"Zero Unplanned Downtime Cleared for Takeoff"

Jeff Slagle is known as the grim reaper of engine maintenance. If he's coming to talk with you about an aircraft engine, the news is typically not good. Slagle joined Delta Air Lines in 1998, testing engines, and is now the general manager of propulsion engineering.

"Nobody wants to be on an aircraft that's delayed by six hours," said Slagle, who spoke today about Delta's journey toward zero unplanned downtime at the GE Intelligent Platforms 2014 User Summit in Orlando, Florida. "Aircraft are made to fly, and we're reminded of that every day. We want to address the minor issues before they become major issues. One delay or cancellation can have a cascading effect on the entire operation. We learn from the past, and we're committed not to repeat it."