On June 1 the website for the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) went down. On Google it came up as a server issue, so we called the host who maintains our server and backs up our site to a separate server in their company. At least that’s what we paid for.
After several phone calls and some amazing Internet tracking we found our website was not hosted in Vancouver, Canada, but in Los Angeles. We also found that the company that our previous management company had set us up with as a host was no company at all.
It was an individual with a fancy website selling server space he rented in Los Angeles. The server company was no help either as they rented the machines only. They had no way to get past the passwords and security that the individual had used. They do not control the servers at all, only rent them out.
Even with our legal system in action, they had no possible solution except to get hold of our Canadian friend — and he was nowhere to be found and had stopped paying his rental invoices at the server company. This is why our site was shut down with no notice at all.
I know I am not alone as an aviation maintenance professional regarding issues like this one. We deal in an environment where honesty and integrity is required. We cannot put up a fancy website and invite you to our operation, then have customers fly in and find a shack with a phone in it where we call another operation to come and service your aircraft.
We also cannot provide a service and not tell you exactly what we did. We have to completely record it in a permanent log and sign our name and license number to it. We are not allowed the path that may be easier to take if we were a con artist, as we would be discovered very quickly. We also cannot even fathom the idea of taking that road as our actions can become inexcusable by causing someone’s injury or even death. This option is something that never even crosses a maintenance professional’s mind.
I sometimes catch myself — June 1 being one time — wondering why people just cannot be honest with each other like we have to be in aviation. The world would be a much better place.
Dale Forton is president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA). Find out more about PAMA at PAMA.org
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