Master Mechanic Profile – Frank C. Hannam

In this new feature, AMT will relate stories from winners of the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. Named in honor of Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight, the Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award recognizes the...


During 1935 and 1936, Frank worked for Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, California. Then in 1937, he became an instructor for the Sacramento City College aeronautics department. He taught several courses including welding and mechanics. He left the school in 1945.

From 1945 to 1954, Frank ran an aircraft repair shop named Aircraftsman at Hannam Field, south of Sacramento. It was during this time that Frank designed a motor mount to accommodate the larger 400-horsepower engines. Other accomplishments included converting more than 200 aircraft to crop dusters and designing a new set of wing fittings for Travel Air.

In 1955 Frank took a job with Aerojet. There he worked on the Titan I and II missiles. He also worked in Aerojet’s non-destructive testing branch teaching and training inspectors. He worked there until 1963.

In 1963, Frank thought that maybe running a Western Auto store in Lincoln, California, would be fun. That fun lasted until 1966, then it was time to move on.

From 1966 to 1969, Frank worked for CDI, Philadelphia. He worked as a contract engineer involving himself in numerous projects including tool designer for the 747 with Boeing, and with Douglas as a manufacturing engineer on the DC-10.

Frank continued to work in the industry in various capacities well into his later years. He was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award in 1998 after 71 years as a mechanic. His original A&E certificate was a four number certificate that was issued in 1927. Frank passed away on June 14, 2000. We would like to thank Richard Dilbeck of the Sacramento FSDO for sharing Frank’s story with us.

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