Warrior of the Week: Kenneth Goodnight

  • Published
  • By Public Affairs
  • Public Affairs
On March 27, T-6 aircraft mechanic Kenneth Goodnight's "can-do attitude and willingness to go beyond the normal checklist requirements, possibly saved lives," said Carl Simmons, Computer Sciences Corporation flightline manager.
Mr. Goodnight was doing a routine thru flight on a T-6 aircraft in March when he discovered a damaged override tube and seat initiator breech pipe. Either one of these items could have resulted in a failed ejection seat, creating even more catastrophic results. Neither of these items are required to be inspected during a thru flight inspection. His efforts secured him a Lightning Bolt award, an award that recognizes and rewards employees' exceptional efforts and achievements that contribute significantly to CSC's Vance mission and core values.
Mr. Goodnight, a Rockwall, Texas, native, became part of Team Vance nine years ago at the age of 18. Fresh out of high school, Mr. Goodnight spent most of his time growing up working as a car mechanic before he made the switch to the more high-speed trainers flown at Vance.
Mr. Goodnight believes working on planes is much easier than working on cars.
"Most of the guys in here who fix planes every day couldn't change their own oil in their cars," said Mr. Goodnight.
If they can't change their own oil, they can always bring it to his shop in Lahoma, Okla. When Mr. Goodnight gave up his career as an auto mechanic, he still maintained it as one of his hobbies. He's currently building an engine for a '67 Chevrolet Impala SS that is owned by one of his colleagues.
"I do a little bit of everything," said Mr. Goodnight.
His late hours working on planes all night don't seem to deter him from spending his free time doing the same thing on cars. He also likes to hunt, fish and spend time with his wife Jennifer at their 6-year-old daughter Britney's T-ball games.
"I like doing a lot of hands-on stuff," he said. "That's why I was happy to move into the maintenance hangar."
Mr. Goodnight spent most of his nine years at Vance working on the flight line with the T-37. He transferred to the T-6 maintenance hangar two months ago, where he now spends his time fixing the problems he used to be responsible for finding out on the flight line.