PEMCO’s teammate spotlight is a monthly series featuring employees throughout the company – mechanics to executives to accountants to engineers – with the goal to introduce you to the individuals that make PEMCO possible.
Meet Al Camacho…
What’s your role at PEMCO?
I’m an interior lead. My team and I come in and remove carpet, seating, galleys, overhead bins, repair anything that’s damaged, and paint. Anything that has to do with the interior, that’s what we do. I have a great team who make me look good.
How long have you worked at PEMCO?
I’ve been here since day one, when PEMCO opened here in Tampa about eight years ago.
I started with Piedmont in ‘87, and then US Airways bought the company is ‘89. I moved over to Tampa at that time. Worked there for 15 years and after they closed down, I went to work for Southeastern for two years. Once they closed down, I worked line maintenance in Orlando for United Airlines. After a couple years, PEMCO opened here in Tampa and I moved back to join.
How did you get started in aviation?
My brother worked for Midway Airlines as a store’s manager and a cousin worked for Northwest as a mechanic. They helped me get a job so I could get some experience before going to college, but I fell in love with the industry and decided not to attend.
I’m A&P certified and graduated from the National Aviation Academy.
Do you remember your first flight?
Not really, but I have something more interesting: I proposed to my wife on a plane.
The whole family was going to Orlando. It was me, my wife (girlfriend at the time), daughter, parents, and sister. None of them knew.
When we got to the airport, I asked to speak to the pilot and told him I would like to propose on the flight. We were sitting in row 17 with my wife on the aisle, my daughter at the window, I’m in the middle, and my parents and sister are behind us. The pilot comes on the speakers with the standard, “We’re flying into Orlando from New York…” followed by “…and we have a special couple sitting with us today…”
I thought I was just going to just give her the ring, but the pilot announced to get in the aisle and get down on one knee. So I do, and everyone’s looking and then my wife starts crying. I was like, “Janette, can I just put the ring on your finger?”
Everyone applauded, and when we got off the airplane, the pilot was there with champagne. So it was very neat to say the least. A great memory we talk about all the time.
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
That’s where I had my honeymoon. I love the locals and the atmosphere.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I think I would want to be able to go back into time. Time travel would be the neatest thing; go back and see the past, and maybe correct a couple things.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an architect. I did study architecture in high school, but once my brother and cousin introduced me to aviation, it all changed.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m a real family man. I spend a lot of time with my wife, kids and grandson. For a matter of fact, a group of us here at PEMCO are getting involved in bicycling. I just bought a bike and today will be the first day we get together. We plan to go out once or twice a week, and pick different areas to ride.
What would you tell others interested in working at PEMCO; interested in aviation?
It’s a great field and you get to meet a lot of interesting people; people with a lot of vison who want to be part of a team. I think if someone is young and trying to get into the aviation world, I’d recommend getting in with an airline or MRO to get experience. There’s a lot to learn.
Everyone at PEMCO comes from different backgrounds, many airlines and MROs, so it’s a great place to learn and gain experience. We have great people, many who I call personal friends. I actually host a Halloween party ever year for PEMCO employees, and it’s like a family reunion.
Like I said, I’ve been here since day one, so I’ve seen all the changes made in the last two years, and all the improvements being made. It’s a great place to work, learn from others, and share your experience.
What’s your favorite quote?
“The longest journey, started with a first step.”