Insights of Experience: Bruce Lundquist
Posted on Sep 02, 2014
As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, we continuously reflect on the incredible employees who have helped us reach this milestone. This fall, we’re excited to publish a series of interviews and photos with some of our most experienced staff members. We’ve asked these Pentastar employees about their careers at Pentastar and how the business aviation industry has changed during the last several decades. We are titling this series “Insights of Experience.” Look for our ads this fall in Aviation International News and visit the Flight Plan blog to read more of the interviews.
Senior Avionics Technician
32 Years at Pentastar Aviation
His advice to someone pursuing a career in avionics: “Make sure you like it.”
Bruce Lundquist is one of Pentastar Aviation’s most experienced employees. In 2013, Bruce was named the General Aviation National Avionics Technician of the Year by the FAA, a reflection of his tireless passion for avionics that has spanned his 41-year career. Below, you can read about Bruce and his career at Pentastar Aviation in his own words:
I’ve always kind of considered myself to be the technical leader of the company, and I’ve learned some things since I started in this field back in 1971. After all that time, we’re still moving electrons from point A to point B – that hasn’t changed, but how they’re moving has changed tremendously.
I’m probably most proud of the ability to stay at one company for 32 years. It’s not unheard of, but it’s an accomplishment in itself
Early on, even my wife said, “You work for a great company. You guys are always having a good time.”
We used to have some hellacious good times. The bowling league was always fun. They used to golf a lot too – I’m terrible at golf.
This company has a lot of great people. That’s what helps keep our reputation in the industry.
I had always had an interest in radio when I was a kid and my grandparents had an old Philco AM shortwave radio. They had bought it back in the late 30s, 40s maybe. I remember going over there, turning that thing on and playing with it. They never told me, ‘quit doin’ that,’ so I was always pushing the buttons, turning the dials and listening to stuff.
The next thing you know, I’m building crystal radios and stringing up antennas in the backyard. Electronics, radios have always fascinated me. How does this work? How am I listening to this guy talking 50 miles away from me? That was an early fascination for me.
My parents bought me a pair of walkie talkies for Christmas when I was about 12 or 13. I could hear all of these people talking on it, but I couldn’t talk to them because I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was citizens band radio – CB radio.
Next thing you know, I had a paper route, making my own money, and I went out and bought my own CB radio.
Even in high school, electronics was the only subject that I ever got straight A’s in.
I graduated in ‘70 when the Vietnam War was going on; I’ve still got my draft letter signed by Richard Nixon.
I went down to the local Air Force recruiter and said, “What can you put me in electronics-wise?” They said, “With the score you got, you can do just about anything you want.”
I saw Navigational Equipment Repairs on the list of career fields and I thought, ‘well, hell, that sounds like something I could probably do when I get out of the Air Force. I’ll take that.’ That’s what started it rolling.
Learn your job and do it well. Basically, that’s what’s going to put you into a position to have good things happen to you. Learn it, do it, do it right.
It goes back to another thing Mother always used to say: “treat people the way you always want to be treated yourself.” It works quite well in customer service and it’s really the best lesson for living a happy life.
One of my best days? That was probably the day my daughter was born. I remember telling my wife while I was holding her there in the hospital, “this is probably the happiest day of my life so far.” That absolutely was my best day.
Getting hired at Chrysler back then, that was a real good day. I remember when I got my FCC general radio telephone license; that was a good day because that was a hard test to take back then. Getting married – gotta remember that one!
Just to show you I’m still trying to learn and evolve, I just passed my extra class HAM radio license exam last weekend. That’s a big to-do. The guys giving me the test said people don’t just walk in there and do that. It’s been three years since the last guy did that. They stood up and gave me a round of applause ‘cause they couldn’t believe it.
I still like my cars. I’ve got two mustangs sitting in the garage – a ’78 and an ’89. The ’78, one of these days, I’d like to restore. I still like to get ’89 out there. It’s a 5-liter high performance vehicle. I still have fun driving that.
I grew up in the muscle car era. Don’t tell anyone, but me and my buddies spent a lot of time drag racing on Telegraph road back in the day.
I’ve been blessed. Life’s been good. I’m not rich, I’m not famous, but I’m happy.