American Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recognize two mechanics welcomed into an elite group of FAA "Master Mechanics" for five decades of service in the airline industry.

On Friday, August 6, the FAA presented retired quality assurance supervisor C. W. "Bill" Denton and Leonard Hoosier, retired outside services tech representative, with the prestigious Charles E. Taylor Award. This award recognizes the lifetime accomplishments of senior mechanics and honors Charles Taylor, who not only worked for the Wright Brothers, but also was the first aviation mechanic in powered flight.

To be eligible for the award, a recipient must have served 50 years as an accredited aviation mechanic and have been an FAA-certified mechanic for a minimum of 30 years.

"To receive this award, it not only tells the world that its recipient is dedicated to the craft of aviation mechanics, but it also demonstrates that the ever-evolving aviation industry requires this type of commitment to continue its success," said Mark Easton, American's managing director – aircraft overhaul maintenance. "Bill Denton's and Leonard Hoosier's service over the past 50 years serve as wonderful examples of Charles Taylor's enthusiasm for aviation. We are grateful for their service to the industry and hope others will follow in their footsteps."

Denton's aviation career began in 1956 upon entering the U.S. Air Force, and has since included positions at American Airmotive, The Boeing Company, the U.S government and World Airways. He joined American Airlines in 1972 and held many production management positions before retiring. He currently owns and operates Denton Aviation Consulting, Inc., an FAA certified repair station at Richard Lloyd Jones Airport in Tulsa.

Hoosier, whose 53.5-year aviation career began in the U.S. Air Force in 1957, spent 21 years with American Airlines in positions including mechanic, Production Control, Fleet Operations and Outside Services Tech representative. Prior to his time with American Airlines, he worked for Lockheed Air Service, American Automotive, Braniff Air Lines and Pacific Air Motive.

A special awards ceremony took place on August 6 at American's Maintenance & Engineering base in Tulsa, Okla.