Jason McNeese is a crucial member of Southwest Fuel Systems, a sister shop of Mint Turbines. In 2019, Southwest Fuel Systems made the strategic decision to relocate from Tucson, AZ to Stroud, OK, where they moved into the same building as Mint Turbines. This move was aimed at taking advantage of the synergies that naturally arise when two complementary operations are in close proximity to each other. Southwest Fuel Systems is Triumph certified on the Ozark T53 engine Fuel controls, governors and RR250 engine HMUs. Here at Mint, we value our partnership with Southwest Fuel Systems and the people like Jason that ensure that quality and safety standards are met in the shop. Learn more about Jason in with Q&A below.
How did you get started in aerospace and at Southwest Fuel Systems?
What is your educational background? I started in aerospace in 2000 when I went to school for aircraft structures in Tucson, Arizona. I took night classes for around a year and a half. While I was in school, I got a job working on fuel controls and governors, which is the same thing I do today. So even though I got my certificate of completion for what I learned in college, I never actually went to work in the structure side because I found that I enjoyed the engine side.
What does your day look like at Southwest Fuel Systems?
Well, they keep me busy! We do evaluations on assets that are coming in for overhaul, repair, testing, etc. I spend my time in the shop, so it is very hands-on. I am a shop lead, but I do the work with my team.
What is the benefit of being partnered/housed with Mint Turbines?
Having both the engine and accessory shop in the same place is convenient. We can troubleshoot a lot more in less time. Not having to ship components is a perk and saves our clients’ money and time.
What are some of the most memorable projects you’ve worked on during your time?
We did around 12 fuel controls and governors for the United States Air Force in around two months, which was neat. It was exciting that we were able to get that much work done very quickly. We felt very accomplished. There have been some pretty huge contracts in my time that were an honor to work on.
How do you handle the identification, tracking and traceability of parts during the overhaul repair process?
Everything is set and organized. We have a very specific system. We have multiple inspection sheets for disassembly and assembly. This keeps us organized with serial numbers for each part. We have lists from when we receive the work to when it gets shipped out and everything in between. We also have technicians and inspectors to stamp off the work they’ve done and completed.
What are the quality control measures and standards you employ to ensure the reliability and performance of accessories and components after overhaul repair?
We are ISO and FAA certified, so keeping those certifications is very important to us. We keep ourselves to a high standard.
What is your favorite thing about working at Southwest Fuel Systems?
It is one of the best places that I have worked so far in this career field. When I started with this company in Arizona, we were named something else. When we became a part of M International, they moved our shop here to Stroud, Oklahoma. I had family in Arizona, so I did not initially decide to move with Southwest Fuels. However, I came back to do some contract work and decided I wanted to come back and work full-time. So, my wife and I packed up and moved to Oklahoma!
I love that at Southwest Fuels and Mint Turbines, we feel like a big family. There are no questions that you can’t ask, and I always feel comfortable coming to work. We get to work on some neat projects and do it next to our friends and family.
What are you doing when you’re not at work?
My wife and I are usually at the lake. We love to go boating and fishing. If we’re not on the lake, we’re outdoors or traveling. We love to take long weekends to Branson, MO, and recently took a trip to San Antonio, TX.