DENVER — The airplane mechanic field is often seen as male-dominated industry, but over the last few years airlines have seen more women achieve this position and breaking barriers. A perfect example is Nancy Newberg, who is one of the few female mechanics to be employed with Frontier Airlines.
"At first it was hard, but now I get excited doing something I really thought I wasn’t capable of," Newberg said. "It’s a lot of heavy lifting and I’ve never held a wrench before, so it was scary at first."
Newberg's love for aviation started back when she joined the aviation program in middle school. Fast forward a few years later, she landed a job with Frontier airlines as an aviation planner, but as she started to learn more about the industry, she realized her passion was changing tires and fixing mechanical failures for planes.
“In order to be the best planner, you need maintenance experience. With planning you assign the work for the mechanics, so now I’m doing the work as a mechanic," Newberg said. "Looking back at the pictures of the aviation magnet program, I’m like I can’t believe I’m a mechanic now. I think I’ve been part of 10 engine changes, so I’ve been doing engine changes all day long."
Rarely you'll see women change tires or fix mechanical failures for the planes, but that motivated Newberg to work 10x better and prove others wrong.
“It took a while to prove my coworkers the opposite," Newberg said. "A lot of the guys judged me at first, but now I get along with them very well because I showed them the opposite of what I can do."
According to a 2021 study by the Federal Aviation Administration 2.6% of women are airplane mechanics.
“I don’t know how I ended up here, but I believe everything happens for a reason and I’m learning so much more," said Newberg. "I know it’s a male-dominated field, but I don’t think it matters being female or male because everybody is completely different."
In May, Nancy will celebrate two years as an airplane mechanic for Frontier and hopes her story inspires other women to pursue this career.
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