Following in his father’s footsteps
Following our story on British Airways' family affair, a further example emerges from BA's Oneworld partner American Airlines; Dennis F. Ramaglia (often referred to as Rags) and his son, Dennis A. Ramaglia, share not only the same name, but also the same career with the same company at the same location. Rags and Dennis are both Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) at Las Vegas (LAS) with a combined total of more than 70 years of aircraft maintenance experience between them. Rags has had a successful career and is a recent recipient of the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award, a prestigious award AMTs receive after serving 50 years in the aviation maintenance field.
Rags got his start in aviation maintenance when he joined the Air Force after high school in 1966. After an aptitude test revealed it would be a good fit for him, Rags discovered that he might have a knack for the profession and that it may actually be something he’d enjoy. He later began working on Boeing B-52 and Lockheed C-130 military aircraft while serving in various countries around the world. After the military, Rags returned home to Pittsburgh where he and Dennis’ mother raised their family. Rags received his Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) licenses in 1978 and became an AMT for Allegheny Airlines, a heritage carrier that eventually became today’s American Airlines.
Growing up in Pittsburgh, Dennis and his father used to attend air shows together quite frequently, and Dennis remembers being amazed. “I used to have fun at the air shows with my dad,” Dennis said. “I remember being in awe of all the aircraft — at how fast they flew, the tricks they performed and how awesome they looked. Knowing that my dad’s profession at some point in his career allowed him to work on some of the same type of military aircraft that we watched at the shows was impressive to me. That’s when my interest in aviation first began.”
But being around aviation all his life didn’t immediately make Dennis want to pursue the industry as a career. After high school, he went to college and explored other interests before finally deciding that he did want to become an AMT like his father. He received his A&P licenses in 1990 and started his aviation career with Atlantic Coast Airlines at New York Stewart International Airport (SWF) as an aircraft mechanic. He later landed a job at US Airways and in 2003, began working at America West at LAS. His career came full circle after the airline merged with US Airways in 2005.
After several years, Rags joined Dennis at LAS where they continued working as AMTs, and US Airways eventually merged with American, making it the first time they worked for the same company. “Working in this industry that allows us to help safely connect people all around the world has been a great experience that I’ve been fortunate to share with my father,” Dennis said. “Although we don’t work the same shift, having the same profession has allowed us to develop a strong father-son bond that I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
"In terms of career advice, I’ve always told Dennis to be a team player, especially in this industry, and to collaborate with and learn from other team members around him. I also tell him to stick with it. Sometimes this industry can be challenging, but it’s rewarding if you work hard and stick with it." — Dennis F. Ramaglia
Image courtesy of American Airlines