Recieves HAI Aviation Repair Specialist Award
Luis F. Garcia, Director of
Maintenance, Papillon Airways Inc., Grand Canyon, Arizona, is the
recipient of Helicopter Association International’s (HAI)
2004 Aviation Repair Specialist Award. This award will be presented
February 7, 2005, at HELI-EXPO in Anaheim, California, during
HAI’s 44th annual "Salute to Excellence" awards ceremony.
Garcia began his aviation career in 1988 when he joined the
United States Army as a helicopter technician, working on the Bell
AH-1E and the Apache Attack Helicopter. Luis left the service after
returning from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, having served in Desert
Shield and Desert Storm.
In 1992, he enrolled in Rice
Aviation School of Aeronautics and Chandler Gilbert Community
College. The following year, he became a member of Papillon Grand
Canyon Helicopters Maintenance Staff. Hungry for knowledge, he then
began to learn every aspect of aircraft maintenance with the help
of a Helicopter Association International scholarship and Papillon
providing Bell Factory training.
His first assignment was as the Weekend Inspector/Supervisor,
tasked to maintain 18 Bell Helicopters on very tight schedules. He
became Lead Inspector, a position that provided him with the
opportunity to mold better inspectors, improve productivity, and
reduce company costs. He advanced to Chief Inspector, and chief
counsel to the Director of Maintenance. In January of 1999, Garcia
was awarded the Helicopter Association International’s
Aviation Maintenance Technician Safety Award. In 2000, he was
promoted to the position of Director of Maintenance. The models he
maintains now include Eurocopter, MD900, and Bell Helicopters.
Papillon Airways operates a Part 135 helicopter service at the
Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and at other multiple remote locations
throughout the United States on government contract. Mr. Garcia
manages Papillon’s Part 145 repair station and a mixed fleet
of 35 helicopters that collectively fly over 27,000 hours per year.
Despite the amount of hours flown in an unforgiving environment,
often operating long distances away from home station, Luis and his
team maintain better than a 95 percent operational readiness
One of the most significant accomplishments that Garcia has
made in his years of service to Papillon is the maintenance safety
and training program, which promotes a corporate culture that
encourages increased responsibility and accountability. Recognized
expert in his field and respected by his peers throughout the
industry, Garcia maintains a close working relationship with
the FAA, Department of the Interior, US Forest Service, and the
Department of Defense. His professionalism, leadership, and
superior knowledge of aircraft maintenance and maintenance
procedures are worthy of this award.