Machinists prove they’re world’s best aero techs

SEATTLE — A team of flight line mechanics who work at the Boeing Co. has proven again that District 751 Machinists are the best in the world at what they do.

AMTSkill1The team won its category at the AMTSociety‘s sixth annual Maintenance Skills Competition, which was held March 13-15 in Las Vegas.

In addition, one of the team members — John Donohue, who works on 777s in Everett — got the top score on the contest’s written exam, which earned his team an additional award.

The victory “sends a message to all AMTs, not only at Boeing, but at airlines, airline customers and any passengers on Boeing planes,” said team captain Joe Fancella, who works at Boeing’s Everett Delivery Center.

Along with Donohue and Fancella, the team was made up of Greg Steele and Michael Diamond from Renton field and Todd Warnstadt from Boeing flight test. The team members were selected by their fellow flight line workers from all across Boeing.

The contest attracted teams from Australia, Canada, China and the United States.

It is the second year in a row that the Boeing team, made up of members of Machinists Union District Lodge 751, has won first place competing against aircraft maintenance techs who work for aircraft manufacturers and maintenance/repair/overhaul companies. The team finished third overall.

The contest consisted of 14 separate events, ranging from avionics trouble-shooting to window repair to aircraft wheel and tire inspection and replacement. Each team assigned one person to compete in each event, and that person had 20 minutes to complete the task.

The team that had the lowest combined time for all 14 events won.

“It was great to be part of this,” Fancella said. “This event showcases skills that are not only needed, but required, to build safe, airworthy aircraft.”

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 33,000 working men and women at 49 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.

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