“I’ve always been around cars and machinery, working on them and racing them,” says Keith Koontz, who also competitively races vehicles in the Northeast Ultimate Super Late Model Series. “After I’d been working at a CNC machine shop for about four years, I wanted to learn how to work on bigger and more advanced machines.”
Koontz earned his Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license at PIA Hagerstown in 2017 and accepted a job offer from Republic Airways at Reagan National Airport (DCA), where he is currently a Senior Technician. His typical workday includes prepping Republic’s airport trucks and equipment for the day, powering up and preparing the overnighted planes, conducting daily maintenance checks, and responding to gate calls for maintenance on the planes that come and go throughout the day.
“The most beneficial part of my PIA training was focused on figuring out how to solve problems,” says Koontz. “In this job, you never know what kind of day you’re going to have, or what kinds of challenges you’ll need to solve. And for me, that’s the best part.”