Growing up, Norm Oakley knew he wanted to do something as a mechanic, but he took a longer road to get to aircraft maintenance. He started working with Reynolds Tobacco out of high school, with a goal of hiring on at Piedmont Airlines. He persisted in checking openings, even quitting his job with Reynolds so he could be available for Piedmont. His persistence paid off and he was hired in 1966. During his time, he worked interiors and heavy maintenance, before becoming an inspector in 1977. His work has taken him around North Carolina, with a brief stint as a Boeing 767 engine inspector in Scotland, before he landed at CLT in 1989.
Norm was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award which recognizes individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years in the aircraft maintenance profession. Read more here.
The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award is named in honor of Mr. Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight. The Charles Taylor "Master Mechanic" Award recognizes the lifetime accomplishments of senior mechanics. Mr. Taylor served as the Wright brothers' mechanic and is credited with designing and building the engine for their first successful aircraft.