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Airlines for America Announces 2024 Nuts and Bolts Award Recipients

WASHINGTON, February 16, 2024 — Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, has announced the recipients of the 58th Annual A4A Engineering, Maintenance and Materiel Council (EMMC) Nuts and Bolts Awards.

This year’s awards go to two aviation professionals who are standouts in their specialties:

Ken MacTiernan, American Airlines’ aviation maintenance technician (AMT) and founder of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Association (AMTA)

Gerald “Jerry” Yagen, retired president and founder of Aviation Institute of Maintenance

The Nuts and Bolts Awards recognize individuals who demonstrate outstanding service and achievements in the engineering or maintenance fields within the commercial aviation industry. The awards will be presented during Aviation Week Network’s MRO Americas trade show in Chicago, occurring April 9-11.

Ken MacTiernan

Ken MacTiernan developed and continues to foster a drive and conviction to educate others outside aviation about the valuable role s provide and has spent years of tireless effort to recognize AMTs and honor the “father” of aviation maintenance—Charles E. Taylor—with a national Aviation Maintenance Technician Day.

MacTiernan is in his third decade of service as an AMT for American Airlines in San Diego. He joined the United States Air Force immediately after high school, where he served as a B-52 mechanic at Castle Air Force Base. In 2002, he founded the AMTA, a non-profit organization that promotes Charles E. Taylor and the aviation maintenance technician’s craft. He is also a founding director for the AMTSociety, where he served as chairman for scholarship program.

In 2013, he became the vice president of the Aerospace Maintenance Council, where he helped create the Aerospace Maintenance Competition, a spectacular event that showcases the skills and talents of AMTs young and old.

“Ken’s passion and efforts for AMTs will be felt for generations to come,” said Bob Ireland, A4A Vice President of Safety, Maintenance and Engineering. “This recognition is particularly well-deserved.”

Gerald “Jerry” Yagen

Jerry Yagen has built an impressive career in aviation workforce development, historic aircraft restoration, aviation museum curation and philanthropy. Because of a passion for aviation that he developed while an engineering student at Virginia Tech, Jerry opened a training center decades ago that has blossomed into a nationwide network of FAA Part 147 schools called Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM), the nation’s largest FAA-certified aviation maintenance school system producing over 25 percent of all certificated Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) graduates in the U.S.

AIM schools are only half of Yagen’s contribution to the aerospace community. In 2006, he dedicated his career to the preservation of World War I and II aircraft by founding the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, and he has spent the past two decades in the acquisition, restoration and public display of vintage aircraft for the community to enjoy at the non-profit museum. The five aircraft hangars at the museum house the world’s largest collection of flying vintage aircraft from the two world wars, and Yagen has ensured the museum’s survival through a significant endowment.

“Jerry’s contributions to the aviation maintenance field and vintage restorations are impressive, and A4A’s EMMC is honored to present him with the Nuts and Bolts award,” said Ireland.

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