The PW100’s remarkable 30-year journey has been made possible by the airframe OEMs and airlines that seized upon the opportunities created by the engine. In doing so, they gave birth to the modern regional airline business that exists around the globe today. In this post, we speak with Bill Arndt, Vice President of Maintenance and Engineering at Piedmont Airlines.
PIEDMONT: A SAFE, RELIABLE AIRLINE POWERED BY PW100 ENGINES
Biographical note: Mr. Arndt started in the aviation business as a mechanic at Minute Man Airways in rural Pennsylvania. He has been with Piedmont for nearly 32 years. As Vice President, he combined two extremely talented and knowledgeable maintenance groups from sister airlines Allegheny and Piedmont and created one industry-leading team. He is responsible for all aircraft maintenance, operations and facilities at Piedmont.
P&WC: How has the PW100 engine helped your business?
Bill Arndt (BA): “In the mid-1980s we received the Dash 8 with PW100 engines, and it was a fantastic leap forward for us – the right airplane at the right time for our company. At the time, we were opening new routes and bringing more people into our parent airline. The engines were fantastic and very flexible in the way we could maintain them.”
P&WC: When you think of the PW100, what are the top three words that come to mind?
BA: “Reliable, safe and cost-effective.”
P&WC: How do you think the PW100 has evolved?
BA: “When the engine was first put into service, P&WC worked with us night and day, especially the customer service reps. They were fantastic as far as staying with us and helping us get our aircraft flying.”
P&WC: If the PW100 were an athlete, who would it be?
BA: “Cal Ripken – he was in it for the long haul and played the most consecutive games in baseball.”
P&WC: What’s your impression of the people at P&WC?
BA: “Well, to start, the design engineers did a great job. Your customer service reps do a fantastic job on the front line, and your management seems to have a knack for choosing good people.”
P&WC: Are P&WC’s and Piedmont’s values similar?
BA: “I think they are very comparable. We strive to run a reliable and safe airline, and we value our people. I think you share those core values as well.”
Editor’s note: Created in 1931 as Henson Flying Service, a fixed-base operator, Piedmont Airlines today is a fully owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group. It provides nearly 400 daily departures to 55 cities in the eastern United States and employs more than 5,500 aviation professionals. Former Baltimore Orioles shortstop and third baseman Cal Ripken Jr., nicknamed “The Iron Man,” is best known for beating Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played in major league baseball in 1995.