The Loss of an Advocate

All of us here at AMT and the AMTSociety are sadden at the passing of Tom Hendershot whose service to aviation and the aircraft maintenance industry spanned more than five decades. Tom served as the Executive Director of the AMTSociety since 2007. His passion for promoting both the craft of aircraft maintenance and the professionalism of the aircraft maintenance technician (AMT) was ever present. I knew Tom only a short three years but can sincerely say he was the consummate professional and gentlemen and will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and industry peers alike.

Tom was one of a handful of individuals worldwide to receive both the FAA’s Charles E. Taylor Master Mechanic award and the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot awards. He was named 2003 National Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year and served on the selection committee for the annual National Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year. He is also a member of two industry Halls of Fame, including receiving unanimous endorsement for induction into the OX5 Aviation Pioneers Aviation Hall of Fame in 2011 and enshrinement into the Colorado Aviation Historical Society’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

But this column isn’t meant to highlight the many awards and recognitions Tom received. I believe Tom’s legacy will be his tireless involvement within the aviation industry. For decades Tom participated in numerous aviation and aircraft maintenance organizations, education and training organizations, industry committees, the FAASTeam; too many to mention them all. He continually promoted the importance of involvement in our industry for everyone, including aircraft maintenance technicians. Second to this was his message on the importance of continuing education and training.

Tom was an advocate for the aviation industry, for the craft of aircraft maintenance, for raising the professionalism of the aircraft maintenance technician, and for continuing education and training. There are likely others like him out there. Some perhaps less involved than Tom was, while others perhaps moving at the same tireless pace. Next time you meet one of these tireless advocates, thank them for all they do!

Thank you Tom Hendershot for all you have done, Ron