Page 20 - Dec 19 TNT
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Fiveon the Fly by Dianne White
Bailey Scheel
Garmin International
Senior Programs Manager & Systems Engineer, Aviation Systems & Programs
Olathe, KS
1) What led you to pursue a career in engineering in the aviation sector?
I grew up flying with my grandfather in the backcountry of Idaho, Washington and Oregon in his Cessna 180 – I remember being really excited when I could finally reach the rudder pedals! As soon as it was legal for me to do so, I began taking lessons to learn to fly. Despite not having a driver’s license yet, I earned my private pilot certificate when I was 17. I received a scholarship from a local air museum for a portion of my flight training costs, and I worked manual labor in the summers to pay for the remainder. My family was very supportive of me learning to fly. We even had a system where I would call the family phone on my way back from a cross-country so my mom would know when to pick me up from the airport. All they would hear is engine noise, but she knew what it meant.
So, with one grandfather an airline pilot and one grandfather an engineer, my interest in both led me to study mechanical engineering with the hope to one day work with airplanes. My engineering grandfather taught me about working hard for something that helps people and that you believe in. And when I was 8 or 9, my pilot grandfather raved to me about how awesome this new company “Garmin” was to work with when he installed a new radio in his airplane. His description of the product, safety benefits, customer service, etc. really struck a chord. I wanted to work for a company I believed in and that pilots loved. Who would have thought my grandpa’s first Garmin product would go on to make such an impact!
2) Describe your role at Garmin and what a typical day looks like.
At its simplest, my job is to help aircraft manufacturers certify and use Garmin avionics in their aircraft. Every day is different! There is a great deal of communication required to keep everyone aligned and ensure expectations are met. Throughout the lifecycle of a project, I may work on wiring diagrams,
18 • TWIN & TURBINE / December 2019

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