While working as an auto mechanic, Paul “PJ” Santillo never considered that aircraft also needed technicians. It wasn’t until his father-in-law asked him, “if you’re a mechanic, why not become an aircraft mechanic,” that PJ set up a tour at PIA’s Youngstown branch campus and decided to commit.
After graduating from PIA Youngstown in April 2011, PJ landed his first job at Constant Aviation in Cleveland, OH, doing heavy check maintenance on corporate aircraft. Today, PJ works in the city he’d always hoped to live in, as a Senior Technician for Republic Airways in Pittsburgh, PA, where he works on their fleet of Embraer 170s and 175s.
“I have a lot of responsibilities,” PJ said. “My team works mostly on the airframe,” PJ said, “but it’s nothing for us to see an engine change on any given day. My job is to make sure everything is in place so the technicians can do their job. I prep the hangar, coordinate planes coming in and out, order parts, and reference the AMM [aircraft maintenance manual] every day.”