Working in avionics means no day is the same, as Ed will tell you. Find out what he gets up to here at Monarch as an Avionics Technical Services Engineer! Spoiler: it involves travelling to Greenland.
Hi Ed! First off, let’s find out a bit more about you – what’s your background?
I was born in Luton and was raised in a village about 10miles form there called Harlington. I spent 16 years there until I moved back to Luton after I got an apprenticeship with Monarch. I went to Harlington Upper School which is a Specialist Science College which I really enjoyed. It turns out a lot of people from Harlington Upper School work as engineers here at MAEL!
If your friends described you in three words, they would say…
Generous, committed and caring. I am usually referred to as the one in charge – taking after my dad. I always know what we’re doing and where we going.
When did your passion for aircraft start?
My whole family works at Luton airport so it’s kind of in my blood. However I’ve always wanted to do something different, something you don’t hear of people doing every day. I started out wanting to be an electrician, but was soon on to the idea of becoming an aircraft engineer. As I wanted to be an electrician what better to do than work in avionics, the best of both worlds.
Why did you choose to work in engineering?
I enjoy tinkering, taking things apart and putting them back together. I also love cars and motorbikes especially, I ride my Yamaha MT-07 every day to work and back. This said, I thought I could take on the challenge of working on aircraft – it’s a different level of engineering, the tolerances worked to are within thousands of an inch! My apprenticeship certainly pushed my boundaries, but I enjoyed every minute of it and I’m glad I did it.
What made you want to work for Monarch?
My auntie was cabin crew for Monarch at the time I expressed my interest in the aviation industry, so she got me an application form to apply for the company’s apprenticeship scheme. I had looked around at other companies, but Monarch has been commended for their apprenticeship scheme and has been taking on apprentices for 40 years or so. I ended up only applying for Monarch, as I only wanted to get an apprenticeship here. Thankfully, I got it.
How long have you been working for Monarch?
I have worked for Monarch for nearly 7 years. I completed my four years’ worth of apprenticeship which I loved; when I finished all the apprenticeship graduates including myself were offered jobs at the newly-opened Birmingham hangar, which at the time didn’t suit me. It was while on an ‘A’ license module course at the training school that I saw the Technical Services role advertised. Having some of the engineers moving up to the department in my final year of my apprenticeship made me interested to see what it was all about. I knew they had taken on a trainee in the past so I applied and the rest, as they say, is history.
What does your day-to-day job consist of?
My day to day role consists of an enormous amount of work. It can be anything from assessing publications for Service Bulletins to Airworthiness Directives for some of our many customers, to troubleshooting aircraft issues, to speaking to manufacturers or vendors. We also have a long list of other work items we have to monitor – some of these being user-loadable software, coding and registering Emergency Locator Transmitters, controlling modification statuses, providing assistance in flight safety investigations, monitoring defects, reliability analysis, support to aircraft on ground and many more. Also answering any issues our customers may have. As you can tell a lot of work goes on! There are 16 Technical Services Engineers on my floor with the same workload as me, if not more on some days. The workload can change from day to day, I am never doing the same thing. This is a busy and exciting time to be a Technical Services Engineer at MAEL.
What are some of your best memories from travelling on the job?
I’d say the best memory from travelling with work was travelling to Greenland. It was a trip of a lifetime! How many people can say that? I have been to many places but Greenland sticks out. Between jobs we went fishing, saw an iceberg, got bitten by small birds (not so fun), drank local beer and I was inside the Arctic Circle!
What are some of the challenges of the job?
The main challenge of this role is keeping on top of the massive workload! There is so much to do and my to-do list is usually jam-packed with items. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy being busy, I find if you’re busy throughout the day it goes quicker. Plus I really do enjoy my job which makes the day go even faster!
What gives you the most satisfaction in the job?
The most satisfying part of my job is seeing the aircraft fly overhead. Knowing how much time and effort that goes on behind closed doors in Technical Services is great, the engineers do a great job but it isn’t without help.
What keeps you motivated to enjoy your job?
What keeps me motivated to enjoy my job is literally enjoying my job. It’s never hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. We also have a good bunch of guys and gals up here and that helps to. I work with a fantastic bunch of people and enjoy every minute of it.
What do you love the most about it?
It’s hard to narrow it down to one thing, so here are two reasons. One of the things I love most about being a Technical Services Engineer is the challenge, no two jobs are exactly the same. The second thing is the travel, it’s a dream of mine to see the world and travel to do something I enjoy and getting paid for it, is quality! I have been travelling a lot recently but being a young man with no family of my own or commitments it’s easy for me to drop what I am doing and go. Next week I will be going to a new destination, Zurich, which I am really excited about. It’s for a C Check (a big aircraft maintenance check) on one of the aircraft that I look after, and I will be providing onsite support.
What are some of your proudest achievements?
My proudest achievement…so far is completing my apprenticeship! I worked hard for four years but it is paying off now. I really enjoyed it and it was made a breeze by the engineers that I worked with in the Luton facility. I am thankful for their support, they were brilliant. Also a big thanks to my colleagues Jay O’Brien and Jeff Brewer for putting up with me for four years!
Any advice for those thinking or pursuing a career similar to yours?
Absolutely!! Work hard in school, enjoy what you’re doing, and take life as it comes.
Thank you for your time Ed! Now to finish the interview off…tell me a fun fact about you!
Fun fact about me…I am always happy. You will be hard pushed to find me in a bad mood. Also I enjoy going to watch the England cricket team in fancy dress!