GE hits milestone for training engine maintenance students

General Electric

At GE Reports, we come across intriguing numbers every day in the lab, in the field, and on the books — and we use our “By the Numbers” series to give them their due. Today, as back-to-school thoughts start to muscle-in on all that summer fun, we’re turning to “15,000.” What’s the connection? It’s the approximate number – which is still growing – of students trained at GE Aviation’s Customer Technical Education Center (CTEC). The advanced facility is GE’s home court for teaching commercial and military customers from around the world how to troubleshoot and provide line maintenance for GE engines at busy airports.

Go to the head of the class: A customer at GE’s training center is learning how to work on the new GEnx, which is the best selling engine for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the sole source engine for the Boeing 747-8 aircraft. With more than 1,100 engines on order, the GEnx is the fastest-selling large jet engine in GE history.

“One of the cooler things we teach at CTEC is a technique called ‘boroscoping,’ which is similar in nature to a surgeon performing key-hole surgery,” says Tim Meyers, who is Customer Tooling Solutions & Technical Training Business leader for GE Aviation. “A long fiber optic hose is inserted into the port of the engine and used to inspect various components for wear and tear and other signs of stress. It is a huge cost savings for the customer because they don’t have to completely remove an engine from the aircraft’s wing to diagnose an issue.”

GE conducts training on all of its engine models — from the giant GE90 to the older CF6. But as Tim notes, “It’s not just lectures, as students are engaged in hands-on removal of line components — which are the parts on the outside of the engine — that are typically replaced by the airline mechanics.”

Says Tim: “In 20 years at GE, this is my coolest job. By 8 a.m., I can speak with numerous mechanics from every corner of the world on happenings within aviation. By 10 a.m., I can help move a new engine into the facility, and by the close of day, dive into new digital training tools. Our CTEC team has expertise in all elements of line and module maintenance — and they are here because they love to teach. It’s in their blood.”

What’s your boroscope sign? GE’s Tim Meyers, seen here at the training center, says CTEC is also digitizing training materials for use on DVDs and on the web so that airlines can reduce travel and living costs for their students — and decrease the amount of time they are away from the actual flight line.

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