AG AVIATION: Kurt Franklin

Aurora Cooperative 3 years ago

Behind every great pilot is a great aircraft mechanic. With our elite aerial division comes 3 aircraft maintenance employees who spend their nights during the busy season traveling around to locations and doing any maintenance needed to keep our planes safe and in the best condition possible, as well as keep our pilots flying during the day.

Meet Kurt Franklin from Giltner, NE!

How many years have you been doing aircraft maintenance?

I have been doing airplane maintenance since 1985. 35 years.

What inspired you to go into aircraft maintenance?

When I was younger, I was always fascinated with airplanes and aviation. I always enjoyed mechanical things and found myself working on my own stuff, so in high school I decided that was what I was going to do.

What does a normal day and night look like for you during Corn Run?

During the days of Corn Run, I receive a lot of phone calls from all of our locations with airplane questions or pilot questions since I manage the aerial maintenance department. Through our Granger system, I plan each night’s maintenance and where I am going to send myself and the other guys for the nightly maintenance. At night, we disperse and we work either six or seven nights out of the week from 9:30 in the evening until 4:30 or 5 in the morning.

Do you find it challenging working long nights during Corn Run? If so, why?

No, I actually really enjoy the nights during Corn Run because from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. the phone is absolutely quiet and it’s cooler outside. It’s usually just yourself alone doing your job without the phone ringing, and this allows me to complete my job efficiently and well.

What do you love most about your job?

I really enjoy the company. It’s a great atmosphere and the company is great to work for. They provide us with the correct tools and it just gives you an overall feeling of satisfaction working there.

Although it’s kind of a given, why do you believe aircraft maintenance is so important?

The number one reason is always safety. The maintenance people have a lot on their plate making sure the airplanes are safe and if everything is completed correctly. We want to see the pilots safe and coming home to their families. We want to provide for our customers and farmers.

What inspires you throughout your everyday work life?

A mentor that I had 25 years ago as a young kid in aviation who taught me to be responsible, to take your work to heart and to do your best at everything you attempt to do.

What do you find the most stressful or challenging about your job?

I find it most stressful when we are really busy and an airplane accident pops up that takes it out of service. Then trying to manage that airplane to get it back into service as quickly and safely as possible.

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?

Australia! When I worked for the airlines, it was one of the few places that I did not get to go to and I hope I get to someday.

Best flavor of ice cream?

Dark chocolate peanut butter ice cream