Heroes of the Sky: Aircraft Maintenance Engineers

Heroes of the Sky: Aircraft Maintenance Engineers

In our article, The True Unsung Heroes Behind Every Flight You Take, we highlighted that aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs) are some of the most underrated aviation professionals. Often times, non-aviation folk assume that pilots are the only ‘heroes of the sky’. While they are indeed due a lot of credit, aircraft maintenance engineers, too, deserve to be acknowledged as heroes of the sky.

The stellar on-ground work of AMEs is what keeps aircraft in the sky; they work tirelessly so that aircraft are kept safely operational. The heroic deeds of AMEs have changed the landscape of aviation – beginning with Charles Edward Taylor, whose legacy began over a century ago. Taylor has even been dubbed as the Wright Brothers’ inspiration! Yet, not many have heard of him, as he preferred to stay out of the limelight.


Taylor was a vital figure in building the aircraft engine used by the Wright Brothers’ in the first powered flight, and was involved in engineering the first trans-continental flight. He was inducted into the United States Air Force Museum as the first airplane mechanic. As an instrumental contributor in building and maintaining early engines and airplanes, Taylor is seen as a hero to many AMEs.

Today, Taylor’s legacy lives on in a Federal Aviation Authority award (Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award), and the Charles Taylor Aviation Maintenance Science Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University named in his honour. FAA mechanic certificates also pay homage to Taylor by bearing his image.

Here, at Dviation, we are immensely proud of our very own! Here are a few of our very own heroes:

Leong Kok Wai (Source: Dviation Group)

Leong Kok Wai, a CAAM- and EASA- approved instructor with Dviation, spent 25 years of his aviation career as a Licensed Aircraft Engineer. During this time, there was an aircraft crash that inevitably changed his outlook on his career in aviation – and more importantly, life. The fatal accident claimed the lives of those on board, including some of his friends.

Having worked on the aircraft just the night before, Leong was among those under investigation, and was suspended from duty.

‘Me and my friends thought this was it. We thought we were going to jail. Although we didn’t do anything wrong, we thought maybe we made a mistake that we hadn’t realised.’

When the accident investigation concluded that the cause of crash wasn’t due to faulty maintenance, Leong knew there was one thing he had to do: ‘It’s crucial to train my apprentices very thoroughly. I need to equip them with knowledge that can’t be found in books. Our young apprentices need to be top of the game.’

‘We, LAEs, have a ‘shelf life’ of around 30 years. After that, we can’t really meet the physical requirements of the job anymore. So that is why we must pass on our knowledge to our younger apprentices. To keep our skies safe, we must train the next generation.’

Now, Leong – a true hero – travels to various countries, such as Vietnam, Pakistan and India to deliver training so that the next generation of AMEs are equipped with the best knowledge and skills to perform top-quality work, to the highest degree of safety.

Kalidason (Source: Dviation Group)

Kalidason, an aircraft maintenance technician, was one of eight technicians who were on board a B737, which had a newly-rectified defect and was being ferried back to Kuala Lumpur, where it was to be thoroughly investigated.

Initially, the aircraft experienced a brake failure in Johor Bahru. After rectifying the defect, Kalidason boarded the aircraft for its ‘rescue’ flight back to Kuala Lumpur. Upon landing, there was an undetectable fault in the brake, which resulted in a crash landing – thankfully, non-fatal. Kalidason notes that this was the most memorable experience he’s had in his 38 years of aircraft maintenance.

If it weren’t for Kalidason and his fellow maintenance technicians, the outcome may have been more severe.

Thank you, AMEs all around the world – we appreciate your work and are eternally grateful for your continuous efforts in keeping aircraft well-maintained and safe! Keep up the great job!


If you wish to join the Dviation team, head over to https://www.dviation.com/recruitment for the latest job openings. And if you wish to kick start your career in aviation, check out our training courses available at https://www.dviation.com/training

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Solverwp- WordPress Theme and Plugin