Instructor receives prestigious aviation award

Eugene Comer, an instructor in the Aviation Maintenance Technology program, has received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in recognition of more than 50 years of aviation maintenance experience.

The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award was presented to LCC instructor Eugene Comer by Richard Anderson, FAA Front Line Manager, Eastern Michigan Flight Standards District Office, and Gary Knaggs, FAASTeam Program Manager, Eastern Michigan Flight Standards District Office, during an aircraft maintenance technician conference at Eastern Michigan University.

The Charles Taylor Award is the most prestigious award presented by the FAA to an aviation maintenance technician. The award – named in honor of Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight – recognizes the lifetime accomplishments of aircraft mechanics. Charles Taylor served as the Wright brothers’ mechanic and is credited with designing and building the engine for the 1903 Wright Flyer, the first aircraft to achieve heavier-than-air flight. The purpose of the award is to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill and aviation expertise for at least 50 years in the aircraft maintenance profession as master mechanics.

“We are justifiably proud that the FAA has recognized Gene for his outstanding aircraft maintenance career,” said Mark Bathurst, director of the college’s Aviation Maintenance Technician program. “We are fortunate that Gene is able to impart his vast knowledge and expertise to our students.”

Mr. Comer, a 56-year veteran of the aviation industry, began his aviation maintenance career in 1963 by attending the Spartan School of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After graduation, he was awarded the FAA Airframe and Powerplant certificate and subsequently the FAA Inspection Authorization rating. He has owned his own business on two different occasions and has maintained a variety of aircraft ranging from small single engine airplanes to modern, large jet aircraft. Gene also worked in aviation management for more than 30 years as a director of maintenance for a large air freight operation, and as a manager for a large piston engine overhaul company. Gene also has more than 3,000 flight hours in a variety of aircraft. Gene joined LCC in 2015 and currently serves as an instructor teaching in all areas of the program.

Since its inception in 1990, there have been more than 2,700 Charles Taylor awards presented nationwide. Gene is only the 64th Michigander to receive the award. Congratulations, Gene!