2023 AMT 40 Under 40 Maintenance Professional: Aaron Simmons — Lead Aircraft Technician/Shop Manager, Gibson Aviation Services LLC

Aug. 10, 2023
Gibson Aviation Services
Aaron Simmons
Aaron Simmons

Aaron Simmons is the face of the shop at Gibson Aviation Services LLC. As the lead aircraft technician and shop manager, there are few aircraft (or pilots) that Simmons doesn’t know – from the Piper Super Cub and Aviat Husky, to Cessna 340s and 421s. Although he may be “the face,” he says, “It’s not a one-person gig” and he gives credit to the five technicians he works with.  

When Gibson Aviation became a Part 145 limited repair station, Simmons was instrumental. He wrote the repair station and quality control manuals approved by the FAA, which allow Gibson Aviation to do 24-month instrument flight rules (IFR) and visual flight rules (VFR) pitot static/transponder checks. They, in turn, allow Gibson Aviation to become a Garmin authorized dealer and install Garmin avionics equipment.  

Working with techs and customers, Simmons’ approach is “just try to be fair” and treat everyone with respect. Growing up, Simmons played a lot of team sports. “It’s all about teamwork. We all got to realize we’re just a team out on the shop floor. Making customers happy and keeping airplanes safe is what our goal has to be every day.” 

Simmons says he continually strives to be a better person, better husband, better father to his two small children, better maintenance provider and better boss. 

Early on, he wanted to be a pilot and studied natural resources.  

Once he got his private pilot license, he realized he didn’t necessarily want to work as a pilot, yet he wanted to work in aviation. Having grown up working on dirt bikes and tractors, he had an interest in fixing things. He attended Northland Community & Technical College in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, then got his A&P. He also studied at Bakers School of Aeronautics and has his IA.