Hotline Highlight – ARSA Recognizes LAC’s Pull & Willing

The hotline – ARSA’s premier member newsletter – contains news, editorial content, analysis and resources for the aviation maintenance community. All members should ensure they receive their edition the first week of each month. Not getting yours? Click here for direct access. For more information about the association’s periodicals, click here.

December 6, 2019

In This Edition…

Hostile Legislation, International Cooperation and Constant Motion

November 2019 was a busy month for the aviation maintenance community. In the United States, the specter of hostile legislative action became reality. Across the Atlantic, the long-awaited update to the U.S.-EU Maintenance Annex Guidance finally got published. Throughout this edition of the hotline, see the number of ways the association is managing these major issues – content for each covers almost every section of the newsletter – while continuing with the constant work of representing the international aviation maintenance industry. 

From the “Membership” section…

ARSA Recognizes Retirements of Lynden’s Pull & Willing

On Nov. 22, ARSA helped to recognize the retirement of two colleagues from member company Lynden Air Cargo. Jeff Pull and Paul Willing have long been steadfast supporters of aviation safety and committed backers of ARSA’s work on behalf of the entire aviation maintenance community.

“When ARSA found out that two of our internal regulatory experts were retiring they dashed around to provide two awards, both of which are being presented for the first time tonight and I have the honor in assisting that presentation,” said LAC President Rick Zerkel during the ceremony held at the company’s facility in Anchorage, Alaska.

LAC President Rick Zerkel assists in presenting the association’s honors to Jeff Pull (left) and Paul Willing (Center, in brown jacket).

Since the association’s team had such fun procuring the necessary materials for each “award” and developing the script for their presentation – which Zerkel utilized – it is providing the entirety of that script for all of its members’ reading pleasure (Should you know someone getting ready to retire whom you believe is deserving of such recognition, let ARSA know):

Script for November 22, 2019 Presentation of “Golden Shovel” Award and Doctoral Degree in Regulatory B.S.

For those of you who may not know, LAC has for years been a member of a trade group in Washington, D.C. called the Aeronautical Repair Station Association. Although LAC is not a repair station, we belong because of two lawyers – Sarah MacLeod and Marshall Filler – that help the company navigate the slalom course of aviation safety regulations.

Sarah and Marshall’s firm provides discounts to association members, which makes membership financially valuable for LAC. Beyond that, Sarah uses ARSA as a platform to practice what she calls “prophylactic lawyering,” which helps keep the entire aviation industry out of trouble and has made our 19-year connection to the association a business imperative.

When ARSA found out that two of our internal regulatory experts were retiring they dashed around to provide two awards, both of which are being presented for the first time tonight and I have the honor in assisting that presentation.

The Golden Shovel Award – Jeff Pull

Jeff Pull laughs during the Nov. 22 retirement ceremony while wearing his “Golden Shovel” pin.

On ARSA’s behalf, I present Jeff Pull with the association’s first-ever “Golden Shovel” award for service to the maintenance industry.

This award has long existed only in the mind of ARSA’s Executive Director Sarah MacLeod and in discussions among and between the association’s team members. It represents the years of “shoveling” that must be done by any determined aviation professional in order to stay in business and ensure aviation safety while surviving the whims of regulators, inconsistency between the plain language of the rules and their implementation and the constant struggle to make sense of it all.

At best it feels like shoveling against an incoming tide and hoping to keep the water beneath your chin.

At worst it feels like shoveling someone else’s manure – plenty of which flows out of Independence Avenue in Washington, through regions and districts across the country and onto the desks, workbenches and repair shop floors of maintenance professionals – and finding yourself consumed by the mess.

While many have undertaken this effort, only the very best see it through for a career in continued commitment to good aviation safety and good business sense. The “Golden Shovel” could not be made real until today, with the retirement of a member of the industry whose career demonstrated the dedication worthy of its gleaming handle. It is in recognition of Jeff’s tireless shoveling on that we can bestow this award.

Jeff, wear this pin, whose true meaning will be unknown to most who see it, with pride.

The Doctoral Degree in Regulatory B.S. – Paul Willing

Paul willing receives the certificate recognizing his earning of ARSA’s “Doctorate in Regulatory B.S.”

Paul willing receives the certificate recognizing his earning of ARSA’s “Doctorate in Regulatory B.S.”

On behalf of ARSA, I confer upon Paul Willing the association’s highest degree: A doctorate in regulatory B.S.

While no academic accrediting body or government regulator has yet had the insight or courage to bestow on ARSA the authority to confer degrees, the association has taken upon itself the right to recognize and rightly honor those who have—
(1) Successfully completed the required course of study – presented every day by the university of professional life, and
(2) Accumulated the compulsory practical experience to survive the often maddening and frequently comical FAA regulatory slalom course.

Though ARSA’s regulatory experts are currently all legal professionals holding their own Juris Doctor degrees, the team recognizes the need to honor Paul’s attainment of these standards with the true Ph.D.: “Piled Higher and Deeper.” As we’ve already recognized the considerable shoveling necessary to survive in this industry, a professional with the experience and mastery of Paul surely has accumulated his own considerable pile.

Given the importance of credentialing in both academic and professional interests, not to mention personal pride, we trust you will display your newest degree for all to see.

Congratulations to Jeff and Paul

The joy of recognizing Jeff and Paul’s retirement is dimmed only by the knowledge of the deep loss represented by their departure. Their life beyond work has been well earned, but ARSA’s team recognizes their precious value to the aviation industry, the maintenance community and the general public throughout their long careers. Jeff’s “Golden Shovel” and Paul’s “Ph.D.” will hopefully bring smiles to their faces for years to come, a small “thank you” on behalf of the association, it’s team and the many people who depended on their good work.


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