David Karnuth of Suffolk is an aviation maintenance technician and instructor at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, 2211 S. Military Highway in Chesapeake.
Karnuth is an aviation maintenance technician and instructor at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, 2211 S. Military Highway in Chesapeake. His students attend classes in consecutive modules, which are each five weeks long.
“I teach Power Plant, which is knowledge about engines, and Airframe system, which covers almost everything,” Karnuth said. “The students learn about landing gear, radio systems, hydraulic systems, atmosphere systems and more.
“FAA hours and holidays mean that the program takes up to 20 months. When students complete the program and pass the tests, they can work on any aircraft — from hot air balloons to rockets.”
Karnuth, 39, was honored recently by the Aircraft Maintenance Technology Society with a Next Generation Award as one of the leading professionals in his field. One of 40 under 40 in the country to receive the award, he was given a plaque and featured on the cover of an AMT magazine.
Karnuth was born in Los Angeles but spent most of his young life in Medford, N.Y. He graduated from Longwood High School in 1994, and earned an associate degree in criminal justice at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island. He worked as a town security officer for a while and later was a security officer for a department store in Brookhaven, N.Y.
Karnuth tinkered with cars as a boy and was told by friends he had technical skills, so in 2005, he moved to the Suffolk in Virginia. He lived with his mother in the Oak Ridge neighborhood, and attended the aviation maintenance school, which was in Norfolk at that time.
Karnuth went back to New York after graduating in 2007 and worked for the Empire Aero Center in Rome, until the company went out of business in 2010. Then he moved to Corning and worked for Sikorsky in Elmira.
“The helicopters were sent to Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey — anywhere but the United States,” Karnuth said. “It was called the military completion center.”
After a divorce, Karnuth and his daughter, London, 7, returned to his mother’s home in Suffolk. He also has a son, Lorenzo Lamondi, who lives with his mother in Corning.
Karnuth began teaching at the Aviation Institute in 2012 and has men and women of all ages in his classes.
There are numerous aircraft and engines in the school’s hangar for students to practice on, including multi-engine aircraft, single-engine aircraft and jets.
In order to receive a graduate certificate,” Karmuth said, “you must have 750 hours of Airframe, 750 hours of Power Plant, and 400 hours of general knowledge in math, physical weight and electricity.”
The institute is sponsoring a three-day Spring Break Aviation Maintenance Camp this week from Monday through Wednesday.
“Jet Tech” will allow students to spend time in the hangar and classroom learning about the basics of aviation maintenance. The last day will be spent at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach. For more information, call 490-3151.
What has been the most rewarding experience of your life? Raising my daughter
What has been the most challenging experience? Raising my daughter
Describe a snapshot of a perfect day: Staying in bed all day sleeping
Childhood ambition: To be a doctor
Pets: One dog
Favorite movie: “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” (the original)
Who would play you in a movie? Chris Farley
Pet peeve: Stupidity
Favorite song: “When I See You Smile,” Bad English
If you won $10M, what would you do? Travel a little, but still work and live a normal life. It would just be stress free.
What is my most valuable material possession? Besides my truck, I own nothing of value
What are two things that nobody knows about you? I’m pretty much an open book. So if no one knows it, there probably a reason.
Motto: Nothing worth having ever comes easy, you have to work for what you want. No one is entitled to anything.
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