Avionics News September 2012 - 56

series
B Y T H O M A S I N M A N

Changes in Approach L
ast summer, I had the opportunity to experience a difference in perception and realized the responsibility for a change in approach. No matter what the field of endeavor, one must always be aware of perceptual differences. None of us think exactly like another. Furthermore, we must always be ready for change. Competition in the avionics industry creates rapid changes, and we all must adapt. The difference in perception came as I attended a familiarization class on a transport-category jet. From an avionics standpoint, the airplane was not very remarkable. As the instructor said, most of these systems operate in an identical manner to those found in any other aircraft. He pointed out a few differences, mainly the Mode S transponder coupled closely to the TCAS, and the altimeter-sized air data unit installed so the aircraft could meet RVSM requirements. Otherwise, he was correct. The airliner did not even sport a GPS, VOR-DME RNAV or any form of flight management system. As a result, we spent most of our week on other systems. Our instructor used humor fre56
• 2012

quently. At his workplace, avionics technicians were referred to as cone heads. On the surface, one might think this was a derogatory term. Perhaps, but our instructor learned to be a cone head while working for

Referring to a person as a knuckle dragger infers low intelligence and is normally an insult. In this case, the reference means mechanics are not burdened with an avionics technician’s tendency for over thinking a

Where a mechanic looks for simplicit y, an avionics technician looks for complexit y.

an airline, and he referred to us with respect and awe. In fact, he said difficult, mind-boggling airplane problems, no matter what the system, could often be solved by an “emergency, break-glass-only cone head.” I raised my hand and volunteered, “That’s me, and I only work in an emergency.” Our rather animated instructor would often refer to mechanics as knuckle draggers, pilots as sky kings and flight engineers as juniors. Eighty percent of the students in this class were mechanics, and half were pilots. Fortunately for the instructor, all of us were able to take these references in the humorous spirit in which they were intended.

problem. In contrast, we cone heads tend to be logical and, at times, a bit too literal. Where a mechanic looks for simplicity, an avionics technician looks for complexity. We all can understand how confidence and ego could cause a pilot to be designated a sky king. As for flight engineers, often the position is held by the most junior in seniority. During the week, we familiarized ourselves with electrical systems, pressurization, air conditioning, engines and hydraulics. I must admit, I’m a true-blue cone head. As a result, most of these subjects were far outside my area of expertise. I learned much. As a cone head, more than once I was the first to volunteer

avionics news

september



Avionics News September 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News September 2012

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View From Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Aircraft as Antenna Farm
Member Profile
Understated Success
Hooking Up With Aspen’s Connected Panel
Meet the AEA Board
Member Profile
A Conversation With...
Business Basics
Theory & Practice
Legal Ease
What’s New
Avionics News September 2012 - Intro
Avionics News September 2012 - Cover1
Avionics News September 2012 - Cover2
Avionics News September 2012 - 1
Avionics News September 2012 - 2
Avionics News September 2012 - 3
Avionics News September 2012 - Point of Communication
Avionics News September 2012 - 5
Avionics News September 2012 - AEA Now
Avionics News September 2012 - 7
Avionics News September 2012 - 8
Avionics News September 2012 - 9
Avionics News September 2012 - 10
Avionics News September 2012 - 11
Avionics News September 2012 - 12
Avionics News September 2012 - 13
Avionics News September 2012 - The View From Washington
Avionics News September 2012 - 15
Avionics News September 2012 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News September 2012 - 17
Avionics News September 2012 - 18
Avionics News September 2012 - 19
Avionics News September 2012 - Aircraft as Antenna Farm
Avionics News September 2012 - 21
Avionics News September 2012 - 22
Avionics News September 2012 - 23
Avionics News September 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News September 2012 - 25
Avionics News September 2012 - 26
Avionics News September 2012 - 27
Avionics News September 2012 - Understated Success
Avionics News September 2012 - 29
Avionics News September 2012 - 30
Avionics News September 2012 - 31
Avionics News September 2012 - 32
Avionics News September 2012 - 33
Avionics News September 2012 - Hooking Up With Aspen’s Connected Panel
Avionics News September 2012 - 35
Avionics News September 2012 - 36
Avionics News September 2012 - 37
Avionics News September 2012 - 38
Avionics News September 2012 - 39
Avionics News September 2012 - Meet the AEA Board
Avionics News September 2012 - 41
Avionics News September 2012 - 42
Avionics News September 2012 - 43
Avionics News September 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News September 2012 - 45
Avionics News September 2012 - 46
Avionics News September 2012 - 47
Avionics News September 2012 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News September 2012 - 49
Avionics News September 2012 - Business Basics
Avionics News September 2012 - 51
Avionics News September 2012 - 52
Avionics News September 2012 - 53
Avionics News September 2012 - 54
Avionics News September 2012 - 55
Avionics News September 2012 - Theory & Practice
Avionics News September 2012 - 57
Avionics News September 2012 - 58
Avionics News September 2012 - 59
Avionics News September 2012 - Legal Ease
Avionics News September 2012 - 61
Avionics News September 2012 - 62
Avionics News September 2012 - 63
Avionics News September 2012 - What’s New
Avionics News September 2012 - 65
Avionics News September 2012 - 66
Avionics News September 2012 - 67
Avionics News September 2012 - 68
Avionics News September 2012 - 69
Avionics News September 2012 - 70
Avionics News September 2012 - 71
Avionics News September 2012 - 72
Avionics News September 2012 - Cover3
Avionics News September 2012 - Cover4
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