Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 32

Andrew Michael Arena, 25, Aircraft Maintenance Technician (A&P, I.A.), AeroGuard Flight Training Center, Jarrell, TX

A

ndrew Michael Arena has been around general aviation his entire
life. He loves to work with his hands and maintaining aircraft
is a great passion for him.
Currently, Arena works for AeroGuard Flight Training Center
at their Central Texas location. He has worked for the company for
more than four years and currently is an AMT A&P I.A. He says he
helps maintain "... a growing fleet of nine aircraft at this campus,
and have had my hands on almost all 75 of our companies aircraft
at one point or another."
Arena completed A&P school in Glendale, AZ, at West-MEC. In
addition to this schooling, he has taken many online courses to
further his understanding of aircraft maintenance.
For the past four years, Arena has received the bronze award
through the FAAST AMT award program. The online training
program awards bronze, silver or gold recognitions based on the
number of credit hours the participant completes. Arena notes his
company also received the diamond award because every mechanic
received a bronze award or higher through the FAAST AMT award
program.
Arena says he tries to share his passion for and knowledge of
aviation with everyone he can. "I live to give tours of my current
work space and share stories and educate anyone with aviation
maintaining questions." Additionally, he tries to get to know as

many people in aviation as possible to learn
everything they have to offer.
His career goals are to continue to immerse
himself into as many new aviation opportunities as possible. "I plan to obtain my
Private Pilot with hopes to have an IR and
Commercial License." He also hopes that
when his sons grow up, they serve the less
fortunate in remote parts of the world by
becoming pilots or mechanics for the Mission Aviation Fellowship.
Shawn Arena, assistant professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical
University and Andrew Arena's nominator for this award, says
Shawn is one of the top up-and-coming AMTs in the country.
"While in A&P school, Andrew was one of 17 students ... and was
the first one in his class to earn the A&P certification - all while
working a side job as an automotive mechanic, after finishing high
school a year early," Shawn said. He was also impressed that Andrew
paid for his training all on his own. "In 2019, he was asked by the
director of maintenance at AeroGuard (KDVT) to consider moving
to the KGTU facility to assist in the ramp-up of that operation ...
That is why I believe Andrew should be [an] AMT Top 40 Under
40 Awardee," Shawn concluded.

Justin Paniagua, 32, Shop Supervisor/Mechanic/Inspector, Gibbs Aircraft Service Center, San Diego, CA

S

ince Justin Paniagua was a little kid, he has always been fascinated with airplanes and flying. As he got older, he enjoyed
building, modifying and working on pretty much anything with an
engine. Paniagua took a personality test in college that suggested
he should be a financial advisor, consultant, counselor or pastor,
among other careers. At the bottom of the list was mechanic; so that
began his journey to mix his passion for fixing things with aviation.
"My grandfather had a big part to play in my inspiration with
airplanes as he was an F-4 mechanic for the US Marine Corps,"
said Paniagua. "Along with him, I've been privileged to have a few
experienced mechanics and IAs at Gibbs who invested in me and
have helped me grow. Also, because there's always something new
to learn in our industry, I'm not above taking good advice from
peers and leaders in the industry."
Paniagua was a 23-year-old pizza delivery driver finishing up
college when he started as a "quiet grunt" mechanic at Gibbs Service
Center in San Diego, CA. That was more than nine years ago and
since then, has become the shop supervisor under the director of
maintenance. "I'm not really one for titles, because I feel the shop
thrives when we utilize our strengths and mix our ideas together," he
noted. "I always say, 'Between all of us, the shop has a good head on
it's shoulders.' As for tasks, I'm usually doing log entries/paperwork,
inspecting or working on airplanes and, if needed, making decisions, organizing the workload or communicating with customers."

32

OCTOBER 2020	

Paniagua hasn't received any industry
awards before AMT's 40 Under 40 Award,
but after a lot of studying, he received his IA
last year - which he says, felt like an award.
He completed the A&P program at San Diego
Miramar Community College and used Gleim
online software and self study for his IA test.
As for advanced training, Paniagua completed
factory training for Diamond Aircraft (Austro
Engines) and ICON Aircraft. He also says he gained a good amount
of Beechcraft experience over the years.
Considering his start in aviation was at a young age, he says
he feels a slight calling to help the next generation when he can.
When he learns something new or important, he tries to pass on
those hints, tips or tricks, when applicable. Paniagua says this not
only helps the team to become a better shop, but hopefully leads
to even better quality in the field.
When it comes to the future, Paniagua says he wants to use his
passion for aviation and creating things to produce something
that people would be confident in and proud of flying. "Being in
this community has changed my life and opened my eyes in many
ways; thus I'm now working on my pilot's license," he noted. "My
long-term goal is to create a legacy for my two boys to step into and
possibly catch a glimpse of why dad does what he does."

AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY



Aircraft Maintenance Technology

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Aircraft Maintenance Technology

Editor's Takeoff: The Young and the Restless
Industry Inspection
40 Under 40, Who Made the Cut?
Keeping Sharp on Blade Maintenance
Protect Others, Protect Yourself
Nimble at 65
Flightdocs' Journey Lands at ATP
How to Address Systemic Safety and Quality Issues
Professionalism: Owning Your Impact
ARSA: Maintenance Professionals Share Career Stories
Advertiser's Index
Shop Talk: Maintenance Records, or Lack There Of
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 1
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 2
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 3
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Editor's Takeoff: The Young and the Restless
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 5
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 6
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 7
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Industry Inspection
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 9
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 40 Under 40, Who Made the Cut?
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 11
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 12
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 13
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 14
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 15
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 16
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 17
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 18
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 19
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 20
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 21
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 22
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 23
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 24
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 25
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 26
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 27
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 28
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 29
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 30
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 31
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 32
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 33
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 34
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 35
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Keeping Sharp on Blade Maintenance
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 37
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 38
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 39
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 40
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 41
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Protect Others, Protect Yourself
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 43
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 44
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 45
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 46
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 47
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Nimble at 65
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 49
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 50
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 51
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 52
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 53
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Flightdocs' Journey Lands at ATP
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 55
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 56
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 57
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 58
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 59
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - How to Address Systemic Safety and Quality Issues
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 61
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 62
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Professionalism: Owning Your Impact
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - ARSA: Maintenance Professionals Share Career Stories
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Advertiser's Index
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Shop Talk: Maintenance Records, or Lack There Of
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 67
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - 68
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