Patrick Robinson
An all female team of aviation mechanics at South Seattle College took home an award in the Aerospace Maintenance Competition in Las Vegas on March 25-26. From left they are Sarah McKenna, Mary Hadley (instructor), CrystalRose Hudelson, Melissa Wong, Jennifer Lesher, and Agnes Choung.

All female team of aviation mechanics at South Seattle College wins national competition

An all female team of aviation mechanics, trained at South Seattle College took first place on the Grey Owl sponsored Human Factors Event, part of the Aerospace Maintenance Competition in Las Vegas on March 25-26.

They had the top score on this event over all competitors, professional and student. Only about 7% of the program is comprised of women the team said. While schools can have more than one team, this was the only team from SSC to enter.
The Human Factors event was a written exam covering mainly the FAA’s Dirty Dozen (see link for a description) with detailed questions about each topic.

Sarah McKenna took the top score out of the entire competition and only missed one question in the shortest time to complete. She beat all members of 28 other teams. "I read the paper work hundreds of times," she said explaining her win. The team also gave credit to Robert Allen Long and Tim of the Alaska Airlines Maintenance team who took the SSC team under his wing to give them tips and pointers.

Several instructors helped the team train. They learned new skills and perfected others. The competition gave them a view of how strong the camaraderie is in the Aviation and Powerplant field.

A few days before the team left for Las Vegas, the Alaska Airlines team invited the students to visit the Alaska hangar. They gave the team pointers about the competition and provided some hands on skills training.

About 170 students are part of the Aviation Maintenance program at South Seattle College. The team members all agree that the role of women in aviation maintenance is changing as more women enter the field.

The whole team is scheduled to do a presentation for Women in Aviation at upcoming event, talking about their experience in training and the competition.

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