In the precise and high-stakes realm of aviation, Job Air Technic (JAT), nestled in the heart of Ostrava’s airport in the Czech Republic, emerges as a pinnacle of aircraft maintenance excellence. This reputable establishment is an integral member of the CZECHOSLOVAK GROUP, under the umbrella of its division, CSG Aerospace. At the helm of JAT’s operations is Marek Vojtíšek, serving as the Workshop Manager and Deputy Technical Director. His extensive experience in aviation, which includes pivotal roles at the Czech Air Force, AERO Vodochody, and Honeywell Aerospace, is now channeled into leading JAT’s efforts. The company, JOB AIR Technic a.s., stands as a testament to Vojtíšek’s dedication and expertise, especially in the field of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT). This critical technique ensures the highest standards of aircraft integrity and airworthiness, maintaining safety without causing any damage to the aircraft.
“NDT is not just a process; it’s an intricate dance of technology and skill,” reflects Vojtíšek. “Each method we utilize is akin to selecting the perfect instrument for the right note in a complex melody.” This melody is the ensemble of JAT’s pivotal NDT methods, ensuring the safety and reliability of a wide array of aircraft, including the Boeing 737 series and Airbus A320 and A330 models.
Visual Inspection (VT), the most fundamental yet vital step, leverages the acute precision of experienced technicians to detect potential flaws on an aircraft’s surface. “The human eye,” Vojtíšek notes, “is an invaluable tool, capturing the subtlest anomaly on our aircraft’s sleek skin.”
Penetrant Testing (PT) resembles an artist’s highlighter, where special dyes penetrate minuscule surface cracks, revealing themselves under specific lighting. “It’s a simple yet profound method to uncover defects that might compromise our safety standards,” he explains.
Magnetic Particle Testing (MT) utilizes magnetism to attract fine particles to disruptions within ferromagnetic materials, visually indicating imperfections. “It’s akin to watching iron filings reveal the invisible field lines around a magnet,” describes Vojtíšek.
Ultrasonic Testing (UT) sends high-frequency sound waves deep into the material. The returning echoes map the internal structure, vital for depth assessments.
Radiographic Testing (RT) provides an x-ray vision into the core of aircraft components, revealing unseen truths beneath the surface. “This is as close as we get to superpowers,” Vojtíšek states.
Eddy Current Testing (ET), the final piece in the suite, detects surface and subsurface cracks, especially in complex materials. “ET is our detective, uncovering clues with an electrical twist,” he adds.
These methods, with Penetrant Testing and Eddy Current Testing constituting 70% of JAT’s NDT work, are pivotal in combating material failure and ensuring safe, fear-free journeys into the skies.
Vojtíšek underscores the dynamic nature of the aviation sector, where materials and technologies are constantly evolving. “As these materials advance, so too must our methods. NDT is an ever-changing field, demanding continuous learning and adaptation,” he stresses. This ethos of unceasing education and re-certification keeps JAT at the forefront of NDT innovation.
Yet, the narrative of NDT at JAT also involves confronting challenges. “Finding qualified technicians capable of wielding these sophisticated tools is increasingly challenging,” Vojtíšek admits. The steep learning curve and language barriers, with English dominating the field’s communication and certification, pose significant hurdles.
In response, JAT has transformed into a bastion of learning, investing in training programs to bridge these gaps and nurture a culture of knowledge sharing and innovation. “We must blend the old and the new, combining experienced wisdom with fresh perspectives,” Vojtíšek asserts.
Partnerships with leading airlines like Eurowings and Ryanair not only affirm JAT’s capabilities but also reflect the trust in their ability to consistently exceed the industry’s stringent standards. In the complex aviation tapestry, declaring an aircraft fit for the skies is a collaborative endeavor, involving a delicate negotiation among the airline’s envoy, the aircraft’s guardian, and the stalwarts of aviation maintenance at JAT.
“To guide these metal birds safely back into the clouds, to stand as sentinels over the delicate balance between human ambition and the immutable laws of physics—that is our unwavering mission,” Vojtíšek declares with conviction.
This dedication to safety and innovation has led JAT to notable achievements, including significant maintenance contracts, participation in prestigious fairs, and the acquisition of Authorized Economic Operator status. Collaborations with companies like Sunaero for preventive leak checks and fast leak repairs further highlight JAT’s commitment to maintaining high safety standards. Recognized as the Employer of the Region in 2022 and entrusted with the maintenance of Czech Government’s army airbuses, JAT, under Vojtíšek’s leadership, stands as a guardian of aviation safety and a beacon of continuous advancement in aircraft maintenance.
Written and edited: Katerina Urbanova, EIC at ACE
Photo Credit: Job Air Technic