She flies better as a pilot turned mechanic
For Saryn Mayfield, the best moments in her career are standing at the hangar door and watching planes take off with ease, all the while knowing they couldn’t have done so without her hard work.
Mayfield is an aircraft mechanic at The Ohio State University Airport’s FAA-certified Part 145 (IKBRO28F) repair shop. Mechanics work on a variety of general aviation aircraft, from multiengine industry planes to those used for student training. They spend their time fixing different components on whatever aircraft need service, so every day is different and filled with new opportunities.
Not only does the aircraft maintenance team serve industry and the flying public, it also acts as an integral part of Ohio State’s Flight Education mission — mechanics conduct 100-hour or annual inspections on flight school planes to ensure safe and successful flying. These inspections consist of taking different components apart, writing up any concerns, fixing the issues and then sending the planes back out.
Aside from working at the repair shop, Mayfield also flies with Capital City Aviation (CCA), a nonprofit training and rental club located on the airport’s campus. CCA often sends its planes in need of fixing to none other than the airport repair shop, so Mayfield has the opportunity to fix the same planes she pilots. For her, flying became more meaningful when she learned just how much goes into repair. Her unique path of going to flight school and then studying mechanics has become a noteworthy factor in her passion and skill for flying.
“It’s helpful to have that perspective of knowing how to fly it and knowing how to fix it,” says Mayfield.
Mayfield prides herself on her knowledge of both flying and mechanics, and she hopes that more people will consider pursuing a path like hers.
by Erin O’Brien, professional writing intern