You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Delta retiree and veteran lacrosse ref gets top honor for mechanics


Luis Diaz, a veteran lacrosse official and a Delta Air Lines retiree who was featured in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Personal Journeys series in January, received a prestigious lifetime achievement award for mechanics from the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday.

Called the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award, the honor recognizes the accomplishments of senior mechanics. Taylor served as the Wright brothers’ mechanic and is credited with designing and building the engine for their first successful aircraft. Diaz’s former boss at Delta nominated him for the honor.

A Marietta resident, Diaz, 73, graduated from the Aviation Career and Technical Education High School in New York in 1961, served in the Marine Corps and then worked for Pan American World Airways before it shut down in 1991. At Delta, Diaz — who goes by “Louie” — worked as a lead technician and work center supervisor, retiring three years ago. He has officiated four sports — basketball, football, lacrosse and soccer — for more than four decades.

The Charles Taylor award was also presented to Joseph Lino of Fayetteville and Robert Parker of Sharpsburg Thursday during a ceremony at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta.

“It specifically recognizes a relatively minute number of airmen who have contributed over 50 years in the aircraft maintenance profession,” Michael Mullaney of the FAA said at the ceremony. “Their dedicated service, technical expertise and enduring contribution in the field of aviation safety have been invaluable to furthering the mission and goals of the FAA.”

Diaz thanked his wife, Carmen, and his former Delta colleagues, who cheerfully recognized him by performing a wave in the audience and shouting “Louie!” before the start of the ceremony.

“I would like to thank Delta Air Lines for a great career,” Diaz said. “And most important, my crew. They are the ones who put me here and made my life beautiful. I really appreciate them being here. Thank you very much for all you have done for me.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Lions QB Stafford a lock for big money, but does he deserve it?
Lions QB Stafford a lock for big money, but does he deserve it?

Who's a better NFL quarterback: Matthew Stafford or Derek Carr? Which of the 20-something gunslingers would you rather have lead your team for the next five years? Which is most deserving of the richest contract in NFL history? Carr signed a record five-year deal worth a reported $125 million on Thursday, and for at least the next few weeks he'll be...
Michael Jordan fan has crying LeBron James tattooed on leg
Michael Jordan fan has crying LeBron James tattooed on leg

Kalen Gilleese concedes that LeBron James is one of pro basketball’s greatest players, but he still believes that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star is not in the class of Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, his favorite player. >> Read more trending news So after the Cavs were beaten in the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors, Gilleese...
Dream defense unable to slow Sky in 82-78 loss
Dream defense unable to slow Sky in 82-78 loss

Returning from a lackluster road trip and hosting the slumping Chicago Sky, the Atlanta Dream needed some home cooking on its annual Pride Night. It didn’t get it. The Dream’s offense couldn’t keep pace in an 82-78 loss Friday night at McCamish Pavilion. Atlanta (5-6) has lost five of its last six games. “Tough game to lose...
Braves win with key plays by rookies Swanson, Camargo
Braves win with key plays by rookies Swanson, Camargo

It was like old times on Friday for Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson and third baseman Johan Camargo. The pair played infield for Double-A Mississippi last season and are doing it with the Braves now that Camargo is getting regular playing time. Each made superlative defensive plays to hold off Brewers rallies during the 5-4 Braves victory at SunTrust...
Adams becomes a complication for Braves — in a good way
Adams becomes a complication for Braves — in a good way

If only Matt Adams hadn’t gone on his galoot-free diet and had reported to the Braves looking like he was smuggling grapefruit in his uniform. Were only he the typical left-handed masher that he appears to be at first glance, mindlessly pumping baseballs into the shift and either hitting home runs or taking a seat. Then we wouldn’t be going...
More Stories