What Did You Do for National AMT Day?

John Goglia and I visited the New England campus of National Aviation Academy (NAA) in Bedford, MA, the day before National AMT Day. Our morning began by meeting Laurence Huntley, senior vice president; Jim McNeill, marketing representative; and several instructors and staff. This NAA campus has a great history and began as East Coast Aero Tech School (ECAT) founded in 1932. In 1969, National Aviation Academy started in Clearwater, FL, and in 2008 purchased ECAT. The fun part of our visit was the fact that John attended ECAT and obtained his A&P certificate there … well let’s say some number of decades ago.

According to all reports and observations NAA is doing great, which is nice to hear since there are A&P schools out there that appear to struggle and have closed. As a side note, the A&P school I attended in Janesville, WI, finally closed its doors this year and I was told recently had an auction to sell the assets. Very sad.

We toured a few classrooms, shops, and the hangar which was full of the usual A&P school engines and aircraft. The most rewarding part of the visit for both John and I was the time we spent talking with students about our backgrounds, the many twists and turns of both our careers, and what to expect as they move into industry.

We encouraged these next generation technicians to continue with their learning and education long after graduation with an A&P certificate. While speaking with the students John asked one group why they decided to go to aircraft maintenance school? One young woman said she was an automobile mechanic now and wanted to learn about aircraft. Several had the usual answer of finding a job and earning a paycheck. Then finally one young man said, “I’ve always loved aviation.” I smiled because that’s why I chose the path I did.

Consider making a visit to your local A&P school sometime. Students and staff enjoy hearing from us. Encourage students to continue with their learning. If you have aviation books, model airplanes, or other aviation items on the shelf collecting dust donate them. And most of all have fun; we did.

— Ron


AMT Day celebrations

More than 120 attendees participated in Baker’s School of Aeronautics’ 10th annual AMT picnic in Nashville, TN, on May 23. Many companies donated door prizes including Stevens Aviation, Rapco, Trade-A-Plane, Wing Aero, the Tennessee Mid-South Aviation Maintenance Conference, and others. There were enough for every attendee to receive one. “The Slim Chance Band” entertained us, along with a six-time National Champion Buck dancer. Weather was beautiful and plenty of hot food, including the popular barbecued fried bologna, was grilled by our famous chefs, Eddie Baker and Orville Hale from Trade-A-Plane.

The school is moving to its new 10,000-square-foot building in Lebanon, TN, this summer, so a survey was conducted asking each attendee if they would still like to have the AMT Picnic the closest Friday to May 24th in Lebanon next year and the response was a 90 percent “Yes.”

In anticipation of National Aviation Maintenance Technician Day, Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) - Irving (TX) campus hosted its annual Aviation Maintenance Education Day on Friday, May 16. Tours of AIM’s hangar and demonstrations on some of the actual training aids that are used by AIM’s students allowed the public to view the school and get an idea of what aircraft maintenance is all about.

AIM - Irving campus is part of the nation’s largest family of aviation maintenance schools, with headquarters in Virginia Beach, VA. Through AIM’s FAA-approved program, students prepare for a career in aviation maintenance. Students learn the skills necessary to become successful as an aircraft mechanic. AIM’s other campuses are located in Atlanta, GA; Chesapeake, VA; Manassas, VA; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Kansas City, MO; Las Vegas, NV, Oakland, CA; Orlando, FL; and Philadelphia, PA. Learn more at: www.aviationmaintenance.edu.

Banyan Air Service celebrated its 9th annual AMT Day on Friday, May 23, 2014. This day is special for the aircraft technicians at Banyan as they are honored for their dedication to aviation and safety.

Dave Valenta, Banyan’s director of maintenance organized the lunch-time event and gave an overview of the accomplishments during the last year; including adding the Challenger 605 to the Banyan repair station. Lou Homsher, chief inspector for turbine maintenance, spoke about the many contributions of the Banyan technicians.

Banyan Air Service based at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) is recognized as a top FBO in the United States by aviation professionals. For more information visit www.banyanair.com.

United Airlines is paying tribute to the contributions and hard work of its most senior mechanics who have earned the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. Upon completion of 50 years of service in aviation maintenance, with at least 30 years as a certified FAA technician, a mechanic qualifies for this industry honor presented by the FAA. Since the award’s inception in 1998, more than 30 of United’s technicians have received the award.

To celebrate these master mechanics, United will install a statue of Charles Taylor at the airline’s Chicago O’Hare hub and engrave the bust with the names of each award recipient.

The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award recognizes the lifetime accomplishments of senior aviation mechanics. United’s more than 8,800 aviation technicians work in locations around the world to maintain the airline’s fleet of nearly 700 aircraft and ensure they operate safely and reliably for its customers and employees.


Master Mechanic Award

Dan Kendall was awarded the Charles Taylor Award this past year. He has been in aviation for 53 years, beginning when he was still in high school, through active duty Air Force (27 years) and finally owner/operator of DLK Aviation in Kennesaw, GA. His aviation career is impressive, according to his daughter Tracie Byrd, who has worked side by side with him for the past 16 years. Even now, although he is the owner of DLK Aviation, he would much rather be in the hangar turning a wrench than sitting in the office completing paperwork.

Richard Moore of Danville, VA, was awarded the Mater Mechanic Award. The first plane Moore ever worked on was a J-3 Cub in the Lawrenceville airport. From 1966 to 1988 he worked at Langley Air Force Base with the Civil Service. He was in the Air Force for eight years before that. His garage has been turned into somewhat of an aviation museum to hold memorabilia from his years as an aviation mechanic.

Two of Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s faculty members have received the award. Dr. Robert Q. Steinman, Director of Education at Aviation Institute of Maintenance – Dallas Campus was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. Former instructor Gerald Longley at Aviation Institute of Maintenance – Dallas Campus also received the Master Mechanic Award. The students, faculty, and staff are truly honored to be granted the opportunity to work with and learn from both Steinman and Longley. They are inspired by their dedication, enthusiasm, and most of all, love of aviation industry.