Meet Kenmore Air Mechanic Beth Thompson

Beth Thompson Kenmore Air Mechnic
Beth Thompson

Theater. Cosplay. Comic books. Cats. Toolboxes. Woodworking. Nothing is off-limits for Beth Thompson — even sports. Which, as a self-proclaimed unathletic individual, she’s still dabbled in.

 “Anytime someone said, ‘Women can’t do that,’ I’d say, ‘Watch me,’” she said.

It’s a good mentality to have for a woman in a male dominated industry. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, just 2.6 percent of aircraft mechanics are female. 

Beth earned a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Theater Arts from Gonzaga University, before realizing she didn’t want to be an electrical engineer. Going back to school, she earned her Associates in Aviation Maintenance Technology from South Seattle Community College. 

“Our very first quarter we had a tour of Kenmore Air and I said, ‘This is where I want to work.’ And my last quarter, I got a job here as a part-time admin,” Beth said. 

Beth Thompson looking at an aircraft
Beth Thompson woking on a caravan

Graduating from South Seattle CC one quarter later, Beth was promoted to aircraft mechanic. But unlike most of Kenmore’s maintenance crew, you’ll rarely find her working on a de Havilland Beaver or Otter. She’s based out of Paine Field, the homebase for Kenmore Air’s land-based maintenance. The two-hanger shop focuses on Cessna Caravan inspections, maintenance, and repair — a specialty they have been honing. 

Beth excels as an aircraft mechanic because she loves precision and having a clear set of guidelines.

“When I first decided to become a mechanic, I had to pick between if I wanted to go into cars or airplanes. Someone explained to me that when you’re a car mechanic, the first thing you do is pop the hood, go in and try to figure out what’s wrong. And then you open the book. When you’re an aircraft mechanic, the first thing you do is go to the manual. That’s why I picked aircraft. I like having rules and things laid out for you.”

— Beth

Aside from avionics, the mechanics at Kenmore’s Paine Field location work on the whole plane, a fact that Beth loves. In fact, her favorite task is working on flight controls. “I like (flight controls) because I get to work on the entire plane. You’re working on the yoke (or controls). And then you go into the wings or tail for where the actual flight controls are located,” Beth explained. 


  • Age: 34
  • Years Working for Kenmore: 8
  • First Job at Kenmore: Part-Time Admin Assistant
  • Birthplace: Boise, Idaho
  • Current Residence: Seattle, WA
  • Education: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Minor in Theater Arts from Gonzaga. Associates in Aviation Maintenance Technology from South Seattle Community College.
  • Favorite Scenic Tour: Volcano Tour

Meet More Members of the Kenmore Air Family

Maddie Kutzera Kenmore Air Mechanic
Maddie Kutzera — Kenmore Air Mechanic
Sarah Feller — Operations Manager
Sarah Feller — Operations Manager