On March 22 in the Aurora Room at the Juneau Airport, one of the capital city's most experienced aviation professionals was presented the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. James Vuille is one of a select few individuals able to qualify for this prestigious award by having worked in aviation maintenance for over half a century.
The award Vuille received is named after the famous Wright Brothers' mechanic, Charles Taylor. Taylor was able to build an engine for the Wright Flyer within a six-week period using only a lathe and a drill press. From bare blocks of metal, he produced a water-cooled four-cylinder engine that would make history over the sands of Kitty Hawk.
Vuille has been working on aircraft since 1953, when he was a mechanic for Alaska Coastal Airlines right here in Juneau. He worked on Grumman Gooses, as well as many other models.
He has had an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate for more than 45 years. He is also the holder of an Inspection Authorization (IA) ,which is a requirement for many of the inspections, and major repairs that the aircraft must undergo in the pursuit of safety. Vuille made his "marriage to aviation" a very long commitment by joining the FAA Inspector force in Juneau in 1991 after retiring from Alaska Airlines.
Vuille serves as one of the most senior Airworthiness Inspectors within the Juneau Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). He helps many of the newer Inspectors that are constantly joining the force.
With all these credentials, Vuille still manages to be one of the easiest people to talk to. He remembers where his roots are in aviation. He goes out of his way to nurture those junior to him in hopes of producing future award-winning mechanics to keep our sky's safe.
Vuille is an individual that our younger generation can look up to with pride. He has had many accomplishments in aviation over the decades while trying to make aviation safer for the flying public.
If you have additional questions please contact either the FAA Inspectors at 586-7532.