New Column Coming - Shop Talk with Trent Wallman
September 1, 2020
This new column by aviation mechanic Trent Wallman, will begin with the October 2020 issue.
The following is Trent’s Biography.
My name is Trent Wallman. I have been a full-time A&P mechanic for six years. In this column, I plan on discussing a variety of aviation topics for MN Flyer to provide a mechanic’s perspective to the magazine.
I hope to provide value to you in these discussions as we consider topics of both substantial airworthiness concerns and the smaller matters of a mechanic’s preferences and advice. I’d like to start by introducing my own aviation career thus far, so you as a reader may have some contextual understanding of where I am writing from.
I flew commercially multiple times throughout my childhood, but I consider my first experience with aviation to be the time my family and I flew with Missionary Aviation Fellowship in Haiti. I was with a team building an elementary school, and MAF was our way into the village. The intimate experience with the machine itself, a Cessna 206, coupled with the humanity of both the pilot and our mission, was an eye opening experience. Before this, I had never thought of an airplane as anything more than a mode of transportation. However, the experience of seeing what aviation can provide the world, and in a place that desperately needed it, revealed to me the importance, intrigue, and adventure of aviation. These revelations are what led me down the path to where I am today.
During college I studied in both Korea and Texas, graduating from LeTourneau University in Longview, TX with a degree in Aircraft Systems, a Private pilot’s license, Tailwheel endorsement, and my A&P license. I had the privilege and honor to work and serve from Texas to Alaska, Indonesia, and few other stops in between. I hope to share in future articles from my experiences, both flying and maintaining, during my travels. My full time career “wrenching” as an aircraft mechanic started after moving back home to Minnesota. I now work for Inflight Aircraft Maintenance as their IA and Lead Mechanic, maintaining the aircraft of Inflight Pilot Training as well as the aircraft of our clients.
The experience I gained over the years working for another flight school, and at a larger shop, prepared me for the role I am in now. The volume and variety of projects and challenges can seem daunting when your fleet flies over 12,000 hours a year. The needs of a fleet of training aircraft, coupled with a diverse client base, whose aircraft we maintain and service on a regular basis, adds additional challenges and variety. I am thankful for my team, and I know I can trust them to get the job done right. I enjoy working in this growing and innovative environment.
I want to share from my experiences to provide relevant talking points that will put helpful knowledge into the hands of aircraft owners and pilots.
Questions such as: “When do you really need to overhaul?”, “How old is too old when considering aircraft maintenance needs?”, are a few of the topics I plan to discuss. I’d like to talk about some of the “norms” of aircraft maintenance, and share the ways I enjoy pushing the envelope to improve the owner-operator experience. I love talking with owners and processing options on how to best service and repair aircraft, based on the owners’ needs and specific operations. I enjoy operating as a personal mechanic for every one of my clients. It is a satisfying experience as a mechanic to return an aircraft to service with work you are proud of! That exact experience is why I continue to pursue aircraft maintenance as my full time career.
Please join me as I write about a variety of aircraft maintenance topics. Maybe you will find something interesting. Maybe you will have a new question for your aircraft mechanic.
Aviation is a world in which there is always room to learn more! I look forward to being a part of the conversation together.
Here’s to blue skies and smooth engines!