2017 AMT Next Gen Award: Joshua Knowlton

Nov. 21, 2017
Field Mechanic, 39, Hillsboro Aviation, Hillsboro, OR

Joshua Knowlton was motivated to get into the aviation industry after going through a divorce at the age of 32. He had been driving tow truck for seven years, was a high school dropout, had recently lost 130 pounds, and had decided it was time for a big change. He enrolled in the A&P program at Lane Community College in Eugene, OR. While there he worked for Wally Anderson at Synergy Air building Vans RV aircraft. He purchased a 1942 Piper L4A Grasshopper project from Anderson so that he could learn tube and fabric while working at Synergy. He graduated with a 4.02 cumulative GPA and finished first in his class.

He is the sole three-time recipient of the HAI Bill Sanderson scholarship and has used it to attend Bell 407 factory school, Bell 205 factory school, and Rolls-Royce M250C47B factory school training. While in college he was awarded the Tom Pitzer memorial scholarship from the Evergreen Foundation, the Joe Murphy memorial scholarship from the Lane Foundation, as well as the 2103 William "Bill" O'Brien scholarship from AMTSociety. Knowlton has had several mentors, starting with Wally Anderson while he was in school, as well as Larry Stapley and Herb Moore, both great teachers at the school heattended. Stapley was instrumental in helping him to obtain scholarships and furthering his education after school. Knowlton belongs to HAI and EAA. 

After graduating college he departed Synergy and headed to PJ Helicopters in Northern California to learn rotorcraft maintenance. He gained experience on Bell 214, UH-1H, 407, 206L3, 206B3, MD369D, E, and FF, MD500N, and the Sikorsky UH-60A Blackhawk. 
After spending a little over three years at PJ Helicopters he returned to Eugene to be closer to his daughter. He started working with a friend at The Ragwood Refactory restoring antique airplanes and worked there for a year before deciding to return to the world of rotorcraft. That's when he took his current position as a field mechanic for Hillsboro Aviation. This summer he was in Moab, UT, and all around the western United States chasing a Bell 407 on various wildfires. When not in the field he works in the hangar performing maintenance, inspections, and overhaul of components on various rotorcraft owned by Hillsboro Aviation.
Scott's way of giving back to the industry involves working to encourage young members of the aviation community. "I've spoken to classes of elementary age students, junior high and high school age classes, as well as spoken to college classes to help spread the word about the exciting opportunities in aviation maintenance. Being the father of a 10-year-old girl I am particularly interested in involving more females in aviation and aviation maintenance. I believe that this industry needs to continue to work hard to get women more involved."
He obtained his Inspection Authorization in July of 2016 and is always looking to further his education in any way possible. "My goals for the future include teaching at some level in an aviation setting as well as becoming a DME and a DAR. I am working on earning my private pilot's license currently as well as working to finish the restoration of my L4A Grasshopper."