Top 40 Under 40: Michael Partin

Dec. 3, 2014


Michael Partin grew up in the garage alongside his father and grandfather, where together they worked on anything that had wheels. When the time came for him to select a career, his grandfather recommended the aircraft maintenance field because in his words, “Airplanes will be around for a long time!” Partin has been the general manager of Gary Jet Center Inc. since September 2013. In this role, he manages day-to-day operations and procures new business opportunities specific to the Chicago aviation market. Prior to joining Gary Jet Center, Partin worked as a lead maintenance technician for Boeing, where he maintained the Boeing Executive Flight Department fleet of two Boeing business jets and four Challenger 605 aircraft. In this position, Partin learned to work under tight time constraints to support the worldwide operations of company aircraft. From 2000 to 2005, Partin served as an aircraft mechanic for ATA Airlines where he maintained and repaired B757, B737 and B727 aircraft. Partin received a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Aviation/Airway Management and Operations from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Why did you select aviation as a career?

I grew up in the garage alongside my father and grandfather working on anything that had wheels. When the time came for me to graduate High School and select a career, my grandfather recommended that I go into the Aircraft Maintenance field because in his words “airplanes will be around for a long time!”

What is the best advice you’ve received from mentors in your career?

The owner of Gary Jet Center and my mentor Wil Davis gave me the best advice: “Sometimes you have to jump in with both feet. Opportunity does not present itself often so you have to be able to recognize it and capitalize. This is often times a key difference between success and failure”.

What are the biggest problems facing aviation today?

Business aviation contributes more than 150 billion to the

U.S. Economic output and employs more than 1.2 million people. Our challenge is going to be finding the right leaders for this industry and retaining them.

What advice can you give to newcomers to the aviation industry?

Keep an open mind- Aviation is a very small world and opportunity is everywhere. Always remember that your attitude is the only thing you have control over- Stay prepared- Luck is preparation meeting opportunity!

What are three things most people do not know about you?

– recycles large commercial aircraft as a side business

–working on private piloting license

–has been spotted racing dirtbikes on frozen lakes