from the ocean, we could still see marine wildlife. It was incredible.
This picture shows us at the Nærøyfjord (Narrow fjord), which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ferry travels the length of the 18-kilometer long fjord, which is only 500 meters wide in some sections. Unfortunately the weather was pretty bad on this day, which is why Julian had to sit in a special “double” jacket. I’m not sure what it’s called in English, but basically it’s a jacket that covers yourself and the baby.
Sebastian and his wife, Anna and baby Julian.
The most northern point of our journey was Trondheim. Trondheim has a population of 184,000 people and is the oldest major city in Norway. To give you an idea of just how old Trondheim is, the city celebrated its 1000th anniversary in 1997. Due to its proximity to the North Pole, the sun shines almost 24 hours a day, which was a weird thing to experience. Going for a walk at midnight and still needing sun glasses was bizarre to say the least!
In the end it was a great trip. I’d highly recommend putting Norway on your “bucket list” of places to see before you die. 145 Magazine
2014 Top Shop in Review
Perform air international “He preferred instead to work hands-on with airplanes, so in 1995 Dale became an absentee president in order to pursue his passion as an airline representative for heavy maintenance.” Dale left the management of the company to Cindy, who was the VP of Administration at the time; and Mark Davis, the VP of Operations. In 2001 Dale ultimately sold the company to Cindy and continued to act as a Technical Representative for many airlines until his death in 2004.
Growing Pains The Decision to Diversify Cindy McGown
In the Beginning The current owner of Perform Air International Inc., Cindy McGown, started in aviation as a financial controller for Perform Air International back in 1993. Although Cindy originally worked on the accounting and finance side of the business, she quickly learned the ins-and-outs of the aviation industry, and saw great potential in the business due to the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. With her background in finance she saw the potential cost savings that third party repair stations could provide to the airlines. She supposed a more competitive business environment would emerge due to de-regulation, and that airlines would have to be more sensitive about operating costs in order to remain competitive and to ensure stockholder satisfaction in the long term. “Dale Moore, the owner and the founder of the company at the time, didn’t particularly like the 145 component business”, recalls McGown.
The company experienced many “growing pains” over the years. Between the origination date of the company in 1987 and 1994, the company’s revenue had only grown to $900K in annual gross sales. One of the company’s key accounts for many years was America West, however, the bankruptcy of America West in 1991 had a huge financial impact on the company. After suffering the financial loss from the finalization of the bankruptcy in 1994, it was decided that customer diversification needed to take place to ensure against a similar situation in the future. “Mark Davis took over the responsibility of Sales and began to participate in several of the industry’s trade shows to better market the company and to broaden the company’s customer base”, says Cindy. By 2014, with the addition of a Director of Sales, and seven Sales Representatives located in seven countries around the world, Perform Air grew to approximately $35 million a year in annual gross revenue, with no individual customer accounting for more than 7% of the company’s gross revenue. Today 59% of all revenue is generated by domestic ac-
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2014 Top Shop in Review
Perform Air facility in Gilbert, AZ.
counts, and the remaining 41% is from customers abroad. The decision to diversify our customer base benefited the company tremendously.
Moving from Manual to Digital
When Perform Air International began in 1987, all aspects of the company were still being recorded, and documented, manually. However, it wasn’t long before the digital age emerged, and paper and filing cabinets were phased out to make way for new electronic data systems. After reading the book by Bill Gates “Business at the Speed of Thought”, Cindy determined the best direction for the company would be to create an internal database that would handle all the company’s business process control functions. Cindy had assisted in the installation of the first IBM AS400, and wanted Perform Air to have technological superiority in the aftermarket repair industry. After much research and attending multiple IT classes to learn more about PC based operations, our first IT Manager was hired and the PAI System was born. “The first year of our proprietary database development was very difficult, but very rewarding. We worked many long, late hours to test, and retest the development functions we were incorporating into the database. It was long, tedious work but when we implemented the system, with
all the specific functions we wanted, it made it well worth the effort.” Since that time their database has evolved to become the lifeblood of the company. While the investment in electronic infrastructure was great, the outcome has given them the ability to address all requests posed by their customers.
ISO/AS 9100 was a new and exciting standard in aviation that many airline customers started requesting back in the mid 1990’s. Perform Air International Inc. became ISO 9002:1994 registered in 1995. Because Ms. McGown was well acquainted with financial audits from her previous employment, she became a Lead Assessor for International Certifications in 1996, as she wanted to be an expert in the standard. She managed International Certifications USA for 6 years, all the while managing, purchasing, and growing Perform Air International!
Hire the Best Talent
“Employees are by far the most important aspect of a successful company, says Cindy, “while we have a very diverse group of employees, finding the right person for the right position has been critically important.” The management staff at Perform Air International Inc. is a tenured group of people, with an average job experience of 14.75 years. “We have had failures when hiring as well. Through over a quarter century of operation there were occasional employee personality differences, however as can be seen through our average employee tenure, those differences were few and far between. The team that has been assembled is diverse, adaptable and always works together as a team.”
2014 Top Shop in Review Perform Air International Today Next Generation Component Repair
The company primarily focuses on repairing components for newer generation aircraft. This has been achieved by upgrading the test equipment, and training employees on next generation aircraft. Perform Air recently acquired a new hydraulic test stand which has next generation capacity to service A380 and B787 aircraft. Additionally a new pneumatic test stand was added in 2010, which became the catalyst for acquiring new customers, particularly in foreign markets. It is an ongoing goal at Perform Air International Inc. to stay ahead of the industry when it comes to technology.
Over the past few years, Perform Air International Inc. has added engineering staff. With the addition of 3 engineers, and an onsite DER, the company now has the ability to perform 8110 repairs, at customers’ requests. The engineering department can now provide customers with reliability studies, product improvement analysis, and reporting mechanisms, all designed to fulfill customer needs.
Advise to those looking to start their own repair center:
“It is a great business to be in, but no one person can be knowable in all the different business aspects that are required to run a successful Repair Station”, says Cindy. “Hire great people, who are experts in areas you are not, and allow them the freedom to make decisions based upon their expertise. Educate yourself in areas of weakness, and appreciate, and remain loyal to those who have helped you in your success.”
Aviation Events Calendar
Seoul Intâ€™l Aerospace and Defense Exhibition
October 13-15, 2015
October 20-25, 2015
Cargo Facts 2015 October 26-28, 2015 Mandarin Oriental Miami, FL
MARPA (Modifications and Replacement Parts Association) October 28-29, 2015 Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel Las Vegas
MRO Asia Pacific
November 3-5, 2015 Singapore Expo Convention & Exhibit Centre Singapore
Dubai Airshow November 08-12, 2015 Dubai World Central Dubai
NBAA November 17-19, 2015 Las Vegas Convention Center
China Aviation & MRO Aftermarket Conference
Henderson Executive Airport
November 19-20, 2015
Las Vegas, NV
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport Shanghai, China
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145 is a lifestyle magazine dedicated to people in the aviation industry.