Brent VanFossen is an Aerospace Engineer specializing in stress and structural analysis and adaptation of commercial aircraft. In addition, he is a nature and travel photographer, woodworker, and world traveler.

About Brent VanFossen

DER and Structural Liaison Engineer

Star Aviation, Mobile, Alabama

Project/Lead Engineer and FAA DER
Lead Engineer and Project Manager as well as Designated Engineering Representative on commercial aircraft conversion and adaptation of wireless and satellite Internet broadband service. Includes stress and structural analysis and FAA approval for aircraft modification of 747, 757, 767, and 777. Handled overall project development for new aircraft and airline configurations and FAA certification for the entire project.

Structural Liaison Engineer

Israel Aircraft Industries (Bedek Division) Tel Aviv, Israel

Project/Lead Engineer
Worked as Structural Liaison Engineer on Airborne Express (ABX) 767 passenger-to-freighter conversion project. Provided C- and D- check support for 707, 737, 757, 767, and C-130 airplanes. Provided structural repairs of corrosion, cracks, and damage to primary and secondary aircraft structure. Reworked all types of crooked, oversized, reduced edge-margin and double holes. Performed stress analysis for every major repair for every engineer in the office on the ABX 767 conversion project, and wrote the Structural Substantiation Report for each 767 modified.

As Candidate Structures DER, worked directly with the Structures DER to obtain approval for these repairs. Reviewed nearly every major repair and many minor repairs for all other projects. Performed stress analysis or provided assistance to justify each repair and obtain DER approval.

Training Program Instructor
Prepared and taught a 20+ hour Structural Repair and Analysis Course to all engineers in the office covering materials, fasteners, loads, joints, eccentricities, bending, and more. Course also covered the use of computers to simplify repair design and analysis using Excel and AutoCAD.

Structural Liaison and Systems Engineer

Triad International Maintenance Corporation (TIMCO)Greensboro, North Carolina

Lead Engineer
Lead engineer for a team of seven liaison engineers. Responsible for entire Airborne Express 767 passenger-to-freighter conversion engineering support team. Provided structural repairs of corrosion, cracks, and damage to primary and secondary aircraft structure. Modification involved removal and replacement of nearly all floor structure, reinforcement of flight deck floor, frames, addition of the 9G cargo net structure, and all interior cargo system and decorative parts. Extensive knowledge of the air conditioning, equipment cooling, and smoke detection systems. Provided shipside support of every phase. Responsible for training new engineers while maintaining all other responsibilities.

Systems Engineer
Served as Test Coordinator and Flight Test Engineer for the entire mechanical systems, smoke detection, and flight test program. Served as customer point-of-contact including daily status of engineering items. Set up and maintained the system to ensure engineering teams worked all repairs and technical requests of three simultaneous airplanes in the order required to meet shop deadlines and schedules. Provided on-site assistance at the Airborne Express facility in Wilmington, OH, to troubleshoot and resolve an equipment cooling overheat problem. Served as Captain of the TIMCO/ABX team to determine the cause and significantly reduce air noise in the flight deck (5 dBA improvement). Worked as Modifications Engineer to revise and update drawings using AutoCad. Revised and wrote functional tests for aircraft systems checkout.

Liaison Engineer
Served as liaison engineer for structural repairs on DC-8 C- and D-check aircraft including primary and secondary structure, corrosion, cracks, and damage.

Liaison/Material Review Board Engineer

The Boeing Company, Commercial Airplanes, Everett, Washington

Problem Solving and Coordination
Worked as part of a team responsible for the design of non-standard structural and electrical repairs to Boeing 747, 767, and 777 passenger and freighter airplanes. Provided flight line engineering support with answers to technical questions, investigated and resolved engineering errors, and worked directly with mechanics and shop personnel, quality assurance, engineering design organizations, customer representatives of the world’s airlines, flight crew, program management, materiel, flight test, paint shop and others. Provided extensive written and verbal instructions, drawings and functional tests, with familiarity of FAR 25, aircraft certification, and FAA regulations.

Structural experience involved rework and repair to primary and secondary aircraft structure, including stringers and frames, skin panels, fairings, control surfaces, oversize, crooked, and short edge-margin holes, fastener substitution, shot-peen/roto-peen, blending, burnishing, aerodynamic smoothness, door rigging, engine cowling aerodynamics, fan blade repairs, landing gear door rigging, and hydraulics. Interiors work involved cargo handling, stow-bins, partitions, lavatories, galleys, passenger and attendant seats, flight deck paneling, control wheels, seat tracks, waste and water systems, ventilation system, carpeting, floor panels, sidewalls, window shades, curtains, and all types of cosmetic repairs.

Electrical experience involved troubleshooting and repair of every system on the airplane, including main and backup electrical power systems, avionics, engine indication and crew alerting system (EICAS), fuel quantity indicating system (FQIS), fuel probes, anti-lock braking, flight and voice recorders, proximity switches and other sensors, circuit breaker panels, wire routing and installation to MIL-W-5088 requirements, wire bundle repair and splicing, connector substitution, coax and fiber optic systems, passenger entertainment/passenger service system (PES/PSS), video systems, fire and smoke detection, lighting, emergency lighting, exit signs, cabin altitude systems and emergency oxygen, electrical bonding and grounding for lightning strike protection, and automated and manual functional testing.

Liaison/Material Review Board Engineer

The Boeing Company, Military Airplanes, Wichita, Kansas

Worked with the Grumman A6 attack airplane composite wing design, construction, and installation. This involved an almost complete disassembly of the airplane. Involved in kit-proofing the installation of the new wing and the associated flight testing, and provided answers to technical questions, solved problems, and designed repairs for damaged parts and systems. Part of the assignment included travel to the Naval Air Station at Whidbey Island, WA, to support repair efforts.

Electrical and Circuit Board
Worked as the Liaison Engineer in the black box assembly and circuit card shop to provide repair and rework instructions for support assembly and testing of densely populated multi-level printed circuit board assemblies with standard and surface mount technologies, plated-through holes, internal traces, wave soldering, and conformal coatings. Tested circuit cards and provided troubleshooting and repair instructions. Rework often involved removal of defective components, drilling of plated-through holes, and the installation and routing of surface conductors to complete the damaged circuits. Provided rework and repair instructions for damaged wires, potted relays and connectors, and solved mechanical problems with damaged chassis. Also covered the wire shop dispositioning discrepant wire bundle assemblies and designed new wire bundles from the system drawings.


The Boeing Company, Military Airplanes, Wichita, Kansas

Worked in the Electrical Liaison engineering group investigating design errors and product improvements and making technical drawing changes to Boeing commercial airplanes and military projects as an Engineer-in-Training before completing engineering degree. Investigated engineering change proposals on the J-STARS Army/Air Force surveillance airplanes. High recommendations resulted in a permanent position after receiving engineering degree.

Owner, Writer, Photographer

VanFossen Productions, North America

Using my technical and creative abilities, I am a nature photographer and writer as part of the husband/wife team of VanFossen Productions and Taking Your Camera on the Road. We specialize in natural history and biological photography and writing. Published highlights include regular features in Outdoor and Nature Photography Magazine and regional and national publications including Arriving Magazine, Trailer Life, Shutterbug and Mountaineer Magazine. We present workshops and seminars on a variety of nature photography topics. Presentation highlights include the Seattle Mountaineers, Everett Parks and Recreation Department, Washington Press Association, The Tulsa Photographic Society, Tucson’s Voyager Camera Club, Denver’s Mile High Camera Club, and the Tel Aviv Photographic Society, as well as various online seminars on Compuserve’s Photography Forum and RV Forum. The national tour, covering over 60,000 miles, was featured in a one-hour television interview in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

BSEE (Electrical Engineering)

Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Recipient of the President’s Distinguished Scholarship and the University Scholarship. Master’s Level Course in Digital Processing of Speech Signals. Courses included emphasis on Digital and Analog Circuit Design, Electrical Control Systems, Instrumentation, Electrical Filters, Statics and Strengths of Materials, Material Science, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Technical Drawing.

Post-Graduate Work and Master Level Courses

Wichita State University. Wichita, Kansas

Courses in Digital Circuit Design, Stochastics and Random Variables.

Boeing/Alteon, Seattle, Washington

Aircraft Structural Repair for Engineers Part I
Aircraft Structural Repair for Engineers Part II
Aircraft Structural Repair for Engineers Part III

FAA Certification

DER Standardization and DER Annual Conference
DER Standardization and DER Recurrent Seminar
DER FAA Certification for FAR 25

For more information or to hire Brent VanFossen for your next aerospace project, use the contact page.