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Meet: Lee Mountz

Aircraft Inspector
NASA Ames Research Center, Mt.View, CA

Job experience
Lee Mountz is a research aircraft inspector for NASA. He has worked for NASA for the past 25 years. The first job Lee had for NASA was as a crew chief for various flights; he held this job for 15 years. After this, Lee was moved to the inspector's position where he has been for nearly 10 years.

During his work as a crew chief, Lee had the chance to be a crew member on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), the world's only airborne astronomical research facility. Lee cites this as one of the highlights of his career.

Aircraft interest began early
Lee's interest in aircraft inspection and repair began when he was in high school and worked for his father in a aircraft maintenance shop. His father was the shop foreman, and Lee learned a lot from simply watching his father.

After graduating from high school, Lee attended some college courses, but soon realized he could receive the hands-on experience he desired from the military. He received most of his training experience on the Lockheed C-141, which is the plane that has been modified into the KAO. After the military, Lee received his IA Inspector's License.

Personal tidbits
Lee's family consists of his wonderful wife Mary and his 19-year-old son, Matthew. Matt is currently doing his general education classes for college in San Jose, but he will soon transfer to UCLA for the remainder of his college career. According to Lee, Matt will probably go on to pursue a career in a musical field.

A bit of advice
For anyone interested in his field, Lee suggests taking aviation courses in college and graduating with your Bachelor's Degree. This is not required to become a crew chief or an inspector, but Lee says the background is priceless.

This was written by Jeff Walling, currently a senior at Bear Creek High School in Stockton, CA


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