In a previous life, Mitch Eldridge was a U.S. Navy Search and Rescue Swimmer, trained to jump out of helicopters to save downed seamen and others in peril. Today, as a Senior Field Service Engineer, he jumps in with both feet to solve problems for Honeywell Business & General Aviation customers.
“My main goal is to be available whenever and wherever customers need me,” said the Dallas-based Eldridge. “We want to show that Honeywell cares about all our customers – big and small – and is willing to go to extreme lengths to solve their issues and keep their aircraft flying. Listening to our customers, solving their problem and following up after the problem is solved – these are the simple steps I live by to deliver great customer service.”
Mitch has an extensive history in the avionics business dating back to his Navy days when he also served as an inflight technician on the venerable H-60 Seahawk. “I’ve been crawling around aircraft for more than 20 years,” he said. “After the military I worked for Dassault in Little Rock, Ark., then worked for the government handling avionics installations on the UH-60 and other platforms during Desert Shield. Eventually I went to work for Associated Air Center in Dallas, where I worked in avionics engineering on Boeing Business Jet conversions and other projects.”
He joined Honeywell in Dallas in 2010 and eventually became part of the Customer & Product Support team. Now he’s on the front lines, going to bat for business aviation operators in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. His customers include AT&T, Exxon, Valero and Honeywell channel partners like Signature and Duncan Aviation.
He spends about three days a week on the road, working directly with Honeywell customers, answering questions and building the kind of relationships essential to providing high levels of aftermarket support.
“I am an advocate for our customers,” Eldridge said. “When a customer calls, I don’t just see an airplane or an avionics unit that isn’t working. I see a person with an important job to do and a problem that needs solving. It’s my job to bring all the resources of Honeywell together so we can meet the customer’s needs and get their airplane flying again. It means a lot to our customers to know that I’m in the fight with them.”
Mitch recently heard from a customer who was having their Honeywell Flight Management System upgraded on the company’s only available aircraft. For some reason, the disk containing the essential airline modifiable information (AMI) software wasn’t available for installation, so the aircraft was stuck on the ground at a maintenance center in Colorado.
Sending a physical disk could take days and jeopardize several scheduled flights, so Mitch mobilized Honeywell’s database team in Phoenix and found a way to transfer the data electronically. The whole process – from first phone call to successful download – took about two hours. The result was a very satisfied flight operations manager.
“He was delighted that the Honeywell team came through for him,” Eldridge said. “For him, it was all about knowing there was a friendly voice on the phone, knowing we cared about his problem and knowing we were mustering the right resources and get the job done. For us, it was all about teamwork and bringing together the most knowledgeable Honeywell people to meet customers’ needs. In my world, there’s no better feeling.”