All of us here at AMT and the AMTSociety are saddened at the passing of Tom Hendershot whose service to aviation and the aircraft maintenance industry spanned more than five decades. Tom served as the Executive Director of the AMTSociety since 2007. His passion for promoting both the craft of aircraft maintenance and the professionalism of the aircraft maintenance technician (AMT) was ever present. I knew Tom only a short three years but can sincerely say he was the consummate professional and gentlemen and will be deeply missed by his family, friends and industry peers alike.

Tom was one of a handful of individuals worldwide to receive both the FAA’s Charles E. Taylor Master Mechanic award and the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot awards. He was named 2003 National Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year and served on the selection committee for the annual National Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year. He is also a member of two industry Halls of Fame, including receiving unanimous endorsement for induction into the OX5 Aviation Pioneers Aviation Hall of Fame in 2011 and enshrinement into the Colorado Aviation Historical Society’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

But this column isn’t meant to highlight the many awards and recognitions Tom received. I believe Tom’s legacy will be his tireless involvement within the aviation industry. For decades Tom participated in numerous aviation and aircraft maintenance organizations, education and training organizations, industry committees, the FAASTeam; too many to mention them all. He continually promoted the importance of involvement in our industry for everyone, including aircraft maintenance technicians. Second to this was his message on the importance of continuing education and training.

Tom was an advocate for the aviation industry, for the craft of aircraft maintenance, for raising the professionalism of the aircraft maintenance technician, and for continuing education and training. There are likely others like him out there. Some perhaps less involved than Tom was, while others perhaps moving at the same tireless pace. Next time you meet one of these tireless advocates, thank them for all they do!

Thank you Tom Hendershot for all you have done, Ron  

About the Author

Ronald Donner | Aviation Consultant | AMT

Ronald (Ron) Donner has spent his entire life devoted to aviation and he holds FAA certificates as an A&P/IA, and a Commercial Pilot with Single and Multi Engine Land, Instrument Airplane and Glider ratings. Ron has worked in a variety of maintenance related roles, both technical and management in general aviation as well as with a major airline. Ron was the recipient of the 2012 National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Aviation Journalism award.  

Contact: Ron Donner

Chief Editor | Aircraft Maintenance Technology

[email protected]


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