It’s another busy day at the Textron Aviation service center in Sacramento, Calif. and Technical Service Manager (TSM) Nick Melchiori is running through his daily to-do list. It’s time for the monthly tool calibration, where he’ll test approximately 700 tools used by the facility’s technicians and mechanics every day.
When a member of his maintenance crew expresses interest in taking on new responsibilities within the team, that’s when Melchiori knows he’s on the right track as a leader.
“A technician may be good at a certain job and think they can’t branch out to do something else,” Melchiori said. “I want to give them the chance to step up and grow their skills.”
As someone who began his Textron Aviation career as an apprentice, Melchiori recognizes the importance of empowering employees with the resources – and encouragement – to grow.
Aviation wasn’t in the plans as a potential career, Melchiori said. Initially, airplanes and flying were fun hobbies, just like his love for cars and dirt bikes. His appreciation for aviation ultimately helped him discover and nurture a natural talent for leadership that he continues to develop even today.
In his role as a TSM, he combines his enthusiasm for the technical side of aviation with a leadership style based on trust.
“I’m still on the hangar floor checking out the aircraft and learning about the work the maintenance crews are doing for our customers,” Melchiori said of his day-to-day duties. “But now, I give my crew the support they need, and my job is to make their job easier, smoother and more efficient.”
It’s a job Melchiori knows firsthand. He began his aviation career in Textron Aviation’s apprenticeship program, where he was exposed to a variety of roles within the company’s service center, from line service to tooling. The apprenticeship allowed him to earn his aviation maintenance certification whilst gaining hand-on experience at a world-class facility responsible for maintaining Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker aircraft around the clock.
There’s an awesome team and a great support system at Textron Aviation. When I arrived, I was definitely impressed.Nick Melchiori, technical service manager, Textron Aviation
After graduating from airframe and powerplant (A&P) school and earning his maintenance certification, Melchiori was hired as a mechanic within the service center’s light jet crew. He cut his teeth working on flight control systems for aircraft like the Cessna Citation M2. “That was my bread and butter,” Melchiori said.
It wasn’t long until his work on the hangar floor ignited a curiosity for the operational side of the service center. A stint as a lead mechanic helped him build the confidence to continue learning beyond aircraft maintenance manuals. When the opportunity arose to apply for a position as a TSM, he took the leap.
“I got to fill in for my lead mechanic when he went on a break for three months. I was nervous, but I was up to the task,” Melchiori said. “That’s what led me to want to be service manager.”
Melchiori’s job requires bridging communication between customer support managers and maintenance technicians. He oversees a crew of experts who trust him to communicate their duties to maintenance managers to ensure work remains on schedule.
He values the trust his crew has in him and credits Textron Aviation with equipping him with the tools they need to help them succeed and return operators and their aircraft to the skies.
“As the aircraft manufacturer, we are fortunate to have a lot of resources that make our job easier. If we need something to help our customers, we can get it.”
When it comes to growing your career and transitioning into greater responsibilities, Melchiori advises others to use each move as a learning opportunity and to lead by example.
“I always knew I wanted to be in leadership,” he said. “But I also wanted to have that common ground with my team and to understand the essence of the work we’re doing as aviation maintenance experts.”