On more than a handful of occasions, I have been accused of not being the brightest crayon in the box for making what I thought to be profound philosophical statements that then would backfire on me. Despite history not being on my side, I don't think that I am sticking my neck out too far by sharing with you one of my life's observations.
I have found that most aviation mechanics seem to be doomed to be a responsible lot who spend their lives solving problems, meeting deadlines, and praying for a dull moment between crises du jour. Rare is the mechanic who is blessed with that special kind of luck that makes him the holder of the winning lottery ticket on a Wednesday and then on Friday night, drives home with the big prize from the Church Bazaar. Sadly, I must report it is my experience that Lady Luck rarely visits an airport hangar. As far as mechanics are concerned, in the casino of life, the house always wins.
But not to worry, fellow mechanics, there is hope. What would you think if I told you that there is a contest out there that is designed just for you? What would you say that instead of your average lottery bizillion-to-one odds against you winning, the worst odds against you in a nation-wide contest is less than a 1,000 to one? What if I was to tell you that in this contest, there will be 25 winners and every one of the winners is going to be a mechanic? And the best part about this contest is you don't have to buy a ticket.
Interested? Okay, the name of the contest is called the FAA/NASCAR Aviation Maintenance Technician Award contest. The purpose of the contest is to serve as an incentive for the FAA's Aviation Maintenance Technician Awards program. This is the fifth year for the contest, and it is getting more popular every year. I suspect the reason behind the popularity of the contest is because industry sponsors have been offering some great prizes. What follows are the prizes for this year's contest.
And the winners receive . . .
Delta Airlines and RCR Enterprises Race Team sponsor the Grand Prize. If you win, you get to spend three nights in Atlanta, GA, and then on to Charlotte, NC, for two nights (includes airfare) where the winner serves as an honorary Pit Crew member on the RCR Enterprises No. 3 car and leave with an autograph race team jacket to show your kids or your grandkids.
1st Prize: Winner and a guest receive round-trip airfare to San Diego, CA, sponsored by Southwest Airlines, a rental car, discount booklet, and free tickets to Sea World. Warning: Don't sit in the first three rows at Sea World unless you are wearing wash and wear.
2nd Prize: Winner receives round-trip airfare to Oshkosh, WI, three days hotel accommodations, rental car, and free tickets to the EAA AirVenture 2001 sponsored by Sundstrand. This is the world's biggest fly-in. If you like general aviation airplanes, this is Mecca.
3rd Prize: Winner receives round-trip airfare to Arlington, WA, sponsored by BFGoodrich, three nights hotel accommodations, rental car, and free passes to the Arlington Air Show. This is grass roots aviation at its best.
4th Prize: Winner receives a five-day General Training course on Boeing aircraft sponsored by Boeing Aircraft. This prize includes round-trip airfare to Seattle, WA, and hotel accommodations. This kind of training is like vitamins for the mind.
5th Prize: Winner receives a United Maintenance Training Course, sponsored by United Airlines that includes round-trip airfare to San Francisco, CA, and a choice of training on the following subjects: Boeing 777 (40-56 hours) or Airbus 320 (40-56 hours) or an Advanced Composite Repair Course (80 hours). United is kind of proud of their maintenance facility, the world's largest, so they include a VIP grand tour — pack some sneakers, you will need them.
6th Prize: Winner will receive a $2,000 Gift Certificate sponsored by Timco toward the purchase of Snap-On™ tools. This prize should make your toolbox a little heavier.
What would you think if I told you that there is a contest out there that is designed just for you?
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