Faces of PSA – Meet Don Hydler

Faces of PSA - Don Hydler Manager Maintenance ControlName: Don Hydler

Title: Manager of Maintenance Control

How long have you worked for PSA? October 9th will be 28 years.

How long have you been in the airline industry? Where did you work before PSA? I have been in the airline industry for almost 28 years. I started my aviation career with PSA in 1989 as an A&P mechanic. Before PSA, I worked at Meijer as a stock clerk for over six years.

What brought you to PSA? I attended the Aviation Maintenance high school program at Montgomery County JVS (now known as CTC), where I received my A&P license. The school referred me to PSA after graduation.

What is the biggest difference from the time you started at PSA and now? When I started at PSA, we operated a very small fleet, which grew to a larger fleet of turboprop aircraft. Now we operate a fleet of 118 jet aircraft on our way to a total of 150 aircraft.

Is there a big change going from turboprop aircraft to the CRJs we fly now? I don’t feel there is a big change, aside from turboprop aircraft are certainly very noisy, but for the most part all aircraft are similar in some fashion. I certainly never thought I would see the day when we would have an all-jet fleet, but it took a lot of hard work and long hours over the years by all to make it happen.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: I am responsible for the coordination of all operational aircraft with online discrepancies and their timely return to service.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? Keeping up with the ever-so-changing airline industry as a whole, which constantly requires changes to our current processes and procedures.

How has your job changed? How do you keep up with the changes in the industry? With all the growth here at PSA over the last two years, it has certainly required me to take on more of a leadership role in my department. I have learned a lot during this time and feel it has made me a better leader. As far as keeping up with the changes in the aviation industry, this certainly cannot be done alone. It requires each and every department working together to make this happen.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

What are some of your hobbies?

  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Four-Wheeling
  • Archery – I got into archery when I was younger. My father taught me and we would go bow hunting every year. It has stuck with me ever since. I also enjoy getting out and competing in archery tournaments when they are held in the area.

What do you love about working for PSA? I enjoy all the comradery and although we have tripled the amount of employees over the last several years, PSA is like one big family.

Would you recommend PSA and why? Yes, with all the growth taking place at PSA this provides opportunities for advancement and a place of business for individuals new to aviation to start their career.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: I am responsible for maintaining the MEL/CDL manual for all aircraft fleet types.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Being able to play such a vital role in the overall operation and working together in a team environment.

Tell us something no one knows about you: When I was going thru A&P school, I had the pleasure of meeting an individual who restored rare antique aircraft. This meeting turned out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, I assisted with the ground up restoration of a 1935 Davis D1-W open cockpit airplane. This aircraft was on display at EAA OSHKOSH 1993 and won the “Outstanding Open Cockpit Monoplane” award in the Antique Bronze Age (1933-41) category.