Industry Insights

Recognizing Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award Winners

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Charles Taylor’s contributions to aviation were not always recognized, he is known as the man aviation history almost forgot. Everyone knows of the Wright brothers, but if it had not been for Charles Taylor, that first powered aircraft would have never lifted off the ground. We dedicated a page as a tribute to Charles Taylor – the first aviation maintenance technician (AMT) in powered flight and the man who built the first aircraft engine. Celebrated on May 24th, AMT Day honors Charles Taylor, the innovative genius behind the first aircraft engine.

Throughout the month of May, we have been celebrating AMTs by showcasing FAA Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award recipients on our social media. Recognizing his contributions to the aviation industry, the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award is named after the Wright brothers’ mechanic. This award recognizes individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and expertise for at least 50 years in the aviation maintenance profession. 

We received many submissions of outstanding AMTs who have been recipients of this prestigious award. If you want to know more about these individuals and their aviation career stories, keep on reading. 

LuVern Dokter

LuVern started his aviation career in the US Air Force in 1958. He worked at Trans World Airlines from 1963-1985 and then moved on to work for the FAA from 1986-2002. Currently, he is an instructor at FAA Academy in Oklahoma. LuVern was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2010.

Stephen Stodolski

Working in aircraft maintenance for The Hubbel Group since 1994, Steve has had a successful career in the aircraft maintenance industry. He has even passed on his interests to his son, who is also an accomplished aircraft maintenance technician. Steve was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2020. 

Thomas Mealie

Thomas Mealie started off working for Lycoming while in A&P school. He went on to work for Trans World Airlines for 28 years and eventually became the VP of Maintenance for nine different aviation companies. He has enjoyed his time working in aircraft maintenance. Thomas was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2014.  

Arthur Risco

Art went to Aviation Trades in High School while he lived in New York. He first started work with Pan American Business Jet Division, and in 1968 Pan Am developed into Dassault Falcon. He then went on to work for Flight Safety International in Paris for four years and owned a training company, Global Training International, for 11 years. Art was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2019.

Jake Harvey

Jake attended trades school while in high school, and graduated with a High School diploma in conjunction with his A&P certificate. He first worked for Eastern Airlines, and then eventually began work with Canadair (now Bombardier). Jake began teaching aircraft maintenance in 1989 and has not looked back since, he has taught for Flight Safety, Gulfstream, and Global Jet Services. Jake was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2019.

Justin Siak

Justin is a veteran of the U.S. armed forces, he began his career in 1962 as an aviation machinist. He has worked for Delta Airlines and Netjets, Inc. as a line maintenance technician. He is recognized by the House of Representatives of the 131st Assembly of Ohio for his selfless initiative to become a dynamic force in the aviation maintenance field. Justin was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2015.

Arthur Fullan

Arthur began his aviation maintenance career with American Airlines legacy carrier Allegheny Airlines on May 21, 1962, as employee No. 3263. He has worked at just three airports: Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Over 58 years, he has an impeccable safety record. Artie was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2019.

Larry Belton

Larry got started in aviation by accident after attending a tour of Piedmont Aerospace in his senior year of high school. After that, it was all aviation for him. He went on to serve in the United States Air Force as a helicopter mechanic for four years. He has worked at Guilford Technical Community College in the aviation program since 1992. Larry was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2020.

Bob Tooker

Bob began his career at Duncan Aviation in 1974 as one of only 17 aircraft mechanics. He joined the team working on Learjet, Bonanza, Baron, and King Air aircraft. In 1984, Bob helped develop a new division at Duncan Aviation: AVPAC (Aviation Parts, Avionics & Components). Bob was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2018.

Dale Meiler

Dale began his aviation maintenance career in the U.S. Army as a helicopter mechanic and serving in the Vietnam War. After his service, he graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with his A&P License. He has been working in the maintenance department at Banyan Air Service since 1983. He was the recipient of the NATA Technician of the Year award in 2006. Dale was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2020.

William Kyle

Bill began his aviation career in 1966 as a line boy at the Charles City Airport. While in high school, he earned his private pilot license in 1968. In 1970, he received an Associates’ Degree in Marketing from NIACC, and then in 1972 an Associates’ Degree in Aviation Maintenance from Hawkeye Institute of Technology. Bill has worked his way up at Charles City Airport, eventually taking over as Manager. Following in the footsteps of his father, Lyle Kyle, Bill was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2017.

Bob Gould

Bob was involved in aviation from a young age, and has his pilot’s license before his drivers license! After college, he joined the U.S. Navy and eventually retired as a captain in 2002. After the military he worked for many years for multiple business aviation maintenance companies, eventually leaving that to pursue a teaching career. He has taught aviation safety courses all around the world and was an instructor in the University of Southern California’s Aviation Safety and Security Program. Along with receiving many other national awards, Bob was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2019.

Robert Malara

Robert Malara began his career in 1969 upon graduating from Riverside School of Aeronautics – the school his father founded. He spent his career working in upstate New York. His father was also an FAA-certified mechanic and received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award in 1994. Robert was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2019.

Mike Potter

Mike has been an instructor at CPTC for more than 30 years, along with being an FAA Designated Mechanic Examiner. Along with the Charles Taylor Award, Mike received a service pin with diamond, a certificate, award plaques, and the FAA “Blue Ribbon” certification. Mike’s wife, Catherine, was also awarded a pin for being an outstanding supporting figure in Mike’s career. Mike was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2017. 

Patrick Delahoussaye

Patrick started work in the U.S Navy just after high school. After four years of service, he attended the Spartan School of Aeronautics where he completed his Aviation Science degree. He has gone on to work for Paul Formet Air Services, Aviall, Stevens Aviation, Atlantic Aviation, Embraer, J.S.S.I, Flight Time, and Comlux. He has since started his own company, Pioneer Aviation Management, where he is today. Patrick was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award by the FAA in 2010. 

Thank you AMTs for dedicating every day to ensuring our aircraft are functioning correctly. We appreciate all your hard work!

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