Bobby Hamrick has joined Horizon Aviation as our new Director of Maintenance. Originally from Arkansas, Bobby brings a wealth of experience, an innate sense of organization and efficient problem solving to our shop. Above everything, Bobby is imbued with a sincere drive to excel for the people he works with, himself and his family.

It was a surprise when we learned what inspired Bobby to pursue a career as a technician. It was his late grandmother Carolyn that first exposed a young 8-year-old Bobby to the world of engines, tools, tires and repairs. The first female to be certified as an auto mechanic in the state of Arkansas, she taught Bobby everything she knew about cars, inside and out while he was still a teenager.

The jump from cars to planes was an easy one to make. While being tutored in the art of autos, Bobby would regularly venture to the Memphis, TN airport with his dad to watch the airplanes coming and going. When his college began offering an aviation tech course, Bobby went all in. The draw of airplanes is found in “the whole aspect of it, honestly. From the aerodynamics, to how the prop and engine exit from the ground and literally take you across the country in the air…every bit of it is just….physics! It’s amazing!”

The day Bobby received his A&P certificate was both glorious and tragic. His grandmother had fallen ill during the last semester of Bobby’s college career. As soon as he received his A&P certificate in the mail from the FAA, he immediately brought it to his grandmother who was hospitalized and awaiting open heart surgery later that day. “I got to give her my freshly printed A&P license, and she got to hold it. It was the happiest I ever saw her. She was so proud. She wanted to see one of her grandkids be able to make something out of themselves.”

Carolyn passed away later that day, moments after the surgery.

Devastated, Bobby admits to losing all motivation to work at that point. His inspiration was gone. And yet, his grandmother’s voice continued to ring in the back of his mind. It reminded him to keep “advancing myself and furthering myself for the would-be family that I could potentially have one day.”

Now, as a husband with an infant daughter, Bobby continues to honor his grandmother and build on the legacy that she started.

“The memory is still there. Changing the priorities like she did, to being family oriented. She worked every day, all day no matter what stood in her way so that her family could have what they needed. That’s where I get my work ethic. I will do anything and everything I have to, no matter what just so I know my family is taken care and those around me are taken care of because that’s how she was. If she saw somebody that needed help, she was gonna help and I took all of that after her. I just want to help people. It’s the only thing that really matters, helping the next person advance. Working together, helping people out and moving forward as a team not only makes you feel better internally but any company that you work for, it makes that company so much more of a happier place for everybody. If the components run together smoothly, it’s just like an engine, it’s gonna run smoothly. It’s gonna keep it happy.”