Delta TechOps Employees win 2014 A4A/SAE Better Way Award for Aircraft Structural Health Monitoring

Annual award for innovation in Non-destructive testing earned for eighth time

ATLANTA, September 24, 2014 – Aircraft Maintenance Engineers at Delta TechOps—the maintenance division of Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider business—were bestowed accolades with the Better Way award from Airlines for America (A4A)/SAE International today at the 57th Annual A4A Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Forum in San Francisco.

This renowned industry recognition notes praiseworthy efforts to advance the inspection and testing of commercial aircraft structure, components and systems. The winning Delta TechOps entry, First Commercial Aviation Application of Structural Health Monitoring, is also used as an industry blueprint by providing certification guidance for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, original equipment manufacturers, operators, and MROs in a new, innovative branch of non-destructive testing.

During the project, Delta’s fleet of ten 737-700 aircraft were outfitted with a system of Comparative Vacuum Monitoring (CVM) Sensors on the wing center section. The data from the sensors will be monitored and tracked in partnership with Sandi National Labs to identify aircraft structural maintenance items earlier and more efficiently.

“Delta TechOps supports the most reliable U.S.-based global airline operation and that means we must also embrace opportunities to innovate, as this team has done in such outstanding fashion,” said David Garrison, vice president – Delta TechOps Engineering, Quality and Planning. “Congratulations to the team for the well-deserved recognition and for adding yet another Better Away win for Delta TechOps.”

John Bohler, Joe Reeves, and Alex Melton from TechOps’ NDT Programs collaborated with Chris Coleman and John Hays from Base Maintenance and David Piotrowski from Enabling Technologies on the effort.  Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, Sandia National Labs, Boeing, Structural Monitoring Systems (SMS), and Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing (AEM) supported the work.

With today’s award, Delta TechOps has earned an industry-leading eight Better Way Awards since the award debuted in 2002:

  • 2014 - First Commercial Aviation Application of Structural Health Monitoring
  • 2012 - Development of Acoustic Thermography Inspection
  • 2010 - Application of Process Compensated Resonant Testing (PCRT)
  • 2009 - Application and Validation of Comparative Vacuum Monitoring (CVM) Sensors for In-Situ Crack Detection
  • 2008 - Phased Array Inspection of Scribe Lines
  • 2006 - Destructive Characterization and Extended Fatigue Testing of a Retired Passenger Commercial Aircraft
  • 2004 - Fluorescent Penetrant Inspection (FPI) Studies
  • 2003 - Development of Industry Composite Reference Standards

About Delta TechOps
Delta TechOps is the largest airline maintenance, repair and overhaul provider in North America. Its customers laud its reputation for high-quality service and cost management. In addition to supplying maintenance and engineering support for Delta’s fleet of more than 750 aircraft, Delta TechOps serves more than 150 other aviation and airline customers around the world. The organization specializes in high-skill work such as engines, components, hangar and line maintenance. Delta TechOps employs more than 9,600 maintenance professionals and is one of the world’s most-experienced providers with more than 70 years of aviation experience. More about Delta TechOps is available at

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