AskBob™ Community and Bob Jones Celebrates 25 Years at ATP

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It takes someone with a strong character and will power to stay dedicated and loyal to their job after 25 years of service. This is true for ATP’s Content Product Manager, Bob Jones. We are proud and privileged to have such a hardworking, loyal, and diligent individual at ATP for 25 years.

Bob-25-Years-Blog.jpgBefore joining ATP, Bob started his career in the aviation industry in the late 60s, when paper was the only option for keeping documentation on aircraft. Paper traveled too slowly, and this led to issues regarding information accessibility and currency. It would take days of research to return an aircraft to service, and ways to improve this sparked Bob’s interest in the 80’s when microcomputers came out. He saw the addition of pilot currency and endorsement management to the fixed-base operator (FBO) as a new way to keep records for aircraft. Digital tools to aid in research did not become available until the 90s.

After 10 years as FBO owner, in 1994 Bob joined ATP when the company was preparing to roll out digital Regulatory and Maintenance Libraries. The goal of these Libraries was to aggregate regulatory content with technical publications from a variety of original equipment manufacturers (OEMS), and component manufacturers. On top of that, the products provided research enhancements that included advanced indexing and word searching.

Bob was intrigued by the software and was determined to understand how the libraries worked. He dug deep to understand how the software “thought”. He put a strong focus on training and customer support, helping users to get the most out of using the software. The more he learned about the software, the more he was able to share his knowledge and eventually became the go-to person for “how-to” questions and understanding the logic of the software.

While at ATP, Bob started the iconic AskBob™ Online Community, the aviation industry’s premier online portal that provides news, discussion forums, tips, and much more to the AMT community. The idea stemmed from the success of Inspection Authorization (IA) classes he was teaching while at ATP. At this time “ask Bob,” had become a fun phrase around ATP as sales, marketing, product development, and others would ask Bob when they had questions. As almost a joke, it was suggested to Bob to call the new blog AskBob. At this time, Wiki’s and blogs were just starting to be used throughout the industry and were considered an ideal way to distribute tech tips and training snippets. Thus, AskBob was created.

Having owned an FBO for 10 years, and working at ATP, Bob had enough background knowledge and base experience to make this online community successful. Most importantly, he had knowledge on where to go in the industry to get the answer. Initial posts on AskBob were around application usage and product content. Membership expanded with technicians, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) tech reps, technicians with inspection authorization (IA), directors of maintenance (DOMs), principle maintenance inspectors (PMIs), and others with careers in aircraft maintenance. With growing members and submissions, information on the site was expanded to topics like compliance, alternate methods of compliance (AMOCs), rule interpretation, flight standards district office (FSDO) interpretation/standardization, and many more. Soon, AskBob had become a resource of shared learning and best practices focused on aircraft maintenance and airworthiness.  

For 25 years, Bob has been a part of ATP’s technology evolution from print, to microfiche, to CD ROM, to online, and eventually the cloud. Congratulations Bob! You continue to set an example and inspire us with the hard work and dedication that you have displayed throughout your 25 years of service to ATP.

Many facilities have a “seasoned expert” that knows the corporate history and business rules. Who is the AskBob at your facility? We invite them to join AskBob.aero as an industry Oracle.