JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
Since she started in the 12th Flying Training Wing
Maintenance Directorate at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph 12 years ago, Nicole
Goss has worked her way from intern to crew chief.
Goss, a crew chief on the T-6A Texan II aircraft flight
line, inspects and clears T-6A aircraft for takeoff.
Goss began working in the maintenance directorate in the
summer of 2003 as an intern in the aviation mechanics program at St. Philip’s
College in San Antonio. The program allowed her to earn dual credits while she
was a student at Churchill High School in San Antonio.
After graduating from high school in 2004, Goss returned to
the maintenance directorate in the summer of that year as a full-time
maintainer fueling T-38 Talon aircraft. Goss said fueling the aircraft in the summer
heat was a hard job, especially since there were no coverings at the time for
the aircraft on the flight line.
“I was dragging this 75-pound fuel hose and hooking it on to
a belly of a T-38,” Goss said. “You are doing that all day, every day in the sun.”
In 2008, Goss enlisted in the Army and served two tours of
duty in Afghanistan as a helicopter engine mechanic.
After her service in the Army ended, Goss returned to
JBSA-Randolph in 2013.
As a crew chief, Goss said she has several responsibilities
on the flight line. “Our duty on the flight line is launch and recovery,
inspection and then anything else that pops up,” she said. “If I have to go tow
an airplane, then I have to tow an airplane. If I have light bulbs that are
burnt out that I find during the inspection, then I have to change the light
bulbs. You have to be qualified on everything and anything and you have to be
able to have the astute situational awareness to catch it and not let it go.”
The safety of the pilots and maintenance crew is her most
important focus on the flight line, Goss said.
This summer Goss halted the launch of a T-6A when she
discovered the aircraft was leaking fuel as it was about ready to takeoff.
“I’m the last person who sees the pilots before they take
off,” Goss said. “It’s my job to inspect
and keep everybody safe. If that fuel leak would have gotten worse or if
something could have ignited it, it would have been me, the crew and everybody
around me that was launching. Safety is number one, number one above everything
Goss said she grew up wanting to become a mechanic because
of her father, a salesman for a tool company.
“I have always been around tools,” she said. “I have always
been around mechanics.”
Goss starts each workday on the flight line at 6:30 a.m. While
her shift typically ends at 2:30 p.m., there are some days Goss works until 10
p.m. on the Transit Alert shift, which maintains aircraft from other
installations that are flown into JBSA-Randolph. She also worked on aircraft at
the 2015 Joint Base San Antonio Air Show and Open House.
When she is not on the flight line, Goss is teaching pilots
basic documentation requirements they need to know after going on their cross
country sorties and teaching maintainers how to use electronic tools, including
tablets, on the job.
Goss is working on the flight line while also furthering her
education. She has two associate degrees in aircraft maintenance from St.
Philip’s College and is working towards a master’s degree in aviation
maintenance management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
In addition, Goss is raising a four-year-old son with her
husband, Moe, who is also a T-1A Jayhawk flight line crew chief at
As a woman in the aviation mechanics field, Goss said she
has had to prove herself several times during her career. She has advice for
those women who are considering a career as an aviation mechanic.
“Be yourself, do your best and be the best,” Goss said.
“Don’t let obstacles get in the way.”
David Mireles, 12th Flying Training Wing Maintenance
Directorate T-1A and T-6A sortie generation supervisor, has worked with Goss
since 2003 and said Goss is both a dedicated and hard worker.
“She gives 100 percent in everything she does,” Mireles
said. “She is always the first one out to the flight line and the last one off
the flight line. If an aircraft needs to be towed, she volunteers. She is a go
getter; she is awesome.”
(Editor's note: Joint Base San Antonio Front and Center is a
series of stories highlighting outstanding members of the community while
showcasing their impact on the missions that take place at JBSA.)