Kenny Sinclair, MHIRJ, Academy

The new MHIRJ Academy is now in session, teaching the next generation of skilled aviation technicians. At the helm are seasoned experts who are bringing their wealth of knowledge to the classroom and the hangar as instructors. Today, we’re introducing you to Kenny Sinclair.

With over 40 years of experience in metal fabrication, Kenny's career spans an impressive range of expertise, including 13 years specifically in aviation sheet metal and structures. His professional background has provided him with a solid foundation for his current role as an instructor at the MHIRJ Academy.

A hometown beginning

Kenny hails from Grafton, West Virginia, a small town just 20 minutes east of the MHI facility in Bridgeport. Growing up in this close-knit community helped shape both his career and his personal journey. His career began nearby at Southern Steel, a commercial fabrication company in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

The company was contracted to provide railings and staircases for the Service Center in West Virginia. During the installation process, Kenny's interest was piqued by the new facility. Responding to an ad for sheet metal technicians, he became one of the original technicians to attend an entry-level sheet metal structures course at the Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center.

Professional Milestones

Kenny's aviation career truly took off at Bombardier, where he started as a sheet metal technician on the C23 B+ program. His talent and dedication quickly earned him a promotion to Crew Lead in the Stage 1 area. Over the years, Kenny has accumulated a wealth of experience across various programs:

-CRJ 200 Program: He obtained his airframe and powerplant (A&P) licenses and trained technicians on critical wing box repairs after an intensive 48-day factory training in Montreal.

- Embraer 120 Heavy Maintenance Program: He supported the program's startup in Macon, Georgia, and later in West Virginia, becoming engine run and taxi qualified.

- Learjet Aircraft Program: He served as a crew lead and attended the Flight Safety course in Tucson, Arizona, achieving engine run and taxi qualification for the Learjet 60 Series.

Kenny took a 10-year hiatus from aviation but returned in 2021 when he joined MHIRJ. He reinstated his A&P license, worked as a delegate inspector, performed engineering submissions, and was eventually appointed Crew Chief.

A passion for teaching

Returning to aviation with a different perspective, noticed a significant gap in new incoming technicians, as well as a lack of effective training for current ones. He knew from experience that books can only teach so much and there is no replacement for real-life, situational training.

Kenny Quote

“I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to pass on the knowledge that I have been lucky enough to obtain through my own years of experience with some of the best structural technicians in the industry,” he says.

Kenny feels fortunate to be part of the MHIRJ Academy's inception. His involvement from the ground up allowed him to help develop study guides and curriculum, ensuring a comprehensive training program. He emphasizes the importance of quick thinking and planning ahead, which are skills he aims to instill in his students. Kenny looks forward to seeing his students excel and pass on their knowledge, contributing to the ever-evolving field.

Life beyond the hangar

Outside of his professional life, Kenny enjoys a variety of hobbies including kickboxing, racing, motorcycle riding and restoration, home fabrication projects, fishing, and spending quality time with his family. He also lives by the philosophy that life is like a book, with each person responsible for writing their own bestseller between the beginning and the end.

His journey from a small town in West Virginia to a pivotal role in aviation training is a testament to his dedication, expertise, and passion for the craft. His story is an inspiration to aspiring technicians and a reminder of the impact one individual can have on an industry.

3 MIN.