LANSING, Mich. – Eugene Comer, an instructor in Lansing Community College's 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 award was presented to 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. "The Charles Taylor Award recognizes lifetime achievement in the aviation maintenance field, and we are fortunate that Gene is able to impart his vast knowledge and expertise to our students."
Mark Cosgrove, Dean of Lansing Community College's Technical Careers Division, said, "We are extremely fortunate to have Gene as a member of our Aviation Maintenance Program faculty. Having someone with his experience providing instruction to our aircraft maintenance students is very special. Gene cares a great deal about our students and is very focused on providing them the benefits of his experience. He is the best combination of an extremely experienced aviation maintenance technician and a great instructor. We could not ask for more."
Brent Knight, LCC President added, "We are very proud of Gene and his achievement. His decades of stellar service puts him in an elite class and we are grateful that our students can benefit from his expertise."
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, OK. 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 over 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 over 3,000 flight hours in a variety of aircraft. Gene joined Lansing Community College in 2015 and currently serves as an instructor teaching in all areas of the program.
To be eligible for the Charles Taylor award, a recipient must have a minimum of 50 years of aviation maintenance experience with no violations. Each award recipient receives a lapel pin and a certificate signed by the FAA Administrator. In addition, the recipient's name is added to the "Roll of Honor" book at the FAA offices in Washington, D.C. Since its inception in 1990, there have been over 2700 Charles Taylor awards presented nationwide. Gene is only the 64th Michigander to receive the award, and the second Lansing area resident to be honored.
About Lansing Community College
Lansing Community College, founded in 1957, is the fifth-largest community college in Michigan, serving more than 23,000 students across a six-county area each year. LCC offers courses in general education for those interested in transferring to a four-year institution, career and workforce development, developmental education and personal enrichment. To meet the professional development and training needs of regional employees, the college offers customized programs for credit, non-credit and continuing education. The University Center at LCC offers students the opportunity to earn bachelor's and master's degrees from five partner universities on the downtown LCC campus. For more information, visit lcc.edu.
Lansing Community College is an equal opportunity, educational institution/employer.
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Photo credit: Mark Bathurst
L to R: Gary Knaggs, FAASTeam Program Manager, FAA; Eugene Comer, instructor & award recipient, LCC Aviation Maintenance; Richard Anderson, Front Line Manager, FAA; Todd Cotter, lead instructor, LCC Aviation Maintenance