Being an Aircraft Maintenance Technician is a great profession, and it takes a lot of skill and knowledge (not to mention continuous, recurrent training) to be proficient at our craft. We have to be able to understand and comprehend the functions of a state-of-the-art aircraft like the Boeing 737. We have to deal with formulas and measurements that must be within a thousandth of an inch, not to mention the many specialty tools that are required to perform these maintenance tasks.
However, somewhere along the way Aircraft Maintenance Technicians have simplified the terminology in our profession, so that we can better communicate with each other. We have nicknames for tools and different parts on the airplane that make our jobs fun and that much easier.
Here are a few words that will sound familiar to you but, while working on a Boeing 737, mean something totally different to an Aircraft Maintenance Technician:
I might use a "dog bone" to help remove the "canoe fairing" from the wing, or a "crow’s foot" to help install the "dorsal fin" on the upper aft section of the airplane. We might also notice that, after we lowered the wing flaps, the "elephant ear" needed adjusting. Or, after removing the number two engine, we found that the "turkey feathers" on the back of the engine were worn, and the "spinner" inside the inlet of the engine needed painting. And every now and then before we put the airplane back into service, we sometimes have to install new "eyebrow windows." Here's what I'm talking about:
What are some of the whatchamacallits in your profession? Tell us in the comments section below!
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I’m proud to be associated with Southwest Airlines’ Continuing the Legacy in Aviation pogram. For the past three years, we have welcomed a large number of students who have an interest in aviation. One student in particular has aspirations to be a Pilot, his name is Tyrell Rhodes. Tyrell was a part of last year’s Continuing the Legacy program and he’s already a success story. Click here to read an article about him. Southwest First Officer John Addison gives Tyrell a tour of a simulator. (top) Tyrell is surrounded by two Tuskegee Airmen, Mr. Spann (l) and Doctor McDaniel (r).
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Black History Month sometimes comes and goes without us ever realizing it. I remember Black History Month when I was a kid, and we always leaned about who I would call the big three, Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington Carver, and Rosa Parks. Although the big three helped change the scope of our country for the better, we have so many more individuals before and after them who have gone almost unnoticed. I would like to make a pledge to learn about Black History for 365 days, starting now. This time of focus all started with "Negro History Week," and for all of my life, it’s been Black History Month. I’m grateful for anytime we can teach one another about Black History, but let’s not limit it to only the month of February. If we do so, eventually it won’t be Black History, it will all be American History. I am proud to say that I am doing my part by continuing the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, the all-black fighter squadron of WWII. 365 days out of the year, I make it a point to spread the message to our youth about the sacrifice and injustices they encountered while defending a country that did not see them as equal citizens. One Tuskegee Airmen I would like to focus on at this point is Lt.Col. (Ret.) Lee A. Archer, Jr. Mr. Archer died recently and joined what the Tuskegee Airmen’s National organization calls the “Lonely Eagles”. Lee was one of the celebrities for the Tuskegee Airmen, but if you knew him on a personal level as I did, he never came across that way. Lee was born September 1919; he was a graduate of class 43G-SE; and during combat action in WWII, he flew 169 missions and scored four confirmed air combat victories. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 18 clusters, the Distinguished Unit Citation, and many other service medals and citations. I first met Mr. Archer in the fall of 2003 at an airshow in Houston, Texas, and through the years, I have had the pleasure of talking to him at different events. I was blessed to join Lee Archer and other Tuskegee Airmen in a suite at the old Yankee Stadium, where they were honored before the game. Mr. Archer called New York home, but he spent some time in Texas as well. He visited Southwest Airlines on two different occasions; the last time was when Southwest Airlines dedicated a Boeing 737-700 aircraft to the Tuskegee Airmen. Lee Archer used his life experiences during WWII to teach students about the importance of education, and believed that they can achieve the goals that they set for themselves. Let’s continue this for him…365. Be sure and check out our video featuring Gordon.
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This year, Southwest Airlines again organized the Continuing the Legacy in Aviation Program. Eleven students and 14 parents and chaperones from seven non-profit and education organizations experienced a priceless and invaluable opportunity this fall. For the second year in a row Southwest Airlines invited these guests in to tour our facilities and to have the students see what we do as an airline. The Second Continuing the Legacy in Aviation participating organizations included: The Bessie Coleman Foundation; National Tuskegee Airmen, Inc Youth Department; Northern Virginia Urban League; First Baptist Church of Glenarden Aviation Ministry; Claude R. Platte DFW Tuskegee Airmen Chapter; Aerospace Science Program at Western Hills High School in Fort Worth, Texas; and the AFJROTC Aerospace Science Program at Guyer High School in Denton, Texas. On the two-day venture, the students were joined by the legendary Tuskegee Airmen from the Claude R. Platte DFW Tuskegee Airmen Chapter; Mr. Claude Platte, Mr. Calvin Spann, and Mr. Robert T. McDaniel. Before the students made their way to Southwest Airlines, they stopped and visited the Dallas Love Field Control Tower. They observed how the air traffic controllers directed the planes by using mathematics and technical controls, while being mindful of the weather. Next, the students visited the Frontiers of Flight Museum where they got the chance of a lifetime, by flying in an F-16 simulator. The learning continued the next day at the Southwest Airlines Flight Training Center . Here, the students sat in the 737 simulator cockpits and asked lots of questions. Without a minute to spare, the students boarded the Inflight simulator to experience the Flight Attendant training. Next, the students visited the Dallas Maintenance Hangar, where they got a chance to experience what we do as Mechanics on a daily basis. They then visited our Dispatchers in Flight Dispatch, and lastly, the students put on headsets and listened to calls at the Customer Support and Services Department. “Southwest Airlines understands how seeing, touching, hearing, and doing opens up a whole new world for students—they are teachable and impressionable moments,” said Karen Price-Ward, Corporate Community Affairs Manager for Southwest Airlines. We must continue to show our youth that they can do whatever they set out to do, if they work hard and believe in themselves.
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Spring Break this year was a lot fun, my family and I visited Austin, Texas, and while there we spent a lot of time visiting many museums and other historic sites. One eatery that was highly recommended was a restaurant called The Oasis. It sits on the edge of a cliff that overlooks Lake Travis, so we were able to get a patio table to watch an actual Oasis. The view was great... and so was the food. The most exciting part of our trip to Austin was the Segway Gliding Tour. If you’re not familiar with a Segway, it’s the two-wheel scooter you see security officers use in a shopping mall. The tour we decided on, took us through downtown Austin . It was so nice to spend two hours gliding the streets of Austin instead of walking. If any of you get a chance to take a Segway tour, do it, I think you will be glad you did. "WARNING" Once you do it, you will be hooked.
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This really has nothing to do with Southwest Airlines’ funny commercials that ask “Wanna get away?” when someone gets in a very embarrassing situation. This is more about having a place in your own house that you can go to and get away from everything around you, some place where you can relax. This room is one that I claimed when my wife and I bought our new home. (With her permission of course.) I converted the media room into a sports bar. Over the years I had collected all types of sports memorabilia just for this project and hoped that one day I would be able to use them. I also collect Sports Illustrated covers, and I use them as part of the décor, along with all the Southwest Airlines memorabilia I have. The biggest task of the sports bar project was building the bar itself, I guess my woodworking experience in high school paid off. The room also has a basketball goal that was given to me by a friend, and yes, it’s the regulation height of ten feet. (It’s just for the look.) I recently came across a news article on msnbc.com titled “ Man Caves ” and it was a story about guys who had the same idea as I did…having a place to hang out and entertain. I had no idea I was making a man cave. My room is simply called “The Hangar.” The name was chosen by a family member because I work on airplanes for a living and because I have just as much airplane stuff as I have sports stuff. I don’t only use “The Hangar” as my own private get away; we also use it to entertain. When family and friends come over we all go up and have drinks, watch sports, watch movies, or just sit back and listen to music. Hey, at least my wife knows where to find me.
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This year we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner at my house; my parents are driving up from China, Texas; my sister and brother who live locally will be joining us along with their families; and we are having a few friends over as well. Over the years, I have noticed that our Thanksgiving meals started to become real elaborate, and we started having a lot of fancy casseroles and dishes that I could not pronounce. So, I decided to go back to my roots with the Thanksgiving meal “China Style”: Traditional baked turkey, deep fried turkey, Cajun dirty rice, cornbread dressing, and other side dishes and desserts that I grew up with. When my wife sent out the electronic invitation, we got back some great responses, and everyone was excited about what we decided to do. So it’s going to be very nice to have Thanksgiving with my family like old times. And the other tradition in the Guillory house hold on Thanksgiving Day is watching the Dallas Cowboys; that’s one thing that has never changed no matter how fancy the meal gets. Hope you all have a Happy and safe Thanksgiving.
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I had the pleasure of being a part of a wonderful aviation experience for students hosted by Southwest Airlines. We invited students from around the country to show them how our Company operates. [asset|aid=232|format=post_small_image|formatter=imagecache|title=tour 2.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100] The event titled "Continuing the Legacy of Aviation" was made up of students from four different organizations; Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Bessie Coleman Foundation, Inc., Women’s Air force Service Pilots, and 100 Black Men of Greater Washington, D.C., Inc. The students got a wonderful surprise when they arrived to find that we also invited aviation legends from World War II; [asset|aid=229|format=post_small_image|formatter=imagecache|title=swa tour 6.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100] Women’s Air force Service Pilot (WASP) Betty Jo Reed, and Tuskegee Airmen Bob Ashby, Robert T. McDaniel, and Calvin Spann. The students and their parents or group leaders were flown into our Dallas Headquarters for the two-day event which began with a tour of our Maintenance Facility on September 17. The students had a chance to see Mechanics working on the aircraft and were able to ask all sorts of questions; it was a wonderful experience for them. [asset|aid=228|format=post_small_image|formatter=imagecache|title=swa tour 1.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100] The following day they toured our main Headquarters and met with Southwest Leaders and visited our Reservations, Marketing, and Inflight Departments. They finished up the day with the most exciting part of the tour, when they got the chance to go into our 737 flight simulators. [asset|aid=230|format=post_small_image|formatter=imagecache|title=swa tour 4.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100][asset|aid=231|format=post_small_image|formatter=imagecache|title=swa tour 5.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100] Here are some of the things our guests had to say: "My experience this week will never be forgotten and I will cherish it for a long time. The maintenance tour you gave was phenomenal. I never knew so much went on in those huge hangers. It was so fascinating to see all aspects of the maintenance facility. Especially going into the gutted plane, going into the cockpit, and seeing the infamous black box. Thank you for dedicating your time to me as well as the other participants and their parents." Wesley Dixon (student-- Snellville , Georgia ) "Cameron and I utterly enjoyed ourselves at Southwest Airlines last week. It was truly a life-changing experience. I was equally impressed with the caliber of African American male employees and fathers involved in the program. So often, the media distorts the image of the African-American male. So for Cameron to be amongst men at Southwest, the distinguished Tuskegee Airmen, Bessie Coleman, and 100 Black Men of DC, the experience left him with a strong impression and validation that he, too, can be an achiever. So again, thanks to all! These memories will be with Cameron and me forever." Sincerely, Gloria L. Smith and son, Cameron ( Fort Worth , Texas ) [asset|aid=233|format=post_small_image|formatter=imagecache|title=tour 3.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100] I want to personally thank Southwest Airlines for investing in the future of our youth.
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I would like to share a little bit of how our aircraft are scheduled for maintenance. We have over 500 aircraft in our system, and they all have to be maintained at some point during the day. Most of our aircraft fly around ten flights a day depending on the routes. For example, one day, I might see Lone Star One pass by the hangar that I work in at Dallas Love Field three or four times a day. [asset|aid=142|format=post_large_image|formatter=imagecache|title=hangar pic 1_0.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100] Our inhouse computer system tells us how much time is left on an aircraft before we have to bring it in for maintenance; it all depends on the type of check that’s scheduled. During normal operating hours, our Mechanics around the system will perform limited routine maintenance before and after each flight, but the majority of our maintenance is done overnight while most of you are sleeping. However, the department that I work in, "Heavy Maintenance", is a 24-hour operation. These aircraft are scheduled for Heavy Maintenance every two years and are in the hangar between 12 and 50 days depending on the type of check. We also have scheduled maintenance done by outside contract maintenance bases. [asset|aid=143|format=post_large_image|formatter=imagecache|title=hangar pic 2_0.jpg|align=none|height=100|width=100] We don’t have one place in particular that we send our aircraft for scheduled maintenance, but we have Southwest Maintenance from coast to coast in cities like; Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Tampa Bay in the Eastern Region and Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix, Sacramento, St. Louis, and Salt Lake City in the Western Region. With that type of maintenance coverage you should feel safe to move about the country.
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The first time I met Colleen was at our Maintenance hangar somewhere around late October or early November of 2003. She and Herb had come to our facility to accept a gift on behalf of the Mechanics. I had seen her many times before since I joined Southwest Airlines in 1997, but this was the first time I was in hugging distance. I was in awe of being in the presence of two living legends, but as they both do so well, they make you feel very comfortable around them. After the presentation, the cameras came out, and Herb was instantly swarmed for photos, and Colleen was visiting with Coworkers and answering their questions, while at the same time keeping Herb "in line." It was at this time that I approached her and asked if I could have my picture taken with her. She said, ”excuse me”… as my heart stopped for a second or two. I asked again, and she smiled and said, "I’m sorry I didn’t hear you. I’m so use to people wanting their picture taken with Herb only.” Since then, I have had my picture taken with Colleen a few more times, and as a Corporate Culture Committee Member, I have had the opportunity to hear Colleen speak on many different subjects. The advice and recommendations she gives to the group have helped me at work as well as in my personal life. I was honored to be featured with Colleen on southwest.com’s "Share the Spirit" page spotlighting Employee involvement in worthy organizations, and that is the proudest moment for me so far at Southwest Airlines. Colleen I want to say thank you for your motherly leadership during your time as President of Southwest Airlines. You will be missed. Luv “G”
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I would like to elaborate on a post I wrote for the blog a couple of years ago titled “Forget Me Not…” It was about recognizing Aircraft Maintenance Technicians during the month of May, in honor of the first aircraft mechanic, Charles E. Taylor, who was the mechanic for the Wright Brothers. Taylor was born May 24, 1868, and we would like to make May 24th a National Holiday. On Friday, May 8th, Southwest Airlines showed it’s appreciation for our Maintenance and Engineering Department when a 737-700 (N289CT) honoring Charles E. Taylor was added to our fleet. The Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Association (AMTA) is a strong supporter of keeping the legacy of Charles E. Taylor alive. He’s an Aviation Pioneer that should not be forgotten, and he should be in the hearts and minds of not just us Aircraft Mechanics but people around the world. Be sure and listen to Steve's Red Belly Radio (bottom right of the home page) post about the event.
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While I was surfing the net I came across something from my past, a toy... a very sophisticated toy called the Lego Mindstorms NXT. This toy was not something I had as a kid, what I meant by "in my past" is that, back in August 2006, I was visiting my dear friend. Our very own "Blog Queen" Paula Berg in our Public Relations Department asked if I thought our Mechanics would like to take on the project of building something using Lego's latest invention, the Mindstorms NXT?Lego had sent the Mindstorms NXT kit to different companies, asking them to use it to built something that would represent their company's brand--companies like Southwest Airlines, AOL, GAP, Energizer, Microsoft, Reebok, and others. I brought the idea to our Maintenance Leaders, and they gave us the okay to build this project during our normal working hours.
We decided to build a 737-700; what else is there that represents our Company's brand better than our aircraft? We were given two Lego Mindstorms NXT kits and within six to eight hours we had our creation.
The Lego kit had to be programmed to function like an airplane, so we programmed it to back up as if it were backing out of the gate and had a simulated engine start as well as rudder movement. Then we had it move forward as if were taxiing. We loaned our SWA robot back to the LEGO Company to be used in their publicity efforts.
The Mechanics who put their minds together for this project did an excellent job, and they ask me from time to time, what ever happen to our Lego 737-700?
So if anyone out there has seen it, let me know; we would love to get it back and display it at our Maintenance facility.
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The Holiday Season has always been a special time of year for me; it's the time of year when I celebrate Christmas and my birthday.I was born the day after Christmas, and every time I'm with my parents during this time, my father brings up the subject of my birthday. You see, he claims that I was born on Christmas Day; he says he remembers seeing and holding me on Christmas day; and if you hear his story, it sounds pretty convincing that there is a chance that I may be a Christmas baby.
However my mother is quick to chime in and correct him by saying it was after midnight, early on the 26th when she gave birth to her bundle joy.
She also points out that, at the time, my father was enjoying some "Christmas Spirits," (if you know what I mean) . He doesn't drink anymore, but he does agree that, that might have had something to do with his confusion about the time.
My birth certificate says I was born on December 26 th; my father says December 25 th; and my mother will continue to correct him as the loving debate continues.
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When I was hired at Southwest Airlines in May 1997, we had just finished construction on a new hangar in Dallas to house the latest and greatest "Next Generation" Boeing 737, the dash 700. The -700 aircraft was much larger than the -200, -300, or -500 aircraft that we had in our fleet at the time. It had a wider wing span and a taller landing gear that makes its tail sit higher in the air, so we needed to build a hangar that it would fit into.
We have since retired all -200 aircraft and only have -300, -500 and -700 aircraft. As our fleet has grown, we have purchased only -700 aircraft, so we needed larger hangars that would accommodate them. On July 15, 2002, we opened another hangar in Dallas that would house more -700 aircraft.
In November of last year, we began construction here on another new hangar. The plans for the new hangar called for the removal of the two original hangars that could only house the -300 and -500 aircraft, and they were razed a couple of months earlier in September 2006. Although we all enjoyed hearing that we were going to build another new hangar, it was sad to know that some of our veteran Mechanics had to say good-by to these original hangars at our Love Field Maintenance Base.
After 14 months of construction we now have a new hangar that houses three -700 aircraft and of course easily houses the -300 and -500 aircraft.
I've got to go now... I have to move my tool box into the new Hangar.
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If you are a fan of Southwest Airlines, you are aware of the fact that, of our 512 airplanes, there are a number of them with various signatures attached to them. The more recognizable signature airplanes are the ones painted like Shamu or with a flag of the states that we serve.
From a personal standpoint, I had a vision that one day one of our Southwest Airlines signature airplanes would represent the world renowned Tuskegee Airmen of WWII, by painting the tail of one of our airplanes red like the Tuskegee Airmen did to their P-51 Mustangs.
I know that this would be asking a lot of the Company but Southwest Airlines has supported Tuskegee Airmen Inc. for many years, so what's one red tail...? Just kidding it was just a vision. However...
The 36 th Annual Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. National Convention was held in the Dallas area this year, and Southwest Airlines was the leading Corporate Sponsor for the Convention. Southwest Airlines held a welcoming ceremony for the Tuskegee Airmen at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field Airport, and this was a day that I will remember for the rest of my life.
This is the day that a dream came true for a number of our Employees. Southwest unveiled a decal that was installed on one of our 737s to salute the Tuskegee Airmen for their service to our country during WWII, for the stellar military record that they achieved during the war, and for being recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal.
Aircraft N288WN is our latest signature airplane, and it will fly in our fleet with the decal for one year, so be on the look out for it. Although it doesn't have a red tail, it's a dream come true none the less.
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Well it's that time of the year, when we, as Professional Football fans, start planning our weekends according to the schedule of our favorite NFL team. I know when my favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, is scheduled to play, and anyone who's looking for me knows where to find me at kickoff.
If you are a real NFL football fan, these games will impact a part of your life for the entire season. For instance, depending on whether your team won or lost the game on that particular Sunday will usually will determine what the first few days of the work week will be like for you. And if your favorite team played the Monday Night football game, those feelings will be magnified because it was a nationally televised game.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Tell me who your favorite teams are and how their wins and loses affect you during the week and throughout the year.
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Southwest not only gives me the Freedom to Fly across the country, it gives me the Freedom to move around the Company. It gives me the Freedom to simply be myself. I've been working here at SWA for ten years, and from day one, I felt the sense of family. I have friends in many different Departments within our Company, and Southwest gives me the Freedom to visit them at any time.
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On May 31, 2007, I became one of the 41 Southwest Airlines Employees to be recognized for the work we've done in the community as representatives for the Company. I was a Co-Recipient of the Share the Spirit Award for 2006 along with fellow Aircraft Mechanic Dale Dixon, for our work with the Tuskegee Airmen organization.
Southwest Airlines has been supporting Tuskegee Airmen Inc. for several years and has now chosen Tuskegee Airmen Inc. as one of its Charities to Consider for our Employees. I know I speak for Dale when I say that we are honored to have received this award and are so appreciative of the support Southwest Airlines has given to the Tuskegee Airmen organization. Southwest Airlines is also a major sponsor for The 36th Annual Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. National Convention which will be held in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area on August 21-25, 2007.
Congratulations to the other 2006 Share the Spirit Award winners and keep up the good work in your own communities.
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Thank you for remembering the AMT's on this day and what Charles E. Taylor did for aviation as a whole, May 24th should not be forgotten.
Being a licensed AMT yourself, you can also appreciate what we as Mechanics do to keep aircraft safe, although you no longer turn wrenches, it's nice to know that we have you as a Leader of our Maintenance & Engineering Department, you know what we face from day to day.
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Hollee, great post, first of all I want to say thank you for helping with the crawfish boil... Your explanation of our Mx check was right on track... The picture of you inside the cabin is very nice...only one problem...You don't have any tools in your hand... Thanks for hanging out with us.
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I would like to congratulate a few of my fellow Mechanics on their awesome accomplishment: They won Gold at the 2007 PAMA Aviation Maintenance Olympics. This was the third year that Southwest Airlines had participated, and the Team won Bronze the two previous years.
The Team Members were Kyle Acuna, Scott McNabb, and Nick Ostalecki, and the coaches were Dennis Pelletier and Tom Zollars.
This year, in the final round of competion, they came up against the defending champs of the past three years, MidCoast Aviation, an FBO (Fixed Base Operator) out of St. Louis, and the Southwest Mechanics beat them by 49 seconds.
The competition involves seven categories: Data Research, Systems Troubleshooting, Hardware Identification, Safety Wiring, Hydraulic Tube Fabrication, Flight Control Rigging, and Building an Operational Avionics Circuit Board.
The Southwest Airlines PAMA Olympic team will look forward to defending the Gold next year at the Aviation Expo in Dallas, Texas.
Congratulations again guys...
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One Sunday evening I strolled across the street to the home of my neighbor, Denny, to hang out for a little while, and he introduced me to a gentlemen who was visiting him named Joe.
Our conversations went from real state to lawn care to our place of employment, and that's about the time Joe asked me what I did for a living. I told him that I was an Aircraft Mechanic for Southwest Airlines.
After Joe heard the name Southwest Airlines his face literally lit up...and it was not from the adult beverages we were consuming at the time.
He said how much he loved Southwest Airlines and began to reminisce about the early years of flying Southwest Airlines in the 70s. He remembered the $39 fares and how he and his friends would hop on a plane from San Antonio to Dallas just to party on the flight.
Joe went on to share some specific stories about flights he took on Southwest Airlines, some I wish I could have been on. It was nice to hear that a Customer was that excited about talking about Southwest Airlines. It started getting late, so I told the guys that I had to go, and Joe had one request.... He said "If you see Herb, tell him to bring back the Hot Pants and Go Go Boots".
Sorry Joe... I don't think that will happen.
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Growing up in China, Texas, I was taught that you should not put your family's business "in the streets." The same should apply in the workplace, because you never know who could be listening.
I had the misfortune--or maybe it was fortune--of hearing two employees of a rival airline speaking so negatively about their employer. What surprised me the most was the time and place in which their conversation took place...in a locker room full of guys getting dressed after a lunchtime workout.
During the time it took for me to get dressed, I didn't hear these two pilots say anything nice about that airline (a major competitor of Southwest's).
They should have been more aware of their surroundings; although, once I was dressed they noticed that I was wearing my Southwest Airlines-issued liberty blue aircraft Mechanic's uniform with the Southwest Airlines logo on the shirt and cap. I wonder if any of the other guys in the locker room decided to fly Southwest Airlines that day, after hearing what they said.
I can only hope.
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In celebrating Black History Month, there are a number of African Americans who are so deserving of praise for helping make this a great country to live in. My childhood days of learning Black history brings back memories of people like Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, George Washington Carver and his 300 uses for peanuts (the official snack of Southwest Airlines), and Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks for their brave efforts during the Civil Rights Movement. I'm so thankful for learning about these great African Americans.
I later learned that a civil rights movement took place back in 1941 during WWII, when a group of young African American men fought to become fighter pilots in the United States Army Air Corps.
These young men are now known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Those who were qualified were accepted into the aviation cadet training, where they became pilots, navigators, bombardiers, and some were trained to become aircraft mechanics.
I didn't learn the true history of the Tuskegee Airmen until I was 25 years old, but now I am blessed to be part of the Tuskegee Airmen organization for three years running. I currently hold the title of Vice President of the local, Claude R. Platte D/FW Tuskegee Airmen Chapter.
For their great achievements during WWII, the Tuskegee Airmen in 2006 were awarded with the Congressional Gold Medal, and they are the largest group to ever receive that honor. They will be receiving the medal at a ceremony in Washington D.C. sometime this year.
For many years Southwest Airlines has been a tremendous supporter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. Southwest Airlines is also a major sponsor for the Tuskegee Airmen National Convention which will be held in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area in August of this year.
Let's do our part to spread the history of these great War Heroes because our children, no matter what race, color, or creed, should not have to wait until their mid-twenties to learn of the Tuskegee Airmen and how they changed a nation.
Remember, it's not only Black History... it's American History.
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Hi Shelley, great post... You "CHICKS" do a wonderful job putting the messages together... keep up the good work and tell Mary Ann, Cynthia, Lacey, Lori, Marilyn, and Sunny I said hi... "G"
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Hello bloggers of this great universe, Happy New Year. I would like to take this time to reflect on the year that has passed and say that I'm very thankful for the year that was 2006.
You see, I will always remember 2006 as the last year of my 30s. Now that I'm considered "over the hill" (I turned 40 the day after Christmas), I wonder what I'm supposed to do now?
Do I use my recliner more than just on the weekend to watch sports? When will I wake up and need reading glasses to read the morning newspaper? When will my kids start calling me "their old man" when talking to their friends? (As if they don't do it now.)
Oh well...while I'm waiting for these questions to be answered I'll just live life to the fullest.
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