The Bad and the Good
If you look at any profession, the majority of people are good. They do their jobs professionally day in and day out. They serve as examples to their peers and to young people who yearn to join their profession.
Then you have the bad people. Those whose actions are oftentimes highlighted in the press and give a negative stigma to the profession as a whole.
An current example would be those few police officers whose egregious actions have shed a negative light on law enforcement as a whole.
“Going Postal” is another example of the negative stigma that can be cast on a profession. Some of you may be too young to remember how this commonly used phrase came about. In 1986 a postman by the name of Patrick Sherrill shot and killed 14 employees at the Edmond, OK post office. In following years, several other current and former postal workers would commit similar atrocities, giving rise to the term “Going Postal.”
Aviation maintenance isn’t immune to negative publicity from bad apples. In May 1999, two men were convicted of fraud and conspiracy for helping aircraft mechanics cheat on certification tests and then lying about it. Anthony R. St. George and George E. Allen issued around 1,800 A&P certificates between 1995 and 1999 at St. George Aviation in Sanford, FL. The mechanics who received their certificates during that time were forced to re-test or surrender their certificates.
On August 27, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on another testing scandal. In March of this year, Las Vegas resident Frank A. Jalion Amaro was charged after traveling to Duluth, MN and offering to pay $2,500 for a passing grade on his A&P test. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 26 months of probation and 100 hours of community service. He was also fined $100 for bribing the test administrator.
Despite those few bad apples in aircraft maintenance, there are many more aircraft mechanics who are truly good people. One example is Terry Peed, a contributing writer for our sister publication Helicopter Maintenance magazine. On August 25, Peed received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award from the FAA. In what Peed had originally planned as a big celebration at the hospital where he works, Coronavirus caused a change of plans, and the award was presented at the Waukesha, WI airport with a limited number of people in attendance. We want to congratulate Terry for 50 years of aircraft maintenance professionalism and thank him for his editorial contributions to Helicopter Maintenance magazine!
Well done Terry!