Today, Herb Kelleher, Colleen Barrett, Trevor Stedke, and I, along with dozens of Southwest Friends and Family, honored this year’s recipients of the Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award at a ceremony in the Dallas hangar.
The Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award recognizes the lifetime accomplishment of senior mechanics. Southwest recipients George Sims, Frank Chesonis, Dean Cordes, John Popson, Larry Horton, and Dale Iven (who recently passed away) have all worked for a period of at least 50 years in an aviation maintenance career, with 30 of those years as a mechanic. They will be recognized in the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic—Roll of Honor located online at FAASafety.gov.
The process to become a designated Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” includes a vetting process by the FAA that consists of a rigorous investigation of the Aircraft Maintenance Technician’s (AMT) records on file with the agency from the day they received their Airframe & Powerplant license, a detailed application, letters of recommendation, and proof of certificates. Only those AMTs with spotless records are then designated with the honor of the Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award.
These Master Mechanics have dedicated their skills and lifetime to the profession of airline maintenance to reach this remarkable accomplishment. Together, they represent more than 300 years of aviation experience! Congratulations to these recipients and their families who have supported them through all these years for this lifetime achievement!
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We all know how Wilbur and Orville Wright changed our lives with the first flight on December 17, 1903. What some might not know is that, behind the scenes, was a man who pioneered Safety and Aviation Maintenance, Charles E. Taylor. Mr. Taylor took the vision of flight and turned it into a reality of professionalism that soars beyond just transportation from point A to point B.
May 24 recognizes a very special day as its Charles E. Taylor's birthday. Our proud Aircraft Maintenance Technicians at Southwest Airlines join others around the world as we celebrate May 24 as National Aviation Maintenance Technician Day.
The next time you're at one of our airports, take some time to look around at all of the support functions. Somewhere behind all that activity, you might see one of our Aircraft Maintenance Technicians. By design, they're behind the scenes; by design, their actions speak volumes for our unprecedented Safety standards.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Taylor! You make us all proud to recognize May 24 as Aviation Maintenance Technician Day.
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