AMT Day and Charles E. Taylor

As aviation mechanics, we celebrate Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Day every May 24th. It’s a day to honor those who keep our skies safe! AMT Day also recognizes the achievements of Charles E. Taylor, known as the “Father of Aircraft Maintenance.”

To understand the importance of this monumental day, let’s take a look at what began a celebration of those who are essential to the aviation industry.

Humble Beginnings

Born on May 24th, 1868, Charles E. Taylor was known for being mechanically gifted at a young age. Taylor dropped out of high school at 12 years old and began working for the Nebraska State Journal as an errand boy. Before he married Henrietta Webbert in 1894, he started his own business, making metal house numbers. In 1896, Taylor and his wife moved to Dayton, Ohio, where the Wright brothers owned a bicycle shop. The Wrights knew of Taylor’s mechanical ability and eventually offered Taylor a job at the Wright Cycle Company, which he accepted.

Charles E. Taylor – The First Aviation Mechanic

The Wright brothers also happened to be very interested in aeronautics and flying experiments. In 1902, they developed specifications for a biplane that would eventually be built. However, they did not have a solution for an engine. So, they turned to Taylor!

As the Wrights worked on building the airframe, Taylor worked on creating an engine. With simple hand tools and in about six weeks, Taylor constructed the first airplane engine, a 180-pound, 12-horsepower machine.

December 17th, 1903

Thanks to Taylor, the Wright brothers sustained flight in a heavier-than-air powered aircraft on December 17th, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The Flyer would be the first heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled flight with a pilot aboard, and it was flown four times in one day. From here on, aviation would never be the same! While this date recognizes a famous flight, takeoff would not have been possible without Charles E. Taylor, a skilled mechanic.

Forging Aviation Maintenance Technician Day

In 2007, a United States House of Representatives resolution was introduced to establish National Aviation Maintenance Technician Day, honoring the birthdate of Charles E. Taylor, May 24th. In 2008, the resolution passed, and National AMT Day was officially in place to bring awareness to the contributions of aviation maintenance technicians everywhere!

NAA’s Charles E. Taylor Scholarship

At National Aviation Academy (NAA), we honor Charles E. Taylor and AMT Day by awarding up to twenty $1,000 scholarships annually, to recognize and encourage those who wish to pursue careers in aviation maintenance. This scholarship is intended to nurture young talent and invest in the success of local high school students and GED recipients. To learn more about this scholarship, its eligibility requirements, and how to apply, visit https://www.naa.edu/scholarship/!

Aviation maintenance technicians may not have the same visibility as pilots, but aircraft cannot fly without them. Thanks to skilled and certified mechanics, millions of passengers can enjoy the freedom of safe travel, and we are proud to be a small part of this celebration.

If you’d like to learn how you can play a part in keeping the skies safe through an honorable and limitless profession, please fill out the form below!