2023 AMT 40 Under 40 Maintenance Professional: Josh Rawlins — Director of the Aircraft Mechanic Program (Part 147 School), Epic Flight Academy

Aug. 10, 2023

Josh Rawlins is not only personally helping the next generation become AMTs, he’s leading initiatives to create new schools and opportunities.

Rawlins is the chief operating officer and a board member at Epic Flight Academy. In February 2022 he also became the director of the academy’s Aircraft Mechanic Program. 

Partnering with FEAM Aero, Epic Flight Academy in April 2023 broke ground for a new aircraft mechanic school at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).

“I think it is extremely important and what we need to be doing as an industry: working together to meet the demand, giving students the opportunity to work in the field while still in school and having even better alignment with what they will really be doing when they enter the field. FEAM has stepped up to the plate in a huge way not only just working together but providing pathways to students who might have never had the opportunity.”

Partnering with Polk State College in Florida, Rawlins helped draft an articulation agreement that allows Epic’s aircraft mechanic graduates to receive 30 credits, which can be used toward an associate degree in aviation maintenance administration.

At the high school level, Rawlins participates in numerous programs, educating young people, lending equipment, donating materials, and hosting field trips and open houses. He said one of the most enjoyable activities is providing scholarships to kids and showing them that aircraft maintenance is an opportunity out there for them. “Like I did, so many kids think it is something out of reach,” he said, “but it is an incredible opportunity right at their fingertips.”

When he was 19, Rawlins started cleaning in the shop and fell in love being around airplanes. He apprenticed with Epic and studied at King Schools to help prepare for his A&P and IA. At Epic, he progressed into the role of lead mechanic and shortly after became the director of maintenance. 

If there’s one lesson Rawlins could teach all aviation maintenance students, he said it would be the importance of integrity. 

“In this field it is everything. We all make mistakes. It's what you do after that sets you apart and keeps people safe.”