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Strengthening bonds through aviation maintenance

Tyler Kane’s inquisitive nature and passion for working with his hands weren’t being fulfilled in his former welding career. His father, Jeff Kane, a Stores Manager for Piedmont Airlines shared an opportunity with Tyler that would change his career trajectory.

Piedmont Airlines was seeking candidates for their one-of-a-kind Tuition Payment Program (TPP) where individuals can attend aviation maintenance school tuition-free to become a certified aircraft maintenance technician (AMT) and have a guaranteed job with Piedmont upon completion of their Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certifications. Tyler jumped at the chance to enter a new, exciting career in the same industry as his father. Tyler applied, was selected for the program and one month later, began an accelerated 12-month aviation maintenance program at Liberty University.

“After high school, I worked as a welder but reached a point where I was no longer learning anything new,” recalls Tyler. “I wanted to be in a career of continuous learning and was familiar with the aviation industry through my father.” Tyler’s father, Jeff says he always thought that becoming an AMT would be a good fit for his son. “He’s very inquisitive, a logical thinker and a hands-on learner,” shares Jeff. “I’ve had great success in my career with Piedmont, and when I learned about the Tuition Payment Program opportunity, I shared it with him.”

Tyler shares that he always looked up to his dad while growing up. After two decades in the insurance industry, his father retired and pursued a lifelong passion of working in aviation. Over the span of ten years, Jeff worked in various roles including a Cross-Trained Agent in Roanoke, Virginia (ROA), Ramp Supervisor, and Inventory Logistics Specialist before landing in his current role as Stores Manager.

“My first trip with my dad was to Europe where we visited Italy for three days,” recalls Tyler. It was trips like this that sparked Tyler’s fascination with the aviation industry while traveling the world with his dad. “Being able to travel for free with him to see amazing places was awesome and is a great benefit that I have now as an employee.”

Going back to school at age 25 wasn’t difficult, Tyler recalls, knowing he would be obtaining certifications that would set him up for a lifetime career. After completing school and obtaining his Airframe and Powerplant certifications, he began his job as an AMT in August 2022 at Piedmont’s maintenance base in Roanoke, Virginia (ROA).

“I like the work environment of the airplane hangar,” shares Tyler. “I enjoy the variety of the work being done on the aircraft and using my head to solve problems that aren’t necessarily laid out in a manual.” He lives in the Roanoke area and likes working close to home. “Overall, it’s one of the best places I’ve ever worked.”

Although Tyler and Jeff work opposite shifts, they catch up each Monday morning in the hangar when their shifts overlap. “I share what happened the previous night, what new skills I’ve learned and things I did to troubleshoot the overnight aircraft,” recalls Tyler. “With Dad working in Stores, we discuss any issues he has, share input and vice versa. It feels pretty good because we can bond over maintenance.”

Within his first year, Tyler was nominated by his base manager for Piedmont’s Maintenance Employee of the Month. “Being nominated for Employee of the Month and being recognized for my work felt good,” shares Tyler proudly.

“I’m proud of what Tyler has accomplished,” shares Jeff. “I’m glad to see the career change work out for him the way we hoped it would.” Jeff is a big supporter of Piedmont’s work development programs and is constantly keeping an eye out for individuals who would be successful in the program.

Interested in a new career path and exploring an exciting career in aviation maintenance? Learn more about Piedmont’s Tuition Payment Program by clicking here.