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A mechanic services a Pratt and Whitney engine. (Photo: Pratt and Whitney)

Airline Maintenance Workers Honored Despite Difficult Season for Airlines

As the aviation industry grapples with the economic impact of the novel coronavirus, many airlines took the time to publicly recognize their aviation maintenance technicians (AMT) for their dedication and hard work in providing safe and excellence in air transportation.

May 24 is Aviation Maintenance Technician Day, meant to honor the men and women who have worked behind the scenes making and keeping aviation possible. The date is also the birthday of Charles Taylor, the Wright brothers’ first engine mechanic. Taylor handcrafted the first engine used to power the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and worked with the brothers for many years maintaining and perfecting his design.

Often referred to as one of the three men who shrunk the world, Taylor’s birthday was formally recognized by Congress as National Aviation Maintenance Technician Day in April 2008, nearly 100 years after the famous first flight. Aircraft maintainers, students, companies and organizations around the globe celebrate AMT Day to recognize the dedication of the men and women who keep aircraft safely flying.

“We are proud of the AMTs, also known as aircraft mechanics, who use their knowledge, skill and integrity each and every day to maintain our country’s aircraft,” said Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association National Director Bret Oestreich. “The AMT works tirelessly to ensure the safety and security of the flying public, and in many cases, these men and women do so while working odd hours, weekends, and holidays in all types of inclement weather. They take the responsibility to provide a safe aircraft to heart, and strive to maintain the trust of the flying public.”

Several airlines honored their AMTs with special celebrations and gifts of appreciation. And many took to social media to show their gratitude for their AMTs.

Turkish Technic shared, “Happy Aircraft Maintenance Technician Day to our aircraft technicians, who are the heroes of safe and reliable flights with their diligent and devoted work.” American Airlines said, “On this #AMTDay we thank our Aviation Maintenance Technicians for their commitment to ensuring our aircraft remain safe and reliable, and for caring for our customers and #AATeam, now and in the future.”

In addition to the annual AMT Day recognition, each year the Federal Aviation Administration also honors several AMTs for their individual contributions to their craft. The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award, named in honor of Taylor, recognizes the lifetime accomplishments of senior mechanics. Each year, the FAA accepts nominations for the award, and honors those mechanics who have served their trade for more than 50 years.

Rick Shideler
Rick Shideler
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