steve-mcmurraySteve McMurray, Century Aviation’s Director of Maintenance, has received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in recognition of more than 50 years of aviation maintenance experience. It was presented Friday afternoon at DeKalb County Airport by George Ballard, FAA Safety Program Manager in the Indianapolis Flight Standards Office. The Charles Taylor Award is the most prestigious award presented by the FAA to an aviation maintenance technician. The award, named in honor of Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight, recognizes the lifetime accomplishments of senior mechanics. Taylor served as the Wright brothers’ mechanic and is credited with designing and building the engine for the 1903 Wright Flyer, the first aircraft to achieve heavier-than-air flight. “We are thrilled that the FAA has recognized Steve for his outstanding career,” said Lara Gaerte, CEO of Century Aviation. “The Charles Taylor Award recognizes lifetime achievements in the aviation maintenance field; we are truly proud that Steve is part of our organization.”


Mr. McMurray, a 51 year veteran of the aviation industry, served honorably in the United States Air Force from 1965 to 1969. His many industry accomplishments include his FAA Airframe & Powerplant ratings with Inspection Authorization; and positions as an FAA Aviation Safety Counselor, an FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative, and an Aviation Maintenance Instructor for Ivy Tech Community College. During his career, Steve has worked on military, corporate and general aviation aircraft and has held several Director of Maintenance roles in both FAA Part 145 Repair Stations and FAA Part 135 Charter Operations.


To be eligible for this award, a recipient must have 50 years of aviation maintenance experience with no violations and a minimum of 30 years working on US registered aircraft. An FAA selection committee reviews the application letters and determines qualified individuals. Each award recipient receives a lapel pin and a certificate signed by the FAA Administrator. The recipient’s spouse also receives a smaller version of the lapel pin. In addition, the recipient’s name is added to the “Roll of Honor” book at the FAA offices in Washington, D.C. Since its inception in 1990, there have been approximately 2300 Charles Taylor awards presented nationwide. Steve is only the 34th Hoosier, and the second Fort Wayne resident, to join this “Roll of Honor.”