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Cape Cod Community College Adjunct Professor Robert “Bob” Nelson Earns FAA's Prestigious Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award

Award Named for Wright Brothers' Mechanic

Robert W. (Bob) Nelson, adjunct professor in Cape Cod Community College’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program at the Plymouth Municipal Airport, was honored today (Tuesday, March 28, 2017) with the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) highest honor for individuals working in the aviation maintenance field, the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. This prestigious award honors lifetime achievement for aircraft mechanics with at least 50 years of continuous service in the aviation maintenance industry.

Group with Bob NelsonNelson was honored at the Bi-Annual Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspectors Authorization Meeting at Plymouth Municipal Airport by Ron Curtis, manager of the FAA’s Flight Standards District Office located in Boston.  The award was presented in the College’s aviation training facility hangar that was filled with current students, faculty and staff of CCCC’s aviation technology program, and working aviation mechanics and inspectors from the entire region.

The College’s President John Cox warmly congratulated the honoree, and noted how proud the College is to have someone of his experience and stature involved in training the next group of airframe and power plant mechanics in its program. “Our students are extremely fortunate to have Bob sharing his decades of knowledge and experience with them every day,” stated Cox, to which the entire hangar erupted in applause.

Also speaking at the awards ceremony, and offering sincere congratulations to Bob Nelson was Stephen K. Brown FAASTeam Program Director, headquartered in Burlington, MA. Brown leads a group focused on all aspects of flight operations safety. Brown himself is an FAA EA-500 National Resource, Glider Instructor including aerotow and self-launch, and has certifications in tailwheel and ski plane flight, and light sport planes.

The award's namesake Charles Taylor, the Wright brothers' mechanic, is considered the first aviation mechanic in powered flight. He designed and built the Wright brothers first successful aircraft. The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award is earned only through nomination to the FAA by peers.

Nelson graduated from the Teterboro School of Aeronautics, earning his airframe and power plant license in 1959. Early in his career, he worked for the Westair Flying School, Wayfarer Ketch (Rockefeller family private fleet), and served in the Air National Guard. He went on to work for Avco/Textron Lycoming, KC Aviation, and Gulfstream Aerospace.

In 2014, Nelson joined JetBlue as a maintenance coordinator at the Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis, MA. In January 2016, he joined Cape Cod Community College in the Aviation Maintenance Technology program, which prepares students for FAA certification and lays the foundation for an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Aviation Maintenance.

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Image: CCCC President John Cox, FAA FSDO-Boston Manager Ron Curtis, honoree Bob Nelson, and CCCC Dean Robert Cody in front of the Aviation Maintenance Program’s recently donated North American/Rockwell Sabreliner aircraft.