Chief of Maintenance
If the GEICO Skytypers didn’t winter their vintage planes in a hangar at the Republic Airport on Long Island, Frank Atria might never have become the SNJ expert he is today. That’s because Atria is a graduate of the Wilson Tech Aviation Maintenance program at the same airport.
Along with some friends, Frank walked over to check out some cool old planes after class one day. He was so fascinated he asked the head of operations at the time if any help was needed. Frank started working part time for the Skytypers as a mechanic’s helper before completing his education.
Eight seasons with the GEICO Skytypers later, the Deer Park, New York native is the Chief of Line Operations and an expert maintainer in a warbird twice as old as he is.
Frank’s uncle was a mechanic in World War II working on bombers in England. An interest in airplanes was fostered early on. Each birthday Frank received a model airplane kit from his uncle and now has the same tradition with his own daughter.
Atria travels with the team to air shows around the country conducting maintenance before and after each demonstration. He is part of the year round team that meticulously maintains the vintage aircraft, checking for corrosion and parts needing replacement. He considers it an honor to work on planes that are such an important part of U.S. military and aviation history.
Frank is married and already passing his love of aviation to his two-year-old daughter, Emily Ann.