2017 AMT Next Gen Award: Holly Czupich

Nov. 21, 2017
Owner, 34, Chimera Air and General Manager, Buzzard Air Service LLC, Milan, MI
Growing up, Holly Czupich never thought that she would be in the aviation industry. She studied art history and photography during college but had never found her true passion. After college, she worked at a few temporary jobs and found an entry-level office position at USA Jet Airlines. She discovered that aviation was her true passion.
She began working as a mechanics helper to pay for flight training, but found working with her hands, on actual aircraft, is where her heart is. As the executive assistant at USA Jet Airlines, she provided administrative support to the executive vice president technical services and worked directly with AMTs regarding paperwork, planning, software usage, and parts management. 
She has a master of science degree from Wayne State University and has completed Lycoming Engine Factory training, high altitude and hypoxia training, and a two-week electrical wiring course at MIAT.  She belongs to National Business Aviation Association, Women in Aviation International, National Association of Flight Instructors, and Association for Women in Aviation.
Czupich started Chimera Air in 2009 to provide consulting services for USA Jet, and gradually added more customers. As her knowledge grew, she was able to expand services and specialties, such as providing manual and procedural documentation to interfacing with the FAA on Part 145 compliance, to developing maintenance training videos, and, finally, establishing government contracting maintenance facilities. She is also a partner at Buzzard Air Service with Mitch Noble.
Nominated by Amy Kienast, director of career services, MIAT College of Technology: "Holly could be considered a late bloomer in aviation and the industry is fortunate to have her join the ranks. She originally attended art college where she enjoyed working with her hands and then she found out her passion would turn into restoring airplanes. At the age of 26, Holly started her own aviation consulting business for Part 121 and 125 operators in which she specializes in AMT training and procedures. She also consults with a Part 125 operator managing their company manuals, OSHA program, MELs, and repair station certification and assists with management of the organization. Holly is a co-owner of a flight school that will open in 2018 in southeast Michigan. The school will fly six restored aircraft to include a Piper Apache, Navy N3N biplane, and an L-6 Interstate. And, she is the co-owner of a general aviation maintenance facility based in southeast Michigan specializing in antique aircraft restoration, engine buildups, and annuals that will also open in 2018. In her free time, she is a flight instructor and is building her own hangar and restoring a Cessna 150 and a 1943 Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper."
To give back to the industry she participates in associations and mentoring.She was the co-founder and held numerous positions with the Yankee Ladies WAI Chapter at the Willow Run Airport. She has also provided high school students the opportunity to gain Western Michigan University credit toward an aviation degree through the Calhoun Area Career Center in Battle Creek, MI. Instruction included basic private pilot and aviation maintenance technician training.

Professionally, she wants to operate a general aviation maintenance facility (focusing on antique aircraft restoration and GA maintenance) and specialty flight school to service the southeast Michigan area. Buzzard Air Service has been in the making for over six years. Personally, she wants to continue her AMT education and become an IA in late 2018. "There are always new skills to learn when working with antique aircraft," she says, "and I enjoy broadening my horizons."