Making progress at PAMA

Our third edition of the PAMA Newsletter in General Aviation News reminds me of how fast our life goes by nowadays. When getting an A&P I never thought that writing articles for magazines and websites would be part of my daily routine.

I recall less than a year ago when I started as president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association, I was barraged with ideas and actions that needed attention. I am still sorting through some of them by priority. I am happy to report a couple of them are completed.

The first item I would like to report is the amount PAMA members give back, offering training and educational opportunities through IA renewals at the chapter level, which can all be found on our website calendar page (even ones not sponsored by our chapters).

One very common purpose of members is providing scholarships! Golf outings are a main source of this revenue and many of the chapters have great responses to these outings.

This year alone our chapters and the PAMA Foundation have given out more than $90,000 in scholarships to A&Ps and A&P students. PAMA is at the top in contributions to developing A&Ps!

Another project that was in the works and that is now on is our store. It offers a selection of promotional items to show your pride in being an A&P, as well as a PAMA member. Our slogan items, including T-shirts and bumper stickers, seem to be the hottest. Some of the one liners are very pointed, yet based on truth. For example: “FAILURE is not an option for an Aircraft Mechanic” or “Aircraft Mechanic: We guarantee our work from runway to runway!” My personal favorite: “We put the nuts on the plane, not in them!”

We also concluded our web survey on “Mechanic, Technician or Engineer — Which do you prefer?” We had 233 submissions with only 11 “other” comments. Technician led with 90, mechanic with 69, then engineer with 63.

First let me say that no matter which you prefer, all are Aviation Maintenance Professionals. We have posted the results and comments on for you to review.

I would like to summarize the themes I saw that permeated each personal choice. If mechanic was the choice, the comments mostly focused on two themes — “because it is what we are called on our certificate” or “I am proud to be one.” Technician themes were “because it is a more professional title indicating a higher level of training” and “today’s aircraft are more technical than in the past.” Engineer main themes were “because most of the world uses engineer” and “we design and conceptualize repairs.” When I summarize these themes, I am also including my reviews of the comments from LinkedIn and Facebook discussions.

Dale Forton is president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA). Find out more about PAMA at



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