MRO Magazine

Airlines for America/SAE Better Way Award Honors Individuals Whose Work Demonstrates Innovative Aircraft Engine Inspection Process Development

September 23, 2015
By Business Wire News


Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, and SAE International, the ultimate knowledge source for mobility engineering, jointly presented the 13th annual “Better Way Award” at the recent Nondestructive Testing (NDT) Forum to a team comprising members from United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, GE Aviation and UniWest for furthering the science and efficacy of nondestructive testing.

The team earned the award for its work in developing a new and innovative aircraft engine inspection procedure that will enhance the safety, accuracy, efficiency and reliability of the process, while reducing engine inspection costs. The CFM56-7B engine turbine rear frame inspection satisfies service bulletins and FAA Airworthiness Directives requiring a surface inspection at specified areas and intervals using high frequency eddy current to detect cracks at the turbine rear frame. The new differential coil type eddy current weld inspection probe has resulted in a method which will eliminate the high reject rate and give an acceptable signal response for welds, while providing excellent crack detection capability.

Members of the 2015 “Better Way Award” team include Sam Tucker and Jason Meade of United Airlines, Dorsey Perkins of Southwest Airlines, Nellie Mauzey of GE Aviation and Bryan Leach of UniWest.

“A4A congratulates this year’s winning team for their innovative approach toward improving the aircraft inspection process, while further strengthening the U.S. airline industry’s world-class aviation safety record,” said Billy Nolen, A4A Senior Vice President, Safety, Security and Operations. “Working in partnership, this team of industry leaders reflects our commitment to utilizing the latest cutting-edge technology and innovation through all phases of flight to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience for the 2.1 million customers who fly on U.S. airlines every day.”

The A4A NDT Forum is marking its 58th year at a four-day conference held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where industry leaders are meeting to discuss current trends, issues and successes in NDT methodologies. The event features a number of presentations on achievements and lessons learned about technologies that help ensure the life and safety of aircraft structures by detecting defects well before they can be seen or cause a failure. This year’s topics showcase methodologies associated with composite structures and new repair methods for older aircraft models.


Annually, commercial aviation helps drive nearly $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 11 million U.S. jobs. Airlines for America (A4A) vigorously advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness. Our member carriers and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic.


SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting more than 145,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.

Airlines for America (A4A)
Vaughn Jennings, 202-626-4209