By Gail Strickland, AIM Orlando Student Services Coordinator

On Friday, June 15, 2018, Luis Navas attended his exit ceremony at Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) Orlando. However, this was no ordinary event for him.  Also, in attendance was his father, Gustavo Navas, who had graduated from AIM Orlando himself, almost exactly one year earlier, on June 11, 2017.

Utter pride showed on Gustavo’s face as he discussed what it meant for not only himself to have graduated, but his son, as well.

AIM Orlando Navas graduation
Luis Navas (left) and his father Gustavo (right) pose for a photo at Luis’s exit ceremony.

A Father’s Story

Prior to his time at AIM, Gustavo was working as an industrial mechanic in a Staples Warehouse.  He wanted something different and better though.  Gustavo has a cousin who works for Cessna and says that becoming an Aviation Maintenance Technician wasn’t on his mind until he received a tour of the Cessna hangar.  It was then that he fell in love with aviation. He says that since he graduated, he has reached his goal of working for Cessna and that people now look at him with respect.

Gustavo encouraged his son to go into the aviation field because he wanted him to have a bright future and be successful. However, Luis had different goals for himself.

Like Father, Like Son…Eventually

Luis began attending Lake Sumter State College.  After attending college for a time he felt like he was at a dead end and eventually dropped out.  Upon leaving Lake Sumter, Luis worked at U-Haul as a hitch pro but quickly grew frustrated. It was performing an oil change that changed his mind about becoming a mechanic.  He realized that he enjoyed working with mechanical things, then he took a tour of the same Cessna hangar his father had previously visited and recognized that it was a totally different world.

After the Cessna tour, he decided that this was what he wanted to do with his life – become an Aviation Maintenance Technician.

Almost exactly one year after his father began the program at AIM, Luis followed in his father’s footsteps and started school.  The father and son duo didn’t have any classes together, until Gustavo’s last block, Reciprocating Engines, taught by AIM Orlando Instructor James Allman.  Gustavo states that it took a push to get his Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Certification but, with support from Mr. Allman, he did it.

“The process is not hard, but you need passion,” says Luis. “That way, when challenges do come, you don’t feel intimidated, but can enjoy it.”

Gustavo wants to encourage future students to consider AIM and says, “In my opinion, this (AIM) is one of the highest quality schools in the industry.”  Gustavo and Luis are both looking forward to working together in the aviation field.

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