Hagerstown Branch Campus, MD
Program: Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT)
Employment: Aircraft Maintenance Technician, AvDyne AeroServices
Harford County, Maryland native, Alex Hathaway, had already worked successfully in two careers, but he found himself still wanting more out of life. While teaching and manufacturing were great jobs at the time, Alex started researching aircraft maintenance programs after a coworker gave him the suggestion.
“I took a leap of faith and went to PIA,” Alex said. “My second time on campus, Mr. Adams, PIA-Hagerstown Campus Director, remembered me and my name, and it totally caught me off guard. It was that moment right there I thought, if this is the guy who is portraying the overall mission of this campus, then this is where I want to be. His attitude and the way he worked with students was like the concrete and the footing for me.”
Today, Alex is an Aircraft Maintenance Technician with AvDyne AeroServices at BWI Airport in Baltimore, Maryland. The job is perfect for Alex, since he is a self-proclaimed “walk around, on the move, kind of guy.” It’s a high paced environment with a wide variety of tasks to accomplish each day.
A big part of Alex’s job is doing service checks. It is a technician’s responsibility to make sure aircraft are mechanically safe to fly, so Alex and his team check the hydraulic systems, brake pressure, engine oil, and make sure the tires and emergency equipment are within limits and up to date.
One of Alex’s favorite parts of his job is that every day is different. He could go from fixing a tray table, to opening up an engine, or changing a tire on any given shift.
“I learn something new every day, and I don’t see that changing,” Alex said. “The joy is, because I do line maintenance, it’s not for a specific airline and I get to see everything here. I could go from an Airbus to a corporate or private jet in any given day. It’s all fun and challenging. It makes it a lot easier to come to work every day not knowing what you’re going to get into that day. Some days I come in and I go from jet to jet. It keeps me on my toes.”
Specifically, Alex completes line maintenance for Spirit, American, US Airways, United and WOW Air from Iceland. He also works with regional airlines such as PSA, CommutAir, Endeavor, and Air Wisconsin. PIA was more than just an opportunity to go to school for Alex; he learned quickly that his peers, as well as the instructors, become a part of his lifelong friends, who he will likely see throughout his career.
“I take great pride in PIA, and I wear it like a badge of honor,” Alex said. “I want to continue the great reputation that we have. The guys who came before me set the reputation of being knowledgeable mechanics with good work ethic, and it’s my job to keep it up and make sure we live up to that reputation. It’s very important to me.”
In the future, Alex sees himself continuing to work in the aviation industry, even though he now has a technical, transferable skill he could use in other areas.
“I don’t see myself leaving aviation. I love my job,” Alex said in closing. “The smell of jet fuel and the sound of a turbine engine will never get old.”