A Half Century of Excellence…x 2
They call it a body of work. When defining someone’s career—like actors, athletes, musicians, etc.—we typically look at the sum total of their accomplishments. And in the case of two UPS aircraft mechanics, the phrase “body of work” takes on a whole new meaning.
Vic Valentin and Joe Gonsalves are aircraft maintenance technicians. Vic works in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Joe in Long Beach, California. Both have been honing their craft, for an incredible 50 years. The big five–o.
Their amazing longevity in the aircraft maintenance industry, along with outstanding performance and nominations from management, helped them secure the FAA’s highly coveted Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award.
Who’s Charles Taylor? Only the first mechanic for a little flying duo you might have heard of called the Wright Brothers. Ascending to Master Mechanic status is a big deal. The Master Mechanic rank has only been achieved by 2,544 other people in the history of aviation.
“Fifty years does blow my mind, that someone would be committed to doing that work for 50 years and the passion that they have for their craft. That’s one thing that both of them truly do have in common—they love aviation” says Vic and Joe’s manager, David Bonner.
Vic works with a team of mechanics and services multiple aircraft each day at the Honolulu gateway, while Joe is the lone mechanic servicing one flight per day in Long Beach. Both share a humility to wearing the mantle of Master Mechanic.
“It’s been a long journey” says Vic. “All these years of working the graveyard shift…it’s a good feeling.”
Joe adds “Winning this award, I’m honored, but at the same time, it’s humbling. I had no idea of the prestige that comes with this.”
Fifty years in the business. Sustained, excellent performance. FAA Master Mechanics. Talk about a body of work.