Banyan is excited to announce the achievement of Danny Santiago, our Director of #Avionics, as the winner of Aircraft Maintenance Technology magazine’s 2021 AMT 40 Under 40 Maintenance Professionals Award.
From Aviation Pros: Danny Santiago knew he wanted to be in aviation since he was 3 or 4 years old. “There was no other interest or option,” said. “I always loved airplanes. My father was a FedEx captain for more than 37 years flying Md-11s. He always instilled a passion for aviation, piloting and maintenance.”
Santiago says he never had any interest as a young child to play with cars, trains or boats, it was always airplanes. “I was always hooked on flight simulators, reading about them, being around them when I would pick my dad up from the airport…” he noted. “Originally, I wanted to pursue a pilot career and started to, but my father told me to have a secondary alternative in case of market uncertainty. He instilled the need for the mechanical background, as I was always into taking things apart. I did pursue my private pilot license with instrument rating, as well as my A&P license.”
His career started at the age of 18 at Gulfstream Airlines (aka Continental Connection). There he worked EMB 120s and Beechcraft 1900D. He performed scheduled and unscheduled maintenance on both the airframe and engine sides for the 121 carrier. “The company had an uncertain future at the time, so after getting my feet wet, I knew I wanted to focus on the business aircraft side, and I had a large interest in engines,” he said. “My next stop was Southeast Turbines, where I served as a field service representative performing borescopes, fuel nozzle checks, power section repairs, AGB repairs, HSIs, component OHs, assembly repairs, engine balanced rotor assembly balancing and lots of engine changes on the JT15D and PT6A.”
One day, Santiago was changing an engine on a caravan, when an old friend from college urged him to interview at Banyan Air. “I wasn’t looking for a job, but interviewed in my dirty uniform and all, and got an offer that I had to accept,” he recalled. He worked his way up from technician, to crew leader, to Falcon Crew leader, to maintenance service manager interfacing with customers, then over to avionics manager and finally director of avionics. “During my time at Banyan, I was introduced to a customer who, with time, trust, and dedication to understanding his operation, asked me to partner with him as his director of maintenance for a 135 fleet called Trans Island Airways. We currently still operate four Caravan Ex and two Lear 60s alongside with Banyan as the primary support facility. This experience has allowed me the opportunity to partake in the buying and selling of many aircraft, conformity and pre purchase inspections.”
As for the future, Santiago says his career goals are to continue to develop his technical skillset, business skillset and interpersonal skillset to become a valued impactful part of aviation and mentor those interested in aviation to pursue a long and rewarding career, with hard work and a dedication to serve.