out of the Box “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully - Samuel Johnson”. Lt Robert Lo explains the effect of a concentrated mind on CH124 Sea King technical training outcomes.
n 2005, technician training and levels of authorization held by senior maintainers were in a critical state at 12 Wing Shearwater, the home of Canadian naval aviation. Aircraft availability and flying hours had plummeted. Something had to be done, and rapidly, if 12 Wing was to survive and meet its operational mission - deploying HElAIRDETs aboard Canadian naval forces in worldwide missions. Caught between an aged and aging CH124 (Sea King) and a new maritime helicopter replacement (Cyclone) programme, technology based modifications to training were deemed neither financially nor timely achievable. 406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron (406 (M) OTS) had to go back to the drawing table for solutions. The solution, based on detailed discussion and focused planning, was a redesign of new technician type courses that concentrated available training resources, extended existing 22
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type courses, and transferred all OnThe-Job Experience (OJE) requirements from home units to 406 (M) OTS. By taking on training workload from other units and incorporating 100% Performance of Maintenance (POM) into the new technician type courses, 406 (M) OTS has effectively reduced total CH124 Sea King journeyman technician training by approximately six months. This new course delivery has significantly increased technician force generation by helping to clear a backlog of unqualified technicians. Additionally, the efforts and changes have improved aircraft availability and maximized resource utilization. What technology could not solve, teamwork and resource management did. The conflict that existed between technician training and maintenance operations on the flight line is no more.
The Problem Prior to 2005, Sea King Aviation (AVN)
AVN type course students conducting corrosion control . Image credit: Author/Canadian Department of National Defence.
and Avionics (AVS) type courses at 406 (M) OTS were predominantly theory based, focused on applicable Qualification Standards (QS). Following graduation, newly trained personnel were required to complete a Journeyman logbook during an On Job Experience (OJE) phase at their home units in order to become qualified to conduct POM. OJE required extensive supervision and training and was dependant on frequently scarce resources. Additionally, POM training conflicted with aircraft availability as practical hands-on training was required to be conducted during aircraft production sessions. Furthermore, OJE lacked standardization. The