NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Pilots fueling up at A.L. Mangham Airport in Nacogdoches can rest a little easier knowing Maria Adame is on the job. Adame works as a fuel lineman in an industry dominated by men.
"She's in charge of our quality fuel control, which means she's responsible for checking fuel as it's delivered and making sure that it meets the state specs. She just takes everything in stride, it's not a big deal to her, this is what is what she does every day but what she does is very important," said Mary Uresti, Airport Manager.
It is Adame's job to inspect the fuel every day. She checks to make sure the fuel is free of water, dirt, and any other contaminates. "Failure to do so can cause engine failure it will cause engine failure and there have been incidences where pilots have died," said Uresti.
On the day we visited the airport we found Adame busy getting ready for whatever the day might bring.
"It could be a day like this then out of nowhere we get planes especially business people, we have a lot of those," said Adame.
Her boss says Adame has a knack for good customer service and her strong sense for detail helps in that regard. Quality fuel control is Adame's biggest responsibility, she's certified in that area. "The pilots they don't think about it, very few even question how we control our fuel they just depend on her and know that she's doing a good job," said Uresti.
"I guess you have to have a lot of patience, which I really don't have but I've been learning since working here sometimes you get people who are really nice, sometimes you get people who are rude but I mean it depends," said Adame.
Adame has been working at A.L. Mangham Airport for three years. It started out as a part time position which turned full time. She says she loves the isolated feel of the airport. "I like best that it's away from everybody (smile), and it's calm, plus, I love doing this."
We soon learned this army reservist has an interesting sense of humor and is a bit of a daredevil. We watched as Maria just over 5'5" tall easily maneuvered huge fuel trucks and scaled effortless big tanks. "There was one that was really tall we had to get on top of a J-avgas truck and put a ladder in to get on top of it cause it one where you can actually land it on the water, that was really fun to fuel," said Adame.
Adame says for her, the weather is the only downside to this job, "The worst part of the job? The weather, whenever it gets cold, or you get rained on, or you get sunburned."
Whether planes are landing or taking off, fuel lineman Maria Adame says it is her job to serve and protect.