At United Technologies, we know a thing or two about aviation. We’re made up of thousands of talented and intelligent men and women whose genuine passion for aviation have made us an industry leader. Today on National Aviation Day, we’re proud to be key pioneers in innovation and strive to improve the way the world flies, day in and day out.
What better way to commemorate this day than to highlight a few of our own colleagues whose passion for aviation is sky high – literally.
Kenneth Katz and Kiran Kolluri have weaved their love for aviation into multiple facets of their lives. Ken is an information technology business systems manager at Collins Aerospace and Kiran a fleet manager in the commercial aftermarket business unit at Pratt & Whitney. Both are certified pilots who have taken their enthusiasm for aviation to the cockpit.
Kiran’s earliest memory of wanting to be a pilot was at five years old. Memories of watching airplanes flying over him and being on his first passenger flight ignited a desire to be a pilot and work in the aviation industry. “Flying became the ultimate adventure for me; the perfect blend of challenge and risk,” says Kiran.
His dreams came true when he joined United Technologies 20 years ago and participated in the Employee Scholar Program which supported his journey in obtaining his pilot certification. Since then he’s flown near and far, with his favorite flight being over Hawai'i. As a pilot, when you fly you don’t want to worry about the engines; you just expect they’ll be extremely reliable and get you to your destination. As a pilot, I have a great respect for what they do at Pratt & Whitney and at Collins Aerospace every day."
Kiran flying over the Molokai cliffs of Hawai’i
As an aerospace engineer, former U.S. Air Force officer and author of several books about aviation, it was only natural for Ken to tack on a pilot certificate to his impressive list of accomplishments. By embracing a multitude of lifelong learning opportunities including courses on agile software development and even a data visualization program sponsored by United Technologies, Ken has made himself a knowledgeable and valuable resource with his teams.
Ken’s true passion for aviation is evident and has followed him through many parts of life.
Ken during his time as a U.S. Air Force Officer; Ken posing with a Hamilton Standard propeller at the 2019 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh airshow. Hamilton Standard is one of the heritage companies of Collins Aerospace.
"I love restored vintage airplanes and the opportunity to fly in several of them has been a special thrill. Studying these wonderful machines has given me an appreciation of the tremendous contributions that our company has made to the advancement of aviation technology,” says Ken.
We also celebrated National Aviation Day with the next generation of aviation enthusiasts! Check out this video to see what we’re talking about.