The Aviation of Things

A&P mechanics are connected more than ever in a variety of ways.

The Aviation of Things

Twenty-four years ago, our civilization moved into a new millennium. Since then, it feels as if life sped up dramatically, and some struggle to catch their breath in the mind-numbing madness of the new age. Buzzwords abound, and with them comes a new understanding of what it takes to succeed in the 21st century. Or does it?

One such word making the rounds is IoT, or the Internet of Things. Pretty fancy term, eh? OK, great, but what does it mean? Oracle explains it this way: “The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects—‘things’—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.” It appears the entire planet is plugged in, interconnected, and immersed via the internet. You can’t sling a dead chock without hitting an IoT device.

As many of you know, I have 35-plus years in the aviation business. Never a day goes by that I take that for granted. Why? It’s the people. The Grateful Dead has “Deadheads,” Jimmy Buffett has “Parrotheads,” and we have Aeroheads. OK, so I just googled that with the hopes of trademarking a new brand and found out it is a boot, but you get the idea. Given that my aerospace peeps are so passionate, I thought we should chat about how we are making aviation cool again.

Aviation-Themed Products

Aerospace people come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing unites us all. That one common denominator is coffee, aka java, joe, etc. That said, you can imagine the number of coffee companies that wrap themselves in the aviation flag, proudly proclaiming they have the right stuff. See what I did there?

As this is a relatively new concept, I have yet to sample any of the below. Therefore, I cannot endorse any of these brands. Would I even be a good choice to critique anyway? Back in my day, we sipped hot blackish liquid in an ozone-killing polystyrene cup procured off the roach coach for 25 cents.

First up is Inflight Fuel Coffee Company. They have the coolest tagline of all, “Aviation Grade Coffee.” I did enjoy its blog and always like learning new things.

Lost Aviator Coffee Co. has an iconic Douglas Aircraft DC-3 splashed across its main page. It also sports some swanky swag and gear. Lost Aviator does sound a bit tragic, though. I wonder what the story is.

Rounding out the list we have Aero Brew Coffee. It sponsors a few airplanes and will be at the Sun ’n Fun Aerospace Expo, Hangar C, Booth 70, in April at Lakeland, Florida. Swing by and tell them Rick sent you.

Now everyone knows that when the work is complete—the tools inventoried and in their drawers, and you stow the logbook—it's time to pour a little something and start telling tall tales. What better companion to liven up the mood than Aviation Gin. Did I mention they have a drink called the Rickey Reynolds? Enough said.

Now, if you need something that pairs well with coffee and gin, try the Aviator Cookie Company. I gave serious consideration to ordering a box, strictly for market research, of course. Hey, can I expense that?

Aviation Information Channels

I thought about how we used to stay informed in aircraft maintenance back in the day, and the methods seem absolutely archaic now. FAA Airworthiness Directives (ADs) would arrive via U.S. mail. If you wanted to check oil filter stock at Aviall, you had to call it on the telephone. Can you imagine Generation Z calling a store to see if it had stock? No disrespect intended.


Aircraft maintenance newsletters are great. The trouble for me is that almost everyone I subscribe to talks almost exclusively about heavy iron. Oh, by the way, did you know that an Alaska Boeing 737 Max 9 lost a door plug? Yeah, I know, crazy.

I subscribe to several, OK, 82 to be exact.


Nowadays, everyone seems to have a podcast. They are a great way to reach your target audience. I have listened to several, and although some are entertaining, nothing grabs me enough to lock in long term. I promise to listen to a few more and report back.

Digital Courses

Another way to connect with your audience is to teach them something. Curtis Hickling is doing just that. A veteran of Part 145 repair stations, Hickling is on a mission to equip aerospace professionals to make money dealing with aircraft spares. He recently launched a new platform called Aircraft Profit and even offers a free mini-course.

Let’s Get Social

You know what I am talking about. Following the social media wave is mind-boggling and constantly in flux. If I hear the term algorithm one more time, I’m going to snap. Que Grandmaster Flash here. With social media, don’t try to boil the ocean and read everything. Find a few good sources and stay plugged into those. I typically try to follow most of the major OEMs and look for service announcements and technical bulletins.

Sometimes, you can find some cool stuff and just have fun. Pilatus Aircraft launched a tweet—do we still call it that?—advertising its online calendar. Once I arrived at the site via hyperlink, I found its technical data as well.

What have you found interesting on social media? Send your best finds to, awesome memes and pearls of wisdom. I may just feature them in a future article. Thanks.

Richard is a US Navy Veteran, A&P Mechanic, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University alumni. His experience ranges from general and corporate aviation to helicopters, business jets, and commercial airliners. Former owner of a 145 repair station, he currently has an aerospace product management role and is a member of the T-C-Alliance. Follow him on X (Twitter) at @RScarCo.

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