Problem solver Keith Lindsey has every kid’s dream job.
Keith Lindsey is a Research and Development Specialist with ACP, an Aereos Operating Company
The grandson of two Army veteran grandfathers, Keith looked at life after high school in North Texas and chose to honor them by following in their footsteps. One grandfather was an aircraft mechanic in the Army Air Corps, and soon Keith found his way as an aircraft electrician. A versatile engineer, Keith worked on Blackhawk and Apache helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, supporting his fellow servicemen during the War in Afghanistan. While not a pilot, in the Army he enjoyed flying, “I jumped onto maintenance test flights whenever I could.”
Having returned to civilian life, Keith also returned to his hometown, and found his present job at ACP, an Aereos company, a short commute away in Euless, Texas. With sixteen years of experience around aircraft, he now offices between two busy airports – DFW and Dallas Love Field. There is no shortage in the rewarding work. “Every day I am doing something different. In order to do this job you have to really think outside the box.”
“Everything that I see is a broken part. Someone hands me a Ziploc bag and says, ‘we can’t do it.’” That’s when Keith takes apart what he’s given to try to find why the mechanism failed. “Simply replacing broken pieces doesn’t solve the problem. What I’m looking for are alternative methods that work as good or better; finding what works and what lasts. If I can figure out the why and the how, we can fix the problem with something functional at the fraction of the cost of replacing the problem part with a new one over and over again.” Thus, turning an expendable part into a rotable part, the ACP company purpose.
DER Repair, an ACP Specialty
What are DERs? DERs, or Designated Engineering Representatives, are expert aerospace engineers who specialize in overhauling expendable parts that either have no repair manual, or aren’t supported any longer by the original manufacturer (OEM). ACP’s DER team is able to quickly and inexpensively report costly expendable aircraft parts, saving aerospace companies millions of dollars. Click here to read more…
“It’s every kid’s dream job. I go to work, take stuff apart, find out why it’s broken and figure out how to fix it. Sometimes what I’m handed is terribly beaten up, or locked up terribly. But if you’re frustrated, you’re going to lose the battle. So I grab the liquid nitrogen and I start to work.”
The exciting part of the job is when Keith completely understands the problem and solution. He is on the front line of developing new repair procedures (or, DER Repairs) and reducing costs for the clients he serves. Cost-effectiveness drives him day to day, using what he’s learned makes each upcoming problem seem just a little easier. “But it’s more important to get the job done right than to get it done quickly.” He also relies greatly on the repair and machining teams that carry out his ideas, “The more I work with them, the better our communication is. It’s really a team effort.”
At the end of the day, Keith Lindsey knows his job keeps people safe, but it is also very rewarding. “It was always fun as a kid to take things apart,” he says with a smile. “But now I know how to put them back together again.”