Chris Pittman | Spartan College Graduate

I graduated from Spartan September 1981. After I graduated I found a job in my hometown of Lawton with Metro Airlines. I was hired on October 15, 1981 as an aircraft mechanic. At that time Lawton was an overnight base with most of the work done outside. We overnighted 3 DHC-6’s, 2 SD-30’s and 1 CV-580. I quickly got my run up and taxi on the Twin Otter and Shorts.
In 1983 Metro moved its heavy maintenance base from Longview (GGG) Texas, to Lawton. We did the C checks and overhauls on the Convairs in a new hangar that was built just for us. I also became a lead mechanic in 1983.
1984 Metro became the first American Eagle franchise carrier and the first Eagle flight was from Law to DVW on November 1st, 1984. I put that first Eagle airplane on the gate and I had no idea what big things were going to happen from that first flight.
1987 brought big changes for us again, as we became the first Eagle to fly Saab 340’s. This was a quantum leap for us in technology. I also moved into a foreman position at the same time. I got to do the receiving and receiving inspections on the new Saab aircraft at the factory in Sweden. I made a total of 22 trips to Sweden over a period of 10 years.
1990 I became the Manager for the line maintenance operations at the DFW hub. We merged with a sister company and then filed bankruptcy.
1991 I moved back to Lawton as the Maintenance Manger.
1992 Metro was bought out in bankruptcy court by AMR Eagle, Simmons Airlines, which was a sister, company to American Airlines.
1995 I became Base Manager in Lawton
1996 3 of the 4 American Eagle carriers were merged into one airline as American Eagle Airlines Inc. We expanded our operations in Lawton and added mechanics and staff.
Our world was turned upside down last September also. We laid off mechanics and staff, and now have aircraft in storage. The last 10 months have been the most stressful in my career but believe that we will survive and go on. I have been truly blessed in that I have gotten to see a while lot of our country and world because of my airline career. The aviation community is a very small world and I have met some very interesting professionals from all over. I constantly run in to people that graduated from Spartan. My new Director is also a Spartan graduate. My training at Spartan was a great start to a very exciting career.