At the age of 10 Ryan Goss went on his first airplane ride. He’s been hooked ever since.

Goss, who was recently approved to officially take over as general manager of the Big Bear Airport, remembers that ride like it was yesterday. “We had a neighbor across the street who owned an airplane,” Goss says. “He asked me one day if I’d like to go for a ride, and I asked my mom and she said ‘no way.’ Then of course I asked my dad and he said no problem. That’s when my life literally changed.”

Goss spent every day at the airport, hanging around, doing little chores and bugging pilots for rides. They were happy to comply. Goss logged so many hours in the air he completed his first solo flight at the age of 16.

The Big Bear Airport has been a second home for Goss, who graduated from Big Bear High School in 1997. By 1999 he was working part-time for Calloway Aviation. His ultimate goal was to become an airplane mechanic. Goss earned a license to work on airplanes in 2001.

It was in September of 2001 that Goss became a full-time employee at the Big Bear Airport, taking a job as maintenance worker I. “I was basically an apprentice,” Goss says. From there, he moved up the ladder in the department as maintenance worker II and maintenance worker III, a supervisory position. By the time he took over the maintenance and operations manager position when Tom Hoover retired, Goss had logged 17 years as a Big Bear Airport employee.

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