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Newly Retired Airplane Mechanic Receives Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award

Fifty years in any career is a feat of its own, but not all qualify you for a special award.

The FAA recognizes those with 50 or more years of service to senior airplane mechanics.

Bill Birch received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award Tuesday in an event hosted by Cherry Capital Airport. It’s the highest honor that a civilian can earn from the FAA.


Birch has been a mechanic since 1973 and 45 of those years have been in Traverse City. He officially retired Tuesday, and had some parting words of wisdom for those in his field.

“Pay attention to what you do. Always have integrity and, you know, enjoy what you do. Make sure you enjoy what you do above all. And it doesn’t seem like work. I’ve enjoyed this thoroughly. Worked on small airplanes, large jets. It’s been a ride, been fun,” Birch said.

Birch plans to do more traveling in his retirement and spend more time with family.

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