Keith Sketchley, P.Eng.
- Led team of 22, responsible for modification & repair engineering, publications, and advice to other departments.
- Managed technical factors for acquisition & disposal of transport aircraft, including evaluation of new aircraft designs and used aircraft for own missions.
- Evaluated costs, benefits, payback of changes to aircraft and procedures.
- Worked on regulatory change team that achieved consensus to solidify and improve rules for self-management of airline technical operations while achieving safety objectives.
- Achieved a substantial improvement in quality of installation work and certification re-use by coaching and prodding an established product group who lacked knowledge of aircraft and certification.
- Participated in evaluation of product development tools, wrote generic requirements for network analysis tools, and advised team on certification factors.
- Organized, chaired and reported on meetings, emphasizing efficiency, inclusiveness, and decisions.
- Toured remote operations to evaluate needs and advise crews.
- Liaised with project partners, suppliers, other departments in the enterprise, regulatory agencies, industry technical teams, other aircraft operators, and customers.
Management factors included budgeting, hiring, firing, efficiency improvement, product/service strategy based on market, technical factors, & costs, and problem-solving.
- Coordinated installation and testing of early Heads-Up landing display system, including detail installation design.
- Specified helicopter fuel tank, designed installation details and pilot interface and gauging system, performed testing and adaptation in remote location.
- Developed checklists for more consistent and complete evaluation of appropriateness of incorporating modifications into aircraft, including economic and technical factors.
- Studied feasibility of aircraft performance improvements and advanced navigation capability.
- Evaluated, negotiated and coordinated technical aspects of a pioneering seasonal lease with an overseas airline (a partnership based on shared values).
- Prepared proposals for aircraft configuration & modification (including interior, flight deck, avionics) and consulting work
- Worked on and certified a helicopter ambulance conversion, using a temporary team that performed detail design, testing and compliance work. The result was a Canadian STA and an FAA STC (obtained through the bilateral process) for an installation still in use 20 years later.
- Guided a small team to installation and certification of their HF radio datalink system in a customer aircraft, including onsite testing with documentation for re-use. Developed documents including flight manuals, approved test results and witnessed flight tests as DER to obtain STC for new processor hardware and crew interface.
- Analyzed aircraft performance for diagnosis of fuel consumption, fleet planning, purchase decisions, and economic evaluation of performance improvements.
- Analyzed performance of tow tractors and steering system of baggage carts.
- Performed extensive diagnosis and repair of cars and light truck. Modified heavy van into a camping vehicle. Inspected race cars.
Avionics & Electrical/Electronic Systems
- Analyzed pilot difficulty with a basic instrument in an airplane system context & performed initial feasibility study for design changes.
- Designed avionics installations including cockpit panel layout, equipment installation, and antenna placement.
- Reviewed battery replacement in heavy helicopter, obtaining information and analyzing impact of greater charging current and different voltage drop during start.
- Member of team developing new landing system capability using emerging industry and vendor work adapted to suit architecture of established crew interface product. Represented company at industry standards meetings. Developed interface requirements.
- Participated in lab testing of complex products, using several actual aircraft systems the products had to interface with; learning those flight display and sensor systems, identifying problems, providing information to developers to help correct the software, and providing tips to help other testers and improve the lab. Interfaces ranged from analog to Ethernet-based transmission.
- Designed and certified a seating capacity increase in an airliner, including oxygen and electrical aspects.
- Designed reliability improvements for airliner seats, for both in-house fabrication and purchase of large volume of forged parts.
- Designed and fabricated proof-of-concept improvements to a type of external medical appliance, and tested them in own use. (My own idea did not work well - that's why POCs are useful, the other designs worked well but I have not tried to commercialize. Fabrication methods included using silicone molding compounds in low-cost molds, and fabric types and fasteners. Studied use factors including safety of molding compounds.)
Safety including certification
- Approved installations, documents & analyses, witnessed ground and flight tests, recommended flight manual supplements as DER. Obtained STAs and STCs directly and through bilateral agreements.
- Performed successfully as Transport Canada DAR and FAA DER (multi-authority).
- Directed ground and flight testing of aircraft to ensure functioning of modification designs.
- Saved money and time by analyzing test requirements for effectiveness and re-using data from other organizations (by agreement).
- Wrote specifications for equipment
- Wrote scenarios for human factors team testing of datalink equipment for communication with ATC.
- Wrote user manuals including flight operations, maintenance, and business procedures.
Technologies & tasks included displays, lighting, user controls, layout of equipment and user stations, data & voice communications, navigation systems, recording, antennas, air data sensing, digital bus principles including Ethernet-based protocols, analog interfaces, wired & wireless paths of communication & control, EMI, sensors, electrical, batteries, structures, hardware & software design factors, alerting/warning, annunciation, user interface factors, instrument switching, external medical appliance, user accommodations, mechanical equipment and structural factors, molding comounds to make molds and products, instructions in various formats, diagnosis, hands-on repair & modification.
- Edited high school newspaper.
- Produced radio programs and commercials, and operated on-air as news reader and disc jockey.
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