This Week at Rotary
By Jena Evans – Chair of the Day
We Meet at Noon
Thursday, February 27, 2020
The Great Lakes Ballroom
Tania McVean
Director, St. Luke's Advanced Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center
Healing Radiation Injury with Hyperbaric Medicine
Radiation treatments are an essential part of many cancer treatments.  The downside is that radiation can have detrimental long-term side effects, including pain.  Fortunately, Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatments have been shown to have a positive effect on these side effects.  Presentation includes testimony from patients who have received HBO treatments and the science behind HBO
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Marc Seigar
On another sunny, yet cold day in the Northland in February, Rotarians met offsite at AAR for our regular Club 25 meeting.  Dispensing with the usual formal program, we went straight to an overview of AAR, which was given by Adam Bents, as Rotarians passed through a hangar filled with four United Airlines Airbus A319 and A320 jets. 
The AAR Duluth facility is a 189,000 square foot facility where they work exclusively on United A319 and A320s.  The facility was originally designed for maintaining these aircraft by Northwest Airlines.  AAR have been operating in the facility since 2012.
AAR (Allen Aircraft Radio) started in 1955.  They are currently listed on the New York Stock Exchange and have an annual revenue of $26 million, employ 6,000 people and they operate in 20 countries.  Their worldwide business consists of 75% commercial aircraft repair, which includes work for 25 airlines, regional airlines and cargo airlines.  The other 25% of their business in government contracts and they are currently under contract with 5 countries.  AAR has seen continued growth in their 60+ years of business, even in the face of five economic crises, starting with the Arab Oil Embargo in 1974 and ending with the Great Recession in 2008.  In North America, they have 7 facilities.  Their smallest facility is in Windsor, Ontario, which is a 143,000 square foot facility designed for working on regional and narrow-body jets.  Their largest facility is in Indianapolis and it is a 1.1 million square foot facility where they can work on wide-body jets such as the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777.  Their facility in Rockford, IL can also take both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft.  Overall, they work on all kinds of aircraft including planes manufactured by Airbus, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Bombardier
and Embraer.  On site they have FAA quality auditors who ensure that the work they do is 100% compliant with FAA regulations.  An aircraft cannot leave an AAR facility until it has passed an inspection by these FAA quality auditors.
A United Airlines Airbus in maintenance
AAR Duluth currently has several openings for mechanics.  They do work very closely with Lake Superior College hiring a lot of LSC graduates. They are known to hire fully licensed A&P mechanics (Airframe and/or Powerplant Certificate) issued by the FAA.  They also hire non-certified mechanics and will pay for their education at an Aviation Maintenance Technician school.  AAR are currently working on their own OJT (on-the-job) program.  There is a desperate need for mechanics in this industry.  As the baby boomer generation retires, the latest generation is not attending college to get trained in these kinds of trades, despite the fact that they are very well-paying jobs.  This is one of the reasons why AAR pays for the education of its employees if necessary and why they are developing their own OJT training.
The last part of our meeting at AAR was a tour of the hangar facility.  We had a chance to stand under aircraft and see what Rolls Royce jet engines and aircraft wings look like when they are stripped down to their bare bones.  We saw work being performed on seats, both main cabin and first-class seats.  We also saw the inside of an A319 after everything had been taken out of the aircraft.  We could see the insulation and wiring that runs from the flight controls to the wings and wing section of the aircraft. 
AAR Host Adam Bents with Rotarians inside an empty cabin
Inside the aircraft, we had to walk carefully on wooden boards, and we could see down into the cargo/baggage hold through the holes in the floor.  It was incredible to see an aircraft, the type of which I have been a passenger on several times myself, without a galley, lavatory, and with no seats, overhead bins, wall paneling, or seating on board.  This was a fascinating tour of an amazing facility, and another example of one of the Twin Ports’ diverse economic sectors.
Chana Stocke and Karol Sowers at AAR