Jerry Schumacher, President
A study by Boeing in 2020 shows that the aviation industry will be in need of 804,000 new pilots, 769,000 new maintenance technicians, and 914,000 new cabin crew to fly and maintain the world fleet over the next 20 years. The pandemic and its detrimental effects on the aviation industry have further aggravated the dearth of pilots and maintenance personnel as well as MRO executives and engineers in the industry. As a result, airlines that aim to improve their technology are rendered nigh helpless and incur heavy losses until the current global scenario improves. The severity of the engineering shortage will vary among regions and companies, but overall, organizations need to adopt a more proactive stance to the stark issue at hand. It is at this juncture that U.S. Technical has taken on this challenge and offers its unique approach of services that include aviation engineering, FAA certification, product installation, aircraft modifications, and more. Founded in 1994 by a group of aviation businessmen and technical experts, the service-oriented firm helps clients accomplish their projects at hand in the quickest and most cost-effective way possible. As a small-scale enterprise, U.S Technical offers considerable operational transparency as well as exceptional clarity in delivering engineering solutions and end-products.
“The biggest issue that we notice in the aviation industry is the shortage of mechanics,” begins Jerry Schumacher, President of U.S.
Technical. While the FAA and several aircraft owners, operators and MRO’s have deftly tackled the issue, they still need creative solutions and services to sustain their growth rates. “Our objective is to deliver out-of-the-box services that can help clients while staying compliant with FAA regulations,” adds Schumacher. To achieve this, U.S. Technical provides customers with Designated Engineering Representatives (DERs) and engineering professionals who are not only adept at developing creative solutions but are also versed well enough with the rules of the FAA such that the solutions are feasible. Combined with the company’s program management, engineering, certification, technical publications, parts kitting (PMA), and the use of vendors as strategic partners on projects, U.S. Technical’s engineering service provides clients with a complete turn-key integration service to any level that may be required.
Moreover, U.S. Technical boasts a highly skilled and dedicated team of engineers. Setting themselves apart from most engineering firms, the team functions on the ideology that it is not satisfactory to merely find the root cause of a client’s issues but also to provide multiple solutions that can address the challenges they come across. As one of the company’s most esteemed assets, the team of engineers have worked extensively with large airlines, leasing companies, regional airlines, cargo carriers, private jets, and firefighting aircraft companies, to name a few. In recent times, U.S. Technical has partnered with many aircraft leasing companies—which can be considerably more challenging and demanding based on time restraints to shift an aircraft from one operator configuration to the new operator configuration as well as meet the FAA requirements. For instance, they may take on a project where a customer needs the aircraft ready for service within six months and the project is normally a nine month program. In working with the customer, FAA or ODA partner and the repair station doing the work, they come up with a way to complete it with in the six months. U.S. Technical also has an in-house staff to handle marketing support, project management, wire harness and cable manufacturing, Part Manufacturing Authorization (PMA) from the FAA as well as an FAA approved burn test lab and more.
Schumacher recalls a customer interaction where his team proved highly useful in helping the client achieve business efficiency. The client—based in Australia—needed a tank system attached to a firefighting helicopter (only had 90 days to complete and have it certified to fly revenue) which would normally require an FAA STC (7 to 9 months). U.S. Technicals’ team of engineers and DER’s worked with the FAA and implemented a creative solution that complied with the FAA’s regulations. The team was able to install the tank system onto the aircraft via a Major Alteration that the FAA could then approve. Soon after the product installation the helicopter was put on display in a show at Anaheim, California and has been used to fight fires ever since. “We work hard with our customers as well as the FAA and adapt to the methods it takes to make it work. Although we insist on adhering to FAA regulations and safety, we let the team have input over their project,” concludes Schumacher.