Wednesday, March 22

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Hard work and perseverance paid off again for the team from Indiana.

FedEx® Indy bested 73 global teams to win the famed William F. “Bill” O’Brien Award for Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance at the Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) Presented by Snap-on® in Dallas, Texas. FedEx Indy won the title in 2015 as well.

“When they announced Indy as the winner, we were all just in shock,” said Joe Schmalz, Captain of FedEx Indy. “We’ve fielded a team from Indy for the past 10 years; we have worked really hard to get to this point. I am just so proud of my teammates working together to capture the O’Brien Award. I’d also like to thank FedEx for their continued support of our team. We could not do it without their unwavering support and encouragement.”

Joining Schmalz on FedEx Indy were Scott Johnston, Jim Hoag, Rob Shrum, Travis Donald, and Darin Campbell (alternate).

Schmalz also wanted to thank several people within the FedEx family for helping them capture the title, including Scott Ogden, Les Frank, Rich Ugarte, Mike Sanford, Chris Hart, Gary Lyons, Christian Kline, and Meschelle Barnes, as well as Ken MacTiernan and John Goglia and their team for hosting the AMC.

The William F. “Bill” O’Brien Award for Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance is the grand prize for the team with the overall winning score in the Aerospace Maintenance Competition. The 4ft-tall O’Brien trophy will be on display at FedEx Indianapolis’ maintenance facility for the next 12 months. The trophy features a bust of aviation pioneer Charles E. Taylor who built and maintained the first aircraft engine used by the Wright Brothers. Sponsorship of the award is part of Snap-on’s continued commitment to the Aerospace Maintenance Competition and aviation maintenance technicians around the world.

“Technicians play such a crucial role in keeping aircraft and passengers flying safe, and the Aerospace Maintenance Competition is the perfect venue to shine a spotlight on the critical work they perform every day,” said Joe Chwan, director worldwide aerospace, Snap-on Industrial. “On behalf of the thousands of Snap-on professionals around the world, I would like to congratulate the skilled technicians at FedEx Indy, and all 74 teams, for their accomplishments at this year’s AMC.

“The dedication and professionalism displayed by FedEx exemplify the true spirit of what the William F. O’Brien Award for Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance is all about.”

The Aerospace Maintenance Competition Presented by Snap-on, and hosted by the Aerospace Maintenance Council, gives teams of licensed AMTs, AMEs, international military personnel and qualified aviation maintenance students the chance to test their aviation maintenance skills against those of their peers. The competition included 26 challenges in areas such as avionics; safety wiring; fiber optics/flight control rigging; hydraulics; jet engine troubleshooting; workplace safety SMS; and other tasks. Teams had 15 minutes to accurately complete each task; teams that finished their tasks in less than the allotted time received higher scores.

“The Aerospace Maintenance Competition is a venue for aircraft technicians and students from around the world to come and compete against each other. But the competition is designed to show the public what our responsibilities are; the knowledge, skill and integrity that we all possess,” said Ken MacTiernan, chairman of the Aerospace Maintenance Competition. “We have teams competing from three different countries. The airplane does not care where you come from. It just cares about the knowledge of the technician holding that tool, and the knowledge here at the competition is off the scale.”

Major Category Winners

MRO/OEM Category

  • 1st place: FedEx Indy
  • 2nd place: American Airlines – Tulsa
  • 3rd place: American Airlines – DWH

School Category

  • 1st place: Tulsa Tech – Adult Students
  • 2nd place: West Los Angeles College
  • 3rd place: Liberty University

Military Category

  • 1st place: Royal Canadian Air Force – 12th Air Maintenance Squadron
  • 2nd place: United States Coast Guard – CG-41 Aeronautical Engineering Team
  • 3rd place: United States Air Force – 412th Maintenance Group / Edwards AFB

Commercial Category

  • 1st place: Alaska Airlines – Seattle
  • 2nd place: FedEx LAX 
  • 3rd place: United Airlines – Line

International Category / Paul Cousins Award

  • 1st place – Royal Canadian Air Force – 12th Air Maintenance Squadron

United Competing with Professionalism Award

  • MIAT College of Technology
  • Embry-Riddle University – Team 1

Charles E. Taylor Professional AMT Award

  • Industry: Cassandra Hepp, Elevate Aviation
  • Student: Ryan Ritchie, Utah State University

Phoebe Omlie Scholarship Award (Phoebe Omlie was the first female to receive an FAA aircraft mechanic’s license in 1927).

  • Joshua Schilinski – Liberty University
  • Rebecca Waring, PIA Hagerstown
  • Penelope Wood, George T. Baker Aviation Technical College
  • Shelby Quilinan, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

AMC Peer Award

In addition to the William F. “Bill” O’Brien Award for Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance, Snap-on provided all the tools and equipment used by the participants during the competition and donated more than $75,000 in tools and equipment prizes to top finishers in the competition. More than 50 other companies, educational institutions, community organizers and individual volunteers contributed time, resources, prizes, product and airline miles to the event. Other top sponsors include American Airlines and Pratt & Whitney (Platinum); International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, PPG, SkyWest Airlines, Teamsters, TAMC, and United Airlines (Gold).

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