Local airplane mechanic stays busyDickinson resident Wayne Keenan said he enjoys knowing he’s done his part to make air travelers safer.
Dickinson resident Wayne Keenan said he enjoys knowing he’s done his part to make air travelers safer.
As the only general aviation mechanic with Dickinson Air Service, he gets a chance to do that about every day.
Keenan, who is also a pilot, said he’s been involved with airplanes in some way or another for most of his life.
“I do a little bit of flying, and I do a little bit of flight instructing, more or less personal flying,” Keenan said. “Initially, it was just the fun of flying an airplane.”
Keenan has been a mechanic at Dickinson Air Service for about two years.
Fixing an airplane can be difficult at times, he said, though for the most part, an engine is an engine.
“Sometimes it’s pretty obvious what happens, but there are other times that it’s complicated,” Keenan said. “The worst part is getting to some of the stuff, because of the way everything is packed into an engine or under the dash.”
Initially Keenan went through an 18-month school in Colorado to be licensed to work on airplanes. To stay current on airplane technology and to get refreshed on some items, he said he attends seminars and does some studying via the Internet.
“Everything is changing so much, you have to stay current on the new technology,” Keenan said.
If Great Lakes Airlines, the company that services Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport, has a plane that needs to be fixed, Keenan can help repair those as well.
Pat Giese, Dickinson Air Service owner, said all the airplanes on the field require annual overall inspections and airplanes used for training and rental need maintenance every 100 hours of flight time.
“Any of the transients that come through, if something’s broken he’ll fix it; even the airlines, if they have a problem coming in, he’ll go out there and take care of it as well,” Giese said.
Prompted to move to Dickinson from Colorado to experience the rural living and low crime, Keenan said he and his wife, Sandy, enjoy the area.
“It seemed to be a nice town, nice clean town, the air,” Keenan said. “It’s a lot nicer than being around the smoggy big town.”