Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award

The Master Mechanic Award is named in honor of Charles Taylor, who served as the Wright Brothers’ mechanic and is credited with designing and building the engine for their first successful powered flight. To be eligible for this award, a recipient must have served at least 50 years as an aviation mechanic and also have been an FAA-certified mechanic for a minimum of 30 years. Along with a beautiful plaque, their names will be recorded in a permanent leather bound book in Washington, D.C.

Garrett “Jep” Williamson

While Garrett Williamson was interested in aviation as far back as he can remember, and being born on Dec. 24, 1919, that goes back a few years, he received his A&P in 1954. He served in WWII as an Army Air Force B-17 gunner for three years, three months, and three days of active service. He served for three years on active reserve and 10 years on inactive reserve. During his career he worked at Chicago & Southern Airlines, Memphis Aero, Aero Electronics, and Aeroframe Airepairs as an A&P mechanic.

He received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award in 2005.

The real story is that he is still working as an A&P at Aeroframe Airepairs in Memphis, TN. And his comment when asked how long he’ll continue, he says, “Till death do us part, or as long as I can maintain my end of the bargain or other unknown events …”

He has three children, eight grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. In his off time he likes vegetable gardening, camping, and dancing – ballroom, swing, and Latin.

James “Red” Leslie, Bill Earnest, Glenn Hobbs

US Airways Charlotte, NC-based line maintenance supervisor James “Red” Leslie, Tampa, FL-based lead mechanic Bill Earnest and San Diego, CA-based mechanic Glenn Hobbs received the FAA’s Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award for their 50 years of dedication in aviation maintenance.

“Red, Bill, and Glenn have exhibited mastery and leadership in the field of aircraft maintenance,” says David Seymour, US Airways’ senior vice president, technical operations. “We are grateful for their service and proud to have them represent our outstanding team of 3,600 maintenance and engineering professionals.”

Leslie began his aviation career with Piedmont Airlines in 1962 as a mechanic’s assistant in Roanoke, VA. In 1998, he joined the Charlotte-based team where he works as a line maintenance supervisor at US Airways’ largest hub.

Bill Earnest joined Mohawk Airlines in Utica, NY, as a mechanic in 1962. In 1967, he transferred to Buffalo, NY, where he was promoted to line mechanic. Earnest’s career brought him to US Airways’ Tampa, FL, station in 1989, where he was promoted to his current role of lead mechanic.

Glenn Hobbs will receive his award on June 5. He began his aviation career in 1960 with the U.S. Air Force as a mechanic. Five years later, he was hired by PSA as an aircraft mechanic in San Diego. He was transferred to Los Angeles for a period of time and has since returned to San Diego where he serves as a line mechanic.

Lynton Scott

Involved in aviation for more than 60 years, including 51 years as a licensed aircraft maintenance technician, Lynton Scott of Trinity Center, CA, received special recognition from the FAA in March when he was presented the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award during the FAA’s annual Airworthiness Inspector Certificate Renewal symposium in Reno.

Lyn Scott started his aviation career as a gun turret system mechanic on B-50 bombers in 1951 at Walker AFB in Roswell, NM. He later became an A&P mechanic, earned a bachelor’s degree in aircraft maintenance engineering from Northrop Aeronautical Institute in 1959, and obtained his A&P mechanic license from the FAA the same year.

He worked for United Airlines as a mechanic when the airline was transitioning from props to jets and also taught mechanics to adult students in San Francisco. In his hometown of Trinity Center, he operates an airplane repair facility at the Trinity Center airport. In addition to his mechanic’s license, he holds a commercial pilot’s license with instrument rating and a ground instructor’s license.

Scott says he considers receiving the Charles Taylor award a great honor in memory of “a true mechanical genius” and that after more than 60 years in aviation “I still get a thrill every time I see an airplane land or take off.”

We congratulate the winners for their dedication to the aircraft maintenance industry. If you or someone you know has achieved this milestone, let us know. Send name, history, and photo if available to

Senior Editor Barb Zuehlke has been in publishing for 33 years and part of the AMT editorial team for 11 years.