By Hilary Reeves
With the new year came the news that Northern Aviation Services’ Northern Air Cargo and Aloha Air Cargo – alongside their maintenance subsidiaries Northern Air Maintenance Services and Aloha Tech Ops – had each earned the Federal Aviation Administration’s prestigious Diamond Certificate of Excellence for meeting, and in some cases exceeding, the administration’s highest level of annual voluntary training.
Mike Bevis is the Director of Maintenance at Northern Air Cargo (NAC) and has been with the company for 23 years. He said the award is well-deserved across the operating groups.
“It’s not a mandatory program, but we have in-house maintenance training requirements that really put the awards within reach,” he said. “Much of the required training is very focused, technical training and some of it is safety related.”
NAC received Diamond awards in 2009 and 2010, and Gold Awards in 2011, 2012, and 2013. The 2014 Diamond award shows NAC’s continued commitment to safety excellence.
“The awards program continues to be important to NAC, as it conveys to our regulators, customers, and employees that we’re committed to the highest level of safety and professionalism in our industry.”
Bevis was born in Bellevue, Wash. He moved to Alaska with his parents as a child and has lived the majority of his life in Anchorage. He got his start in mechanics at an early age.
“I got my start rebuilding diesel fuel injectors for my Dad in Kodiak,” he said.
After graduating from high school, Bevis, a talented guitarist, made the surprising decision to attend a music conservatory in California.
“I was interested in becoming a music teacher,” he explained. “It didn’t work out, and I ended up going back to work for my dad since he needed the help, but it’s a skill that I still carry with me.”
Back in Alaska, Bevis had all but accepted that his best career opportunities might lie in the marine diesel and fishing industry when he heard from a friend.
“I had a buddy that said he was going to go be an airplane mechanic, and I thought that sounded a lot cooler than working on a fishing boat.”
Bevis enrolled in the University of Alaska at Anchorage’s Aviation Maintenance Technology Program in 1991. He was hired as a mechanic at Northern Air Cargo while he was still finishing his last semester of school.
“I’ve held a lot of positions in my 23 years,” he said. “I’ve been at the bottom of the pile and done pretty much everything there is to do from the bottom on up. Now that I’m in a supervisory position, I have the ability to affect change. I can better see things that need to be done differently.”
Bevis has been married for 19 years and has three children. He said they have a cabin 120 miles north of Anchorage, and the family enjoys hunting and fishing there, as well as hiking and riding their snow machines.
He said the thing he loves most about his job is watching the planes take off.
“That’s the ultimate satisfaction for an airplane mechanic,” he said. “There’s nothing cooler than seeing the fruits of your labor go off into the sky, and knowing that it’s clean and safe, and that you did a good job.”