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Centerville man honored for 50-year career

Centerville man honored for 50-year career


Charles Taylor worked on airplanes for the Wright brothers, and his aviation mechanic legend lives on in an award bearing his name.

 On Tuesday, TIMCO Aviation Services employee Bobby Owens received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award at the company’s facility at Middle Georgia Regional Airport. The award is given as a lifetime achievement for Federal Aviation Administration certified aircraft mechanics who have worked in the field for more than 50 years.


The Centerville resident is one of only 16 mechanics in Georgia to receive the award.


Owens, 69, has been working on airplanes since he enlisted in the Air Force when he was 18. He joked that his mom wouldn’t sign the paperwork, so he had to wait until he turned 18 to enlist. His enlistment took to him Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea and the Phillippines.


Owens is a soft-spoken man. However, his look speaks more than a word ever could, according to those who have worked with Owens. That includes former TIMCO employee and current Warner Robins city councilman Tom Simms, who was present at the ceremony.


Lewis McGahee, once a co-worker and currently Owens’ supervisor, nominated him for the award.


“He is very deserving,” McGahee said. “We are very honored to have him.”


Owens started his career with TIMCO when it was Hawaiian Airlines in 1979 after 20 years in the Air Force.


His wife, Dawn Owens, spoke during the ceremony. She fondly recalled a flight she took from Okinawa, Japan, to

Hawaii, where Bobby Owens told her one of the plane’s four engines had gone out.


She told him never to tell her another thing that was wrong with a plane that she was on, drawing laughter from the crowd of co-workers, family members and FAA officials.


Bobby Owens said his favorite part of his job is the airplanes. He has seen many things change for the better in the aircraft maintenance field in his 50 years. He said new maintenance programs have extended the life of aircraft.


The first airplane he ever worked on was a F-101B, also known as a Voodoo, although he said his favorite plane is the F-4.


About his wife’s story, he said there was nothing to worry about.


“It’ll fly with two (engines),” he said, smiling.

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