News: Hands-on complements classroom training
SALT LAKE CITY - Students in a non-destructive testing course recently got a unique opportunity — the chance to put classroom training into immediate practice. Defense Contract Management Agency quality assurance specialists from around the country were in Salt Lake City for the agency’s two-week NDT114 Eddy Current Certification Training and were asked to join their instructor for an actual test procedure.
“This ‘real world’ example of on-the-job training was a great complement to the classroom and lab training we received,” said Shane March, a DCMA Philadelphia QA Keystone.
Eddy current testing uses electrical currents and magnetic fields to look for micro-cracks in metals without damaging the materials. One of several non-destructive testing methods, eddy current testing is performed in a variety of situations. In this case, an AgustaWestland AW109 helicopter needed an eddy current test of its nose landing gear as required by the manufacturer after a set number of flight hours. The rescue helicopter is part of a fleet of emergency response aircraft maintained by a local health care organization.
March and nine other DCMA QASs went with their Salt Lake City Community College instructor to a nearby aircraft hangar to observe and provide hands-on assistance in the testing.
“I think this was the group’s ‘aha’ moment,” said March. “The experience again highlighted how important our job is to the mission and that other people truly are affected by everything we do.”