Felix D Chanez
Felix Desmond Chanez, known to family and friends as Desi, Des, or Felix, passed away unexpectedly in Tacoma, WA on December 17, 2017 at 57 years of age.
Born in El Paso, TX, he moved with his family to El Segundo, CA where he attended school. When he was 12, his family moved to Burien, WA where he later attended Evergreen High School and graduated in 1978. He joined the Army after graduating high school and lived in Germany, where he was a Crew Chief for UH-1H helicopters.
He loved his time in Germany, living on the base with friends, riding his bicycle all over the countryside, staying in youth hostels, and most of all flying in his helicopter. He was extremely proud of his service to our country. One of his favorite memories was seeing Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin and visiting Amsterdam, Germany and France with his parents and family friends.
When his tour of duty was over, he attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University then returned to Central Washington University to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Maintenance Management with a minor in Industrial Relations. Des joined the Boeing Company as a Manufacturing Engineer at the Seattle Flight Test facility and was later accepted into the Boeing Customer Service Maintenance Training organization as a 737 instructor/developer. He trained airline customers in the classroom, simulator, and on aircraft, both domestically and abroad. In 1989 Des gained airline operations experience at USAir airlines as a 737 Maintenance Instructor. He participated with groups from Boeing and Hughes Aerospace in several Instructional System Design projects, managed Human Factors projects with self-directed work teams, and developed Task Oriented Training modules for maintenance flight line operations.
In 1996, Des returned to Boeing’s Customer training group as a 777 Maintenance Training Senior Instructor. He taught the operation of many of the 777's systems. During this time FlightSafety Boeing Training International was formed (became Alteon, now Flight Services) and Des transferred to the new company and eventually became a 757/767 Flight Training Instructor, conducting ground school training. He was asked to join the corporate staff as the Project Manager for a new 20 simulator-bay, training center in Miami, Florida. Des also served as the Sr. Manager of Regulatory Affairs, where he managed the regulatory approval documents (Federal Aviation Authority Operations Specifications, Joint Aviation Authority Exposition, Transport Canada Civil Aviation Training Program Manual, etc.). He was responsible for implementing and registering the Quality Management System at Alteon to the ISO 9001 standard. Des also supervised the implementation of the company’s Internal Evaluation Program in an effort to normalize Alteon training center operations and satisfy several National Aviation Authority regulatory requirements. As an ISO 9001 lead auditor, he supervised audit teams as they conducted compliance assessments throughout the global network of training centers.
During his last assignment within Boeing Commercial Aviation Services (CAS), Des implemented Environmental Management Systems at two CAS sites and successfully registered them to the ISO 14001 international standard. He also stood-up a CAS wide Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHS-MS) which was demonstrated to be compliant with the OHSAS 18001 international standard. In 2014 Des co-authored a Boeing Technical Journal article “Improving Boeing Safety Management Systems (SMSs) Based on a Systems Approach”. He was last working in the Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Regulatory & Quality System Oversight (RQSO) group as the BCA Aviation Safety Management System (SMS) Sr. Quality Specialist and Boeing Designated Expert (BDE) on Aviation SMS. Des’ knowledge, expertise, and contacts within Boeing, the FAA, and the airline industry were invaluable. He also enjoyed the privileges of holding an FAA Mechanic’s license with Airframe and Powerplant ratings, a Commercial Pilot’s license with Instrument, Multi-Engine, and 737 Type Ratings, and he was a certified flight instructor.
Des’ passion was flying. From an early age, he became an air explorer. He flew glider and experimental planes and took flying lessons that he paid for himself. He earned his private pilot license and his instructor pilot rating. He would fly his high school friends to San Juan Island for fun. While he was working for USAir in Winston-Salem, NC, he would take his friends flying over the Piedmont area. That is where he met his future wife Annette Brouwers, who worked at USAir in the accounting department. Des was most proud of earning his 737 type rating and was ready to take over the controls if a flight attendant ever got on the PA and said: “Is there a pilot on board? We need you to fly the plane.”
Des found his forever love with Annette and they married in 1997 and were blessed by the birth of their daughter Emily in 2001. He enjoyed 20 years of marriage and 16 years watching his beautiful daughter grow up. In those years were trips to Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica, sports events, numerous school concerts and more recently plays and musicals at school and at the Puyallup Children’s Theater. Whenever he spoke of Emily, his face would light up, showing his delight and his awe of having been blessed with her as his daughter. He was so proud of Emily’s accomplishments and the young woman she has become.
Des lived his life with joy and viewed the world with a sunny disposition. He loved being with family and friends and would do anything for anyone in need. He thought “if you’re not having fun, you’re not living!”
Des is survived by his wife Annette and daughter Emily, parents Gene and Ruth, brothers Richard and Jaime, sister Denise, nephews and nieces (by age) Cecil, Kamille, Hank, Kara, Mika, Jacquelyn, Ryan, and Nicholas, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and many, many dear friends. He will be missed by all.
A memorial service will be held Thursday January 18, 2018 at 4:00 PM, at the St. Bernadette Parish in Burien. The address is 1028 128th Street, Seattle, WA 98146.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Desi Chanez Memorial Flight Scholarship fund at the service.