MRO Americas
Leo Kopper receives Aviation Week Network’s MRO Lifetime Achievement Award

Aviation Week and A4A Present MRO Veterans with Achievement Awards

Three individuals received recognition for their contributions to the MRO industry.

ATLANTA--Aviation Week and Airlines for America recognized three people who have made exceptional contributions to the MRO industry during the MRO Americas Conference on April 9.

Leo Koppers, who retired at the end of 2018 as MTU’s senior VP of MRO programs, received the 2019 Aviation Week Lifetime Achievement in MRO Award. During his 16-year career at MTU, Leo was instrumental in pushing the growth of the company’s MRO activities, which as he said, “When I came to MTU, MRO was the fifth wheel on the wagon.” Now, the MRO segment is the largest within the MTU group—with MRO activities in Germany, China and Canada—and soon, Poland.  As evidence, in 2018, MTU Maintenance secured $4.4 billion in MRO contracts, which surpassed the $4 billion mark for the first time in its history.

In addition, the Airlines for America’s Engineering, Maintenance & Materiel Council presented its 53rd Nuts & Bolts awards.

Rusty Jones, who retired as a senior technical specialist for the FAA, received A4A’s 2019 Nuts & Bolts award for airline support. Jones began his career as a mechanic and inspector for Empire Airlines and received his initial nondestructive inspection (NDI) training from Fokker Aircraft. He subsequently moved to Piedmont and US Airways, where he honed his NDI skills.

“During his tenure with the FAA, Rusty has been a regional resource specialist for NDI, national resource specialist for NDI, and coordinator for the Flight Standards Service Aging Aircraft Program. He clearly understands the balance between his regulatory obligations and the needs of the industry,” effectively serving the industry for more than 40 years, said Bob Ireland, A4A’s managing director engineering and maintenance, in the award citation.

Bruce Nord, UPS Airlines’ division manager of service engineering and vendor management and the airline association’s airworthiness committee chairman, received the Nuts & Bolts award for an airline. Nord started his career with UPS while completing his engineering degree. “Through his knowledge of certification issues as an FAA DER, Bruce provided key guidance on aging aircraft issues and especially the removable structural components issue as a result of the Damage Tolerance Aging Aircraft Rule,” cited Ireland.

Nord also actively addressed concerns with several other aging aircraft policies, including the Widespread Fatigue Damage Rule, Airworthiness Directives policy, Cargo Aircraft FQIS Wire Separation NPRMs, and international rules coordination.

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