Meet the Technical Expert: Dan Hudepohl

We bought tools, now what? You should never be left asking this question when it comes to repairing your multi-million-dollar engine assets. At Rhinestahl CTS, we don’t just sell tools. We partner with our customers to evaluate and ensure that they are purchasing the necessary tools to keep their planes in the air.

From helping your team determine the best way to set up your repair shop, to providing tooling familiarization, our Technical Program Managers (TPMs) are there for you every step of the way. At Rhinestahl CTS, we partner with the engine OEMs to deliver the best outcomes to our customers globally.

Who is my TPM? Meet Dan Hudepohl:  

Dan brings over 25 years of aviation maintenance experience to Rhinestahl. He is the Technical Program Manager (TPM) for CFM56 and CFM LEAP engine programs with extensive “hands on” airline maintenance, airline operations and GE engine experience. Dan is a certified FAA Airframe and Powerplant Technician and holds a current FAA Inspection Authorization.

Dan came to Rhinestahl with extensive line and engine shop maintenance experience acquired while working for DHL Airways and, more recently, UPS Airlines. In addition to his technical experience, Dan has a wide-ranging educational background including studies in Aviation Maintenance Management and Mechanical Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the University of Cincinnati, and the Spartan School of Aeronautics.

How would you describe your position at Rhinestahl?

To sum it up in one word, Dynamic – There are a lot of moving parts and no two days are alike. If the TPM is viewed as a wheel hub, there are many spokes, or customers, both internal and external, that we work with on a daily basis. Internal customers would include Rhinestahl’s Regional Customer Managers, Customer Account Managers, Supplier Account Managers, Aftermarket Services/Technical Service Managers, Sourcing Specialists, Quality Engineers, TPM peers and Leadership. Externally, our customers are the airline or MRO end users, the engine OEMs, suppliers and vendors.

As a TPM, my primary focus is to provide technical support to sales and sourcing while playing a key role in the teamed consultative  approach to Rhinestahl customers. This is done by assessing the customer’s maintenance capability, current tooling inventory availability for re-purposing/reuse, local maintenance practices, shop load forecast and level of desired maintenance to prepare a detailed recommendation to meet their Ground Support Equipment (GSE) and tooling needs.  Direct responsibility extends from Airline/MRO campaign launch to campaign fulfillment (tool delivery/entry into service).

What are frequent problems that customers encounter and rely on your knowledge to help solve?

The primary issue our customers encounter is the inability to determine tool applicability using the documentation available to them. Tools evolve, or “roll groups” as we say, for several reasons including engine hardware change, obsolescence of a commercial component/piece part of the tool, and the requirement to improve the tool robustness or enhance its design intent.

The documentation to support tool evolution is not always readily available and that’s where Rhinestahl’s TPM’s play a crucial role in supporting the customer. We do this by working directly with the OEM’s to provide the customer with latest configuration information. This information will ensure the customer will have the right tool or set of tools, to perform the task at hand. No more, no less. We ensure the customer gets the right tool for their application.

What is your background in the Aviation Industry?

Extensive line and engine shop maintenance experience acquired while working for DHL and UPS. While with DHL, I also worked contract maintenance on behalf of DHL for Lufthansa Technik and Southern Air. I am a Licensed Airframe and Powerplant Technician and I hold a current FAA Inspection Authorization.

My wide-ranging and pertinent educational background includes studies in Aviation Maintenance Management and Mechanical Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the University of Cincinnati, and the Spartan School of Aeronautics.

My aircraft type certificate maintenance training includes, Canadair CL-65 (CRJ), McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) MD-11 (EASA Part 66), Embraer EMB-120, Airbus A300 and A320, Boeing B727, B777, B767, Douglas DC8 and Robinson R22, R44. And my engine type OEM maintenance training includes CF34, CFM56, CF6 and LEAP.

Why Rhinestahl?

Industry leading quality, on-time delivery and sales/technical support. Rhinestahl provides everything necessary to support our customer’s tooling requirements, from engine project inception, until engine retirement. We’re here for you every step of the way.

What have you gained from working at Rhinestahl?

Relationships. I don’t want our customers to look at Rhinestahl as a tooling vendor, I want them to look at us as a partner and ally. Anyone in aviation knows it’s a small world and strong relationships, built on trust, are important to the success of a business. The trust our customers put in us is to ensure they have the right tool for the right job at the right time.

What is one thing you wished our customers knew about Rhinestahl?

How much we care about their needs and requirements.