In Memoriam: William F. O’Brien

 - November 12, 2008, 10:09 AM

The aviation maintenance industry lost a key friend on Sunday, November 9, when retired FAA national resource specialist Bill O’Brien passed away. O’Brien was a familiar and much appreciated presence at inspection authorization renewal seminars, gently but firmly and often humorously admonishing mechanics not to cut regulatory corners and afterwards always taking time to answer detailed questions that often turned into confessions and promises to do better. At IA seminars and in airline and general aviation maintenance shops, O’Brien would be animated when discussing the program he helped create at Eastern New Mexico University to help A&P mechanics obtain their associate’s degree or when introducing another deserving recipient of the Charles E. Taylor Master Mechanic Award or handing out FAA maintenance technician training awards. Since 1990 and until recently, O’Brien wrote a column for Aircraft Maintenance Technology magazine, helping thousands of mechanics understand and apply the regulations that govern their careers. “He has been an incredible mentor to so many over his long and distinguished career at the FAA,” said Jeremy Cox, vice president, JetBrokers.