A day to honor and celebrate
by Emily Refermat
Is your calendar marked on May 24th for Charles Taylor’s birthday — AMT Day in 23 states?
“The importance of this day being Charles Taylor’s birthday is to honor the birth of the first powered aircraft mechanic, the birth of controlled flight (not able to be accomplished without him), and to honor the past (ensuring the future),” says Richard Dilbeck, A.K.A. ‘Dilly’ an FAA inspector with a personal interest in seeing every state have an AMT Day, as well as May 24th becoming National AMT Day, already introduced as a house resolution in Congress.
A copy is available at http://thomas.loc.gov, Bill number: HRES 586.
“Mechanics have always been in the background, the ‘red-headed child of aviation.’ Everyone knows Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh but who worked on their planes?
Passed, pending, and contact
The mechanics in the 23 states that have passed the resolution should be very proud. They are colored purple on the map on page 36 and listed in order of when they passed their resolutions.
The states in tan are in the process of recognizing AMT Day.
If you are a mechanic in: Alabama, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, or Wyoming, we need you as a point of contact. We need a mechanic “…who has the enthusiasm to take the wrench so to speak,” says Dilbeck.
Are you willing to start the process and see it through to the end? If so see this month’s online feature “AMT Day Passed: the process start to finish.”
“My usual points of contact are the airworthiness safety managers and also some NASEO (National Aviation State Education Organization) people. I also got some directors of maintenance who caught the governor in the hangar and pushed some papers into his hands,” adds Dilbeck.
AMT Day vision
To Dilbeck AMT Day in every state and national recognition of the aircraft mechanic is just the beginning. He wants to see every A&P school display their state’s AMT Day resolution, “…so the sons and daughters can see that there is a day to recognize their career.” He believes an excerpt of each resolution should be included in the diplomas of graduating students (which is already happening in many cases).
Dilbeck imagines resolutions hanging in repair stations and maintenance hangars throughout the country and every calendar marked with May 24th as AMT Day.
At the Wright University Charles Taylor exhibit where his shop equipment is located, Dilbeck envisions all the resolutions framed and hung on the walls. If the national one goes through, it will be crowned by the regional ones.
Plus Dilbeck wants to educate the public about mechanics. He plans to appear on an upcoming Oprah show. And the AMCC (Aviation Maintenance Career Commission) is still accepting sponsorships for the Charles Taylor Memorial to be built on the Wright University Campus, in front of Dunbar Library. (Find out more at www.amccomission.com.)
An event leading up to May 24th is Charles Taylor II speaking at the Aviation Industry Week trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 19, 2004 about his great, great grandfather — Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic.
Here are some other events planned to celebrate AMT Day.
“The Hartford-Springfield PAMA Chapter, along with the FAA Windsor Locks Flight Standards Office, United Technologies, Pratt&Whitney, and PrivatAir [are] sponsoring, on Saturday, May 15th, an all-day Aviation Safety and Maintenance Program. This annual program offers pilots, technicians, and anyone interested in aviation an opportunity to participate in seminars, static displays, and vendor exhibits. This event is a major fundraiser for the local PAMA Chapter’s student scholarship program. Additionally, a competitive one against one maintenance Olympic event is scheduled,” reports Bob Gould, chapter president.
“Our company is trying to schedule an awards event on May 24th where our FAA FSDO would present us with the AMT Diamond Award (we have had 100 percent participation by all of our eligible AMT’s for the past four years). We hope to have our state legislators and our U.S. Representative Rick Larson (Transportation and Infrastructure Committee) here for the presentation. We also hope to have local print media here, including the Seattle Times. These plans are still in the making, and we are hopeful that we can increase public awareness of AMT Day here in the State of Washington,” says Fred Zimbelman of the Soundair Repair Group LLC.
Goodrich Corporation’s Aviation Technical Services in Everett, Washington, is planning an event to honor AMTs on May 24, 2004. The plans started when it contacted its State Representatives and asked them to sponsor a bill to make May 24th Aviation Maintenance Technician Day.
“Representatives Sullivan and Pearson generously sponsored the bill and Washington state will now recognize May 24, 2004 as AMT Day.” The Representatives will come to Aviation Technical Services on May 24 to present the AMTs with the resolution.
“Along with this presentation, we will be honoring Charles Taylor and all of the AMTs that work at Aviation Technical Services and across the State of Washington. The FAA will also attend to present Aviation Technical Services with our FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Award Program Diamond Employer Award. The 289 technicians that met the criteria for this award will be recognized and the 49 technicians who have met the criteria five years in a row will receive special recognition.” Aviation Technical Services is proud of its highly trained workforce and the fact that 2003 marked the fifth year in a row that it earned the Diamond Award.
“Included in the festivities will be drawings for prizes and Aviation Technical Services will be providing a free lunch for all of its employees,” reports Denise Anderson, marketing communications manager, Goodrich Aviation Technical Services.
In 2004, we can only hope that Charles Taylor would be proud to see the achievement of the men and women in aviation maintenance who have taken up his birthday as a day to celebrate and honor him, powered flight, and themselves. Let’s all raise our glasses on May 24th in celebration — cheers.