Everyday heroes in the industry.

TSM A320

Aug 22, 2013
An off duty Us Airways mechanic was quite the hero yesterday. While on a trip promoting his invention, Kevin Thompson of Us Air in Phoenix, came to the rescue for the last flight out of Sacramento US 493 SMF to PHX, a delay was announced due to maintenance issues. Kevin saw the concern and mounting frustrations of the passengers, noted that there were no available workers to perform repairs and volunteered his eighteen years of expertise to diagnose and try to fix the issue.
The maintenance issue was in the cockpit, Kevin was able to determine the cause and fix the issue. However due to the plane sitting idle a new issue arose that Kevin is very passionate about fixing, a wing leak error. This is the common delay from trapped heat coming off the power unit in the tail causing a cascade of system failures. It is also the issue his invention fixes using free air conditioning already pumped from the terminal. Using knowledge from research on his invention Kevin was able to cool the plane enough to bring the systems back to a safe operating temperature averting overnight delays for the fully loaded plane. According to Kevin," When I entered the flight deck there was an air bleed and wing leak msg. I happen to be an ace mechanic in pneumatics and was glad to help using my expertise. The aircraft faulted an air bleed, wing leak message, knowing this was a nuisance message and not a leak due to hot air temp outside (O.A.T.) I was able to correct the issue using the guidelines of the Us Airways trouble shooting manuals and sign the log book, after talking to Phoenix maintenance control. The flight left with a 30 minute delay but I prevented a cancelation for the airline and passengers. A cancellation would have certainly occurred had I not helped because crews do not see this issue as often as we do in the hot climates. They did not know how to fix an issue I see every day."
One serviceman was particularly happy that his leave would not be wasted on a delay that was so easily fixed. The passengers were very glad to have Kevin and his invention onboard. Families and loved ones will not spend the night separated by distance, and endure a lonely hotel room. Business meetings could now take place and one lady was able to make her connecting flights to Germany to see her family again.
Kevin did not have to return on that flight and a delay would only have meant more time to show local investors how much money and fuel his invention conserves. I think Kevin proved to a whole plane full of people how valuable his contribution will be to the world.
US Airways employees, like Kevin are what sets this airline apart from the rest. Kevin insisted that his fellow employees all look out for their customers because they are like their family. Kevin summed it up here, "Lives are affected by delays, it is scary staying in an unfamiliar place, unplanned and stranded. People can't get home to their families and for some the stress is overwhelming. I don't want anyone to have to feel that hopelessness if I can help it. I helped, because I care about the families that fly my airline. I created my invention, because I care about my airline and its passengers, to prevent wasted fuel and needless delays."
August 20 was a normal day for Kevin Thompson; he repaired an overheated plane and performed maintenance repairs in the cockpit, allowing passengers get to their destination. To the passengers aboard he was a lifesaver and a hero. I was impressed at the coordination, calling on his coworkers back in Phoenix to help ensure passenger’s flights were held and proper safety protocol was followed. I have a new level of awe for US Airways and know that their employees care for me and my family like their own.

Shouldn't we all remember whats important from time to time and ruin a good suit just to help others out? We need more stories like this! Sure he was on business and probably wasted a suit from the looks of it, but a full plane of people were able to keep their schedules, and treated him like a hero. What stories do you have? This industry is full of unsung heroes, and I think its time we give them props for what they do.