Technician Testimonials

In their own Words: Maintenance Technician Testimonials


John Lessard
Aircraft Maintenance Technician
Joined Atlas Aircraft Center in 2013

As a child, I grew up around airplanes. My uncle would always listen to the air traffic control scanners. Living right next to Manchester Airport, I would see planes overhead all the time. I was fascinated with learning how things work so it was an easy choice to attend Nashua Community College in Nashua, NH and get my A&P.

Having lived in New Hampshire my whole life it was important for me to find a place close to all my favorite outdoor activities and I found Atlas Aircraft Center. I’ve been here for the last 10 years and couldn’t see myself anywhere else! You get to work on state-of-the-art airplanes right out of school. There are so many mechanics here with different backgrounds to help you learn and grow. The hangar itself has radiant heated floors which is so nice especially in the cold New Hampshire winters. It’s great working in a nice hangar in a beautiful state. In my 10 years here, I have attended all 4 of the factory schools for both the PC-12 and the PC-24. I have grown as a mechanic and it’s all thanks to the training and guidance from Atlas Aircraft Center.


Frank Nichols
Aircraft Inspector
Joined Atlas Aircraft Center in 2010

I have spent my entire career working on aircraft. It’s what I have wanted to do since I was a kid. When I was young, my dad would take me to the airport where he worked on payday to pick up his check. It was such a thrill getting an up-close view of those aircraft and all the sounds and smells associated with them. I knew working around aircraft was the right choice for me.

I got hired at Atlas Aircraft Center in November of 2010 after spending the previous 18 1/2 years bouncing around between five different aircraft maintenance companies. I have worked for the Department of Defense, a regional airline, a major commercial airline, a small commercial/charter airline, and a fixed base operator. I have worked on a wide variety of aircraft from military and large commercial aircraft down to small single engine general aviation aircraft. I’ve stayed at Atlas Aircraft Center because I really like it here. Atlas Aircraft Center has provided me and my family the job security that several of my previous employers were not able to provide. The hangar in Portsmouth, NH is the nicest facility that I have worked in in my 31 years in Aviation Maintenance. The fleet of Pilatus PC-12 & PC-24 aircraft are newer and easier to work on compared to some of the older aircraft I have had to maintain in my career. The people that I have worked with here at Atlas over the past 12 1/2 years have been a good experience. I have both learned things from my coworkers and have also had the opportunity to pass on some of my experiences to help them so that they are better aircraft technicians.  Finally, work/life balance. The schedule here in Portsmouth is either 1st or 2nd shift with a generous amount of time off to spend time with friends and family or relax doing the activities you enjoy outside of work.

Whether you are just starting your career as an aircraft technician or have been working in the field as long as I have, Atlas Aircraft Center is worth checking out as a place to grow your career.


John Haughton
Line Service Technician
Joined Atlas Aircraft Center in 2014

I enjoy working out on the ramp. At the time I was looking for a more stable career and benefits. It is a good place to start a career in aviation. The schedule is good because it gives me the opportunity to spend more time with the family and allows me more time serving the community.


Jon Hammond
Maintenance Supervisor
Joined Atlas Aircraft Center in 2008

The main thing that brought me to Atlas Aircraft Center and PlaneSense, Inc. was the safety culture at the last place I worked. I didn’t really like it so much. It was more about flying the airplanes than making sure they were safe to fly. I’ve stayed at PlaneSense simply because I love it here. I like the safety culture; I like the aircraft. There’s never been a shortage of challenges for me to sink my teeth into. There’s always something new, something different.

This place is not representative of a lot of places that you work. There’s a beautiful hangar, you never have to worry about working outside, you don’t have to worry about doing stuff in nasty weather. Certainly, we are very supported with technical manuals, be it Pilatus or Pratt & Whitney. Some of the places I’ve worked in the past, you don’t have that support, you’re left on your own to figure that stuff out. We have a lot of young people that start here, work for a couple of years and move on. I don’t fault them at all, you have to experience the world before you decide where you want to be. My advice: listen to the guys that have been here for a while. Look to them for advice and you’ll and learn from them.

Safety: As a mechanic or technician, certainly our safety standards here. The attention to detail and the condition we keep our aircraft in really speaks to the safety culture. The fact that when we are working on an airplane, costs don’t really come into consideration. It’s just “fix it.” Once we figure out there’s a problem cost comes into how we fix it, but it’s never really a question, it gets fixed. The safety culture from our CEO, all the way down, the planes just need to be safe. We need to provide our customers with the best possible experience and that starts with making sure they are safe when they are going from point A to point B.

Company Culture: I certainly get the sense that the executive team really cares about their employees. They do a lot of things that are not necessary for morale, and camaraderie. Speaking about where I am, everyone gets along on the floor. It’s good to work with friends, and people you share the same history or interests with. It’s just a great place to work. As a supervisor, I don’t have to fight for a lot. I think it’s a very close-knit community so to speak. I can pick up the phone and call anyone in the company and they are willing to talk, and we understand that we all share the same goal and they are more than willing to help me; it’s all intertwined. If people aren’t happy the job doesn’t get done right. Everything works together.

My experience has been great here, and we’re only growing. HR spends a lot of time making sure the pay and benefits are competitive with other companies. Speaking of New Hampshire, there’s no income tax here, that’s a good thing. It’s a great opportunity to learn a lot of things. Turbine engines, jet engines, it’s a great place to start. I have a lot of good memories. Traveling to one airport or another to fix an airplane. The sense of accomplishment of a job well done You can tell just by the number of people that we have here that have got more than 10 years. I think that really goes to show that it’s a great place to work.


Chris Benson
Training Instructor
Joined Atlas Aircraft Center in 2014
Retired, US Army

I retired from the Army Aviation after 25 years stationed throughout the world. I was looking for a home and PlaneSense is the perfect fit for me. I have been at Atlas Aircraft Center since 2014, and the people and family atmosphere that I have experienced here is the reason I have stuck around. There is a great mix of mechanics on the floor and getting to work and meet new mechanics coming through the door. Perfect job.

For those looking towards a career at PlaneSense, it’s a great place to gain experience and work in a family atmosphere. We are still small enough that everyone will know each other. You are not a number here. Our fleet is a young and we have multiple airframes from the PC-12 to the PC-24. There is always something different going on. If you’re a new mechanic, our workforce experience is very diverse. Our mechanics have come from Commercial, Corporate, General Aviation and Military.

There’s a lot of experience to help you as you start your career. If you are an experienced mechanic, we have the newest jet on the market; the PC-24 is very cutting edge. We are constantly training to keep you up to date on the latest trends in aviation. Coming from the Military, Aviation Safety was always at the forefront. PlaneSense SMS has a very similar approach to safety. Risk Management is always applied.

Personal experience: As a trainer I am backed up with many experienced mechanics who enforce that the AMMs are always used and proper maintenance procedures followed. I get to work Monday through Friday and I have my holidays – a true rarity in Aviation. As a maintenance recruiter I get the opportunity to talk with the next generation of Aviation Maintenance Technicians as to what their expectations are and where the aviation industry is headed for the future. I also have the opportunity to talk about Atlas/PlaneSense and the benefits to working for the company. Aviation is a small field and the longer you stay in it you begin to realize how small it is, especially in New England.

Since I travel for the company on recruiting trips, I constantly meet people who recognize our planes and pilots. The remark I constantly hear is how professional our pilots are and how clean and well maintained our planes are from multiple FBOs. A true testament to the PlaneSense family from the pilots to our line service personnel and, last but not least, our maintainers.


Vincent Jobson
Aircraft Mechanic
Joined Atlas Aircraft Center in 2018

After my job at the airlines, I found myself looking for direction. I decided to abandon Chicago and move here permanently. While there were Airline options available to me at Logan, I ultimately decided that I’d had just about enough of the airline lifestyle and wanted to get back to doing real aircraft maintenance, maintenance where it was more knowledge and skill based.

I’ve stayed here because I honestly love the type of work that we do and the environment that we operate in. Team effort is a very rare thing. Seldom do I have to ask for help. When a new plane rolls in, there really isn’t much direction that needs to be given. Everyone knows what needs to be done and just organically work together to get the job done. When your work is done for the night, everyone goes around offering their help to anyone that is still working. From helping install a part, to grabbing a reference or paperwork of some kind to something as simple as starting to clean up the work area and returning tools to the tool room, everyone chips in so that at the end of the shift, our objectives have been accomplished. It really is a beautiful thing to see. The people really make the difference.  We get the job done, but we also have a lot of fun. From harmless pranks that leave everyone, including the butt of the prank, laughing to great music to help us pass the time. It is a very tight knit team, possibly the most cohesive group that I have seen in my 20 years.

To those looking to work at Atlas Aircraft Center: Listen to the senior techs. Rifle through their tool boxes to get an idea of what you will need to do this job.  Keep a notebook the first few years. Not just to keep track of what you do, but what tools you will need to do a particular job. The experience, training and skills that you gain here will carry you for years to come. Above all, bring an open mind and a good sense of humor.

Safety: Everyone knows that our first job is always safety of flight and we take that reasonability very seriously. The company, very correctly and responsibly, is closely involved with things like fatigue management and risk mitigation.

Company Culture: The environment really does have a feeling of family. There is a sense of team and camaraderie. In my experience they are typically both very rare commodities in aviation.

Working at Atlas has given me a renewed respect and appreciation for my craft. In the Airlines you spend so much time just shot-gunning parts that there really isn’t a whole lot of time to really delve deep into the trade. Here I get more hands-on time troubleshooting and getting back to the basics of why I became a mechanic in the first place. Here if you have a genuine desire to learn something and demonstrate a knack for that type of task, your skills are fostered. I have enjoyed working on and improving skills that I haven’t used in 18 years; every day is a new opportunity. If you come in and do your job and you are bound to have a good day, and usually a good time along with it.


Nicholas Allen
A&P Mechanic
Joined Atlas Aircraft Center in 2019

My wife was living in Newburyport, MA when I graduated Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics in Pennsylvania. Looking for my first A&P job, I ran across multiple job opportunities but PlaneSense stood out and became my first choice for work. The training PlaneSense provided was exactly what I was looking for coming fresh out of school.

Through high school I worked on a farm in my hometown of Bethlehem, PA. When I graduated, I was still unsure of what career path I wanted to take. I worked at a gas company as an iron worker and found that that path was not something I would enjoy long term. When the company finished the job I was on, they laid everyone off and that gave me more time to think over what career I would like to take on next. I ran across a pamphlet for an aviation mechanics school and that sparked a lot of interest. I love planes and I enjoy working with my hands to fix things. While in school, I worked line service and that helped me gain respect for how to care for an aircraft. After school I got my first mechanics job working at PlaneSense. Currently I have been working at PlaneSense for over a year and consider this the best career choice I have made.

I love the experience I get at PlaneSense, and the working environment is enjoyable to be in. PlaneSense is a great place to start your journey in aviation. You will learn beside experienced mechanics and grasp a well-rounded knowledge of all the aircraft on the floor in a short amount of time. Combining the training you receive by the manufacturers and on the floor is great for new mechanics.

Safety Benefits: The safety standards at PlaneSense have helped me, as a new mechanic, avoid injury on the job and help me to make my own safety plan that focuses on things I believe I could struggle with the most.

Company Culture: I enjoy getting out of work at 4pm. It allows me to have plenty of daylight left in the day to enjoy my personal life. Having one weekend off and one weekday off helps me enjoy the weekend but also allows me to get personal things done on the weekday. I love the hospitality that CEO George Antoniadis has towards everyone here at PlaneSense. It really feels like I am a part of a family here at PlaneSense. Everyone here at PlaneSense is enjoyable to be around. Out of everywhere I have worked, PlaneSense has the best employees. I enjoy the company cookouts and it’s a great time to meet someone new in the company and feel like a family with the company.


Erin Little
Avionics Technician
Joined Atlas Aircraft Center in 2015
Retired, Marine Corps

I spent 9 years in the Marine Corps working on CH 46D/E helicopters as an Avionics tech and Inspector; four years doing completion work on Sikorski helicopters and eight years doing ISR modifications on aircraft for the government. I ended up at PlaneSense because I was looking to move back to New England, closer to family after 9 years in the Marine Corps., and about 10 years between PA and DE. I love the area and the people I work with are great. This is a great place to either retire or get your career started; just don’t be afraid to learn how to use a computer. It’s not all about just turning wrenches anymore.

Company culture: There are good working and personal relationships between management and the mechanics and technicians, and my supervisor is willing to adjust schedules for emergencies or personal reasons. I get to work on first type model aircraft, and have direct access to manufacture engineering and support, along with direct support and representation from system component manufacturers.

I’ve had some great memories here, like going to AEA conventions in Las Vegas, NV and Orlando, FL. It’s nice not doing the same thing every day.