Not many people go from studying to become a doctor and working in a hospital to becoming an aircraft mechanic, and while Chris Wilson’s journey into the aviation industry may be unique, his passion for the work is nothing be genuine.
Wilson graduated college with a B.S. degree in psychology and began work as a counselor. Looking to pursue a career in medicine, Wilson began shadowing at a hospital while completing his pre-med schooling. While shadowing, he began working part-time in Augusta Aviation, Inc.’s maintenance department as a customer service representative. As his role at the airport grew, Wilson says changes in the medical field lessened his desire to become a doctor. He found himself more and more enjoying his time in the aircraft shop.
“So I changed my career path and began working with the AMTs,” said Wilson. “I loved it all and our shop provided a wide range of general aviation experience. After several years of work, I gained the required experience to test for my A&P license. After obtaining my A&P, I had the opportunity to work alongside our avionics AMTs and found that I had a natural affinity for the work. I obtained a repairmen certificate under our 145 avionics repair station. During that time, I saw the potential in the avionics shop and an opportunity presented itself for me to help grow the department. I went from technician to chief inspector and then on to accountable manager for the repair station. As things grew and we hired more technicians on the avionics side of the house, a need arose for a service manager for our maintenance department.”
And now in 2019 Wilson is serving as the service manager for Augusta Aviation’s maintenance shop. He also runs their avionics repair station as its accountable manager and is working to wrap up his private pilot's license soon – hoping to fly for Augusta’s 135 charter operation in the future.
“As avionics manager, Chris used many of his customer service skills from his customer support days to build a following of avionics customers in addition to the paperwork generated from the FAA. We have seen the avionics shop grow under his leadership. Chris is also a certified repairman under our repair station, as well as the accountable manager for the repair station, being the sole interface with the FAA regarding regulatory and oversight matters. Chris is leading our Avionics shop though dozens of ADSB installations as well as the updating of the panels in all three of Augusta Aviation’s Charter Fleet or KingAirs,” writes Becky Shealy, VP of business development for Augusta Aviation, Inc., on Wilson’s nomination.
Outside of working at Augusta Aviation, Wilson serves as the vice chairman on the advisory committee for Augusta Technical College’s A&P program and participates in the local high school’s aviation shadowing program and says he works to promote the aviation field in any way he can.
“My desire is to gain all the experience I can as an AMT and as a pilot gain as many ratings as I can. With that experience, it is my desire to help promote the next generation of aviators and AMTs. Many men have dreamed of the ability to fly, I now have the opportunity to experience that great achievement and help others do the same in a safe and meaningful way,” expounds Wilson.