The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded the prestigious Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award to Mike Grabbe, maintenance quality and safety manager for business jet operator Jet Access and its subsidiary Eagle Creek Aviation. The award was presented by FAA safety team programme manager, airworthiness Christopher House.
The award is named in honour of Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight, to recognise individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill and aviation expertise for at least 50 years in the aircraft maintenance profession as master mechanics. Taylor served as the Wright brothers' mechanic and is credited with designing and building the engine for their first successful aircraft, and this is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to aviation mechanics.
Grabbe's career in aviation began in 1970 when he served as an aircraft mechanic for a flight school in Maine. Throughout his career, he has served in a variety of roles, including aircraft maintenance technician, quality assurance manager, maintenance instructor and director of training. Grabbe is an internationally recognised expert in the systems, proper repair procedures and troubleshooting of general aviation aircraft. His extensive training career includes more than 20 years leading training courses, including the Twin Commander authorised bi-annual course for Twin Commander maintenance technicians that is attended by service centres and professionals from around the world.
“Mike Grabbe has been an invaluable asset for our aircraft maintenance operations over the past two decades,” says Eagle Creek Aviation and Jet Access Maintenance president Scott Dillon. “His extensive experience, technical knowledge and leadership in quality assurance and training have contributed to our success as an award-winning MRO. We are proud of his accomplishment of more than 50 years in the aircraft maintenance profession and are fortunate to have him on our team.”
Under Grabbe’s leadership, the FAA has awarded Eagle Creek Aviation the Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Diamond Award of Excellence 11 times; it is the FAA’s highest award for AMTs and employers, recognising aviation maintenance companies that initiate and sustain highly effective training programmes aimed at improving safety, quality, reliability and technical knowledge that exceed standard FAA regulatory requirements.
Jet Access operates multiple FAA-approved Part 145 aircraft repair facilities, including Eagle Creek Aviation at Eagle Creek airport in Indianapolis, Indiana.