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“The troubleshooter’s primary purpose in an operating plant is to find what has failed so that it can be repaired and be made available again” (Mostia p. 22). A major problem we are currently experiencing at our maintenance facility is retaining airframe and powerplant certified mechanics to perform maintenance. The maintenance facility provides maintenance support for Mississippi Army National Guard helicopters. The employees are required to serve in the National Guard but are paid as federal employees. One of the airframes supported by the facility is the UH 72-A Lakota. The aircraft is manufactured by Airbus Helicopters Inc. It is essentially a EC145. The helicopters were part of a new trial by the military and are required to be maintained by both military and FAA standards. This requires a maintainer to hold an A&P certificate in order to be a stand alone mechanic on the Lakota.
The 5 Whys
Problem 1. Maintainers are quitting the facility.
Problem 2. WHY- The employees are not satisfied with the salary.
Problem 3. WHY- Civilian companies pay their A&P mechanics a significantly higher salary.
Problem 4. WHY- The federal technician salary is based off of a federal wage survey for the local area that does not take into account the additional A&P certification requirements.
Problem 5. WHY- The federal wage survey was taken before the A&P certification was required.
Additionally- A new federal wage survey should be conducted and reflect the current requirement for A&P mechanics.
This problem has caused other problems to surface at the facility. The military does a great job recruiting and training new aircraft mechanics. The initial salary offered is competitive for entry level maintainers. A new maintainer can gain the experience required to obtain their A&P certification. After gaining this experience the soldiers have made themselves highly valuable in the general aviation sector where they can often make much more money. The military is left with no senior maintainers to mentor and guide junior maintainers. This leads to problems in general maintenance especially troubleshooting. Although there is some merit to viewing a problem at face value, it is often required to dig deeper for the root causes of the problem. The 5 whys in this scenario helped to identify a couple of root causes for this problem.
As with any problem we face in our everyday lives, as Christians our walk with God is often faced with problems. The same cause analysis reasoning can be applied to our faith. As Christians we often put on mask and try to hide issues we are facing and want to be perceived by others as if everything is okay. In reality we are in a spiritual battle everyday. The Bible says “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We must apply critical thinking and know that the root causes of our spiritual problems come from the enemy and we have been gifted with the power to overcome these problems through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
WhysProblem 1:The Aircraft would not start but turn▼Why?Problem 2:There is a misfire check spark plugs▼Why?Problem 3:Spark Plug is not firing clean spark plugs▼Why?Problem 4:No current flowing through the igntion coils check ignition coils ▼Why?Problem 5:magneto not firing check scheduled maintenance for magentos Root Cause
For this week, the 5 why Model was introduced. It has the advantage getting deep into the problem but that is if providing the group of people have prior knowledge of the problem. Here is an example as to how the 5 why model works. The problem at hand is the Aircraft would not start but just turn. The engine only turns, and to prevent the alternator to burn, it is decided to check out the problem. The most likely thing that may occur would be that engine is misfiring. There are many reasons as to why it would the engine would be misfiring, but the most likely thing to occur is that the spark plugs may not be firing. The scheduled maintenance for the spark plugs maybe past so the electrode maybe be gapped a little too wide due to usage. The spark plugs may also have dark deposits on them. The Gapping of the Spark Plug was within tolerance. Maintenance tried cleaning them to see if that would work but it did not. Then the next possibly reason as to why there is no current coming out of the spark plugs would be ignition coils. The countermeasure for the coils is to check the coils for continuity. Checking for continuity means the coils may have an open in them and causing leakage out the coils. The continuity was checked by using a tester and found that there is continuity in the coils. Then tracing where current comes from is the magnetos. The magnetos must be timed internally and externally. For internally where the magnetos fired at E-Gap where the maximum amount of the current can be produced, over time the points may arch and caused magneto to shift out of E-Gap and eventually cause it to misfire. The period for the magneto would generally be 500 hours run by the engine. So, the last step when it comes to the 5 why model. Why is the magneto is not operating properly? The counter measure would be to check the schedule maintenance for the magnetos.