Inducted: November 5, 2016
Max Burnette received one of the FAA’s highest awards in 2014 as “National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year” culminating a fifty nine year career in aircraft maintenance. He also received The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award.
Mr. Burnette joined the North Carolina Air National Guard in 1954 at the age of seventeen and completed Air Force mechanics training in 1956. He worked on a variety of aircraft including the F-86 Sabre Jet, F-104, F-102, T-33, U-3A, KC-97 and KC-135 at Air Guard units in Charlotte, NC, Knoxville and Nashville, TN. He logged 4,000 hours as a KC-97 Flight Engineer while assigned to the Knoxville Unit and as a Crew Chief and Flight Line Supervisor for a section of C-130 aircraft at Nashville. Max retired from the military in 1991.
in 1986 Burnette obtained his civilian Airframe and Powerplant Certificate and he and his wife Jean started M&J Aero at Gibson Field in Rockvale, TN providing repair and inspection services and taildragger restorations. While he has worked on light twins and high performance singles, his favorites are the old tube airframes and wood, dope and fabric airplanes. He owns a PA-22 Piper Colt that he converted to a taildragger. Max and Jean earned an enviable reputation based upon their impeccable work ethic, honesty and attention to detail. Friends and customers have described Max as a “walking technical manual”.
Max has been an active member of EAA and AOPA since the mid-eighties and participates in his local EAA chapter as a volunteer pilot for the Young Eagles program. He writes for the monthly EAA Newsletter and provides hands-on demonstrations at maintenance clinics. In 2011 Max decided to work part-time at M&J Aero so he could be the full-time Music Director at his church.