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Women’s History Month Spotlight: CLT Lead Mechanic Melody Schubert

January 10, 2023

Women’s History Month Spotlight: CLT Lead Mechanic Melody Schubert

March is Women’s History Month – a time to celebrate women’s contributions to our nation and communities. It’s also a time to recognize our team members and highlight their stories in the aviation industry and beyond.

Today, we introduce Mechanic Melody Schubert, the first female Lead Mechanic at our Charlotte (CLT) Maintenance base, who said her determination to conquer stereotypes and challenges comes naturally, based on the way her parents raised her.

As we wrap up our coverage for Women’s History Month, we talked with Melody about her love of aviation, her thirst for learning, what it means to her to be a leader, and her advice for others aspiring to be in her position.

What has been your journey in the aviation industry and PSA?

Let me start off with the fact that I’ve always loved turning wrenches. My parents raised my sisters and me to be independent, self-sufficient, well-rounded individuals so no matter what we encountered in life, we would have the tools to cross whatever bridge we encountered. The determination to conquer stereotypes and challenges came naturally.

I decided to start A&P school in 2018. I had plenty of both naysayers and cheerleaders. The people in the working group I was placed with during school were career-minded and determined to learn every aspect. This drove me to be the best I could be. Failure simply was never an option with them! We graduated at the top of our class with every group award we could receive.

From there, I went on to work in general aviation in central Florida and outstation maintenance for different regionals, including PSA. We ran a flight school and medical charter fleet along with being a Cirrus service center. I had an absolute blast learning everything I could, from nose to tail. I finally built the courage to branch out farther on my own into new territory and made the jump to PSA in Charlotte in November 2021. It was the best decision I’ve made on a professional and personal basis.

What have you learned since joining PSA?

I’ve grown to love the area even more than I did growing up – visiting family over summer vacation as a kid – because I’ve created a home and friendships that can never be replaced. I had mechanics, leads, and supervisors encouraging me to shoot for the lead spot. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s certainly been worth it.

I work with a great group of people. I love watching the light in the eyes of a newcomer eager to learn and grow in this industry. As the working groups ebb and flow, there’s so much responsibility falling on these new mechanics that are truly stepping up to the plate as more experienced mechanics move on.

As a Lead Mechanic, what impact do you feel you make as a woman in the aviation industry?

As a female lead mechanic, I have to set an example of what is expected. Leading from the front is vital. Otherwise, you will never be taken seriously. I feel my determination, hard work ethic and level of empathy can impact the hangar floor significantly. It shows that women can be tough, and I hope it encourages other women to take on bigger and better things for themselves.

What’s your favorite thing about aviation?

I love the versatility of aviation. It’s an industry where, regardless of what aircraft you have worked on, the systems are relatively similar enough that you can work on just about anything. Things are constantly changing, and manufacturers are always looking to improve, so there is always something new to learn, regardless of if you stick to one make or another. We’re in the business of getting in there and getting our hands dirty.

In light of Women’s History Month, who are your heroes or women you admire, and why?

The list would go on for days, but if I have to narrow it down, I’d have to say my sisters. We have grown so much together, and I admire them for so many reasons. They have both overcome so many major obstacles in life, have broken through glass ceilings and overcome hardships, yet they’ve stayed true to who they are and the ones they love. They drive me to be the best person I can be and have taught me a love no one else ever could. I strive every day to be someone they can be proud of, but I know, no matter what, they will always have my back. I love them both more than life itself.

What advice would you have for women and girls who aspire to be where you are in your career?

It’s hard being a woman in aviation! To get people to take you seriously and handle things in a professional manner, you have to carry yourself with a sense of respect and authority that may not come naturally. We are the trailblazers of an industry that has become inclusive only in more recent years.

Never give up, and never settle for less than you deserve. Learn to be fluid and as driven as possible, and people will follow. And if they don’t, they are not worth your concern. Keep your chin up. If your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough!

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