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Major Projects Keep STS Line Maintenance Busy in 2014


It’s been a very busy year for STS Line Maintenance (STSLM), and it only looks like things are going to get much busier as we move into the fourth quarter of 2014.

During the past two quarters, the STSLM team has been working on several projects that continue to cement our revenue base; projects that I would like to tell you a little more about.

The first — a small project with huge implications — revolves around our team’s effort to modify and upgrade an Air Force KC-10. This project was initiated by a major U.S. aircraft manufacturer, and this manufacturer has tasked STSLM with making prototype modifications set to be implemented throughout the entire KC-10 fleet. One of the major modifications we are working on is to install an over service valve in the forward lavatory to prevent the lavatory from leaking into the avionics equipment bay below it. As we all know, or at least we can all assume, blue water and electronics don’t mix very well. In addition to the valve mod, our team is also installing a modified environmental curtain on the main cargo deck of the KC-10. This is being done to prevent ground equipment fumes from propagating and accumulating in the passenger section of the aircraft. In conjunction with the curtain mod, the STSLM team is working on insulation blankets in the same area. While this is not a very big project in terms of time and effort, it has no doubt helped to open the door with this manufacturer for future collaboration.

The second special project in the works is huge and has to do with a major WiFi company. That company, which cannot be named for contractual reasons, has once again chosen the STSLM team to install its WiFi Internet connect system across an entire fleet of aircraft operating for a major North American airline. We have done this in the past for several other airlines and saw great success, and that success has caused this particular WiFi company to tap us again.  The WiFi install is headed up by the STSLM’s Director of Maintenance, Brandon Monk. He has enlisted the assistance of Jack Hixson as this project will encompass over 100 aircraft in three different cities. Both gentlemen have a proven track record in this arena, and we have the utmost confidence in their abilities and look forward to exceptional results.

Besides the two special projects mentioned above, STSLM continues to conduct its normal course of business and has several exciting events taking place that are noteworthy. Starting in November of this year, the STSLM team will be assisting a major air carrier in Denver in repositioning their international arriving aircraft to domestic gates. This will be accomplished with the use of a High Speed Super Tug. The DEN Station Manager, Shawn Peterson, and his team will be trained by the carrier in an effort to accomplish these moves using only one person at the controls and two guide personnel. This is a tremendous cost-savings opportunity for the airline and a helpful boost to our bottom line.

In addition, at our Dallas/Fort Worth station, the previously mentioned WiFi company has selected STSLM to accomplish an ongoing maintenance and program upgrade for another major airline based in the same location. Our new DFW Station Manager, Doug Williams, will be overseeing this program with his DFW team utilizing USB flash drives provided by the WiFi company. This will entail anywhere from 60 to 90 aircraft per month in that city.

Finally, as most of STS Aviation Group’s Jensen Beach headquarters saw, we had our annual Line Station Managers meeting at the end of July. This was a very productive meeting as all departments offered in-depth training and some very interesting presentations. Many thanks to all who participated for helping to keep this motley crew straight (See picture above).


Note: This article was written by Bill Wagner, Vice President of Technical Services for STS Line Maintenance