Retired SGTC aviation instructor returns as guest speaker for The Next Generation – Americus Times-Recorder
From staff reports
AMERICUS – Frank Gassett, a retired aviation maintenance instructor from South Georgia Technical College, Macon County, recently shared his vast industry knowledge as a guest speaker for the next generation of SGTC aviation maintenance technicians. He spoke with course instructor David Grant about fuel systems and explained manifold pressure.
Gassett is an alumnus of South Georgia Tech as well as a retired aircraft maintenance instructor. He joins the 82n/a US Army Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina in 1957. There he became a helicopter crew chief on Bell helicopters and also trained and became a paratrooper.
After leaving the military, Frank Gassett attended South Georgia Technical and Vocational School (known today as South Georgia Technical College) where he studied and trained to receive his airframe licenses and of powertrain. He received his A&P license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 1962 and went on to receive his pilot’s license in 1964, his IA in 1966 and his DME to become an examiner of written, practical and oral tests for the FFA in 1974. .
After graduating from South Georgia Tech, Gassett worked for the Georgia Forestry Commission at Waycross, repairing a fleet of 16 aircraft, including Piper Super Clubs and Piper Pawnees. The Forestry Commission also gave Gassett the opportunity to accumulate flying hours. He then moved to Auburn, Alabama, where he worked as an aircraft maintenance foreman at the Auburn Aviation School. He was responsible for planning, scheduling and supervising maintenance events on large and small aircraft, single and multi-engine.
In May 1969, Frank Gassett returned to South Georgia Tech where he became an instructor in the Aircraft Maintenance Technology program. Over the next 24 years, he taught hundreds of highly skilled and licensed airframe and powertrain technicians. It had a nearly 100% placement rate of all graduate students. He was nominated for and received the Governor’s Award for Distinguished Service in State Government in 1987.
While teaching at South Georgia Tech, Gassett became involved with the Georgia State Patrol in its quest to form an aviation unit and was instrumental in setting up the maintenance side of the operation. The Georgia State Patrol would go on to build one of the largest state-sponsored aviation divisions in the southeastern United States. He also opened the Frank Gassett Aircraft business which still operates today.
Gassett taught three of SGTC’s current aviation maintenance instructors and had a tremendous impact on hundreds of other students who may have been trained by people Frank Gassett taught.