Working Week: Joseph Kelly

This story is sourced from Flight International
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You recently won the gold medal in aircraft maintenance at the recent 2013 World Skills competition in Leipzig, Germany.

Briefly describe what the competition entailed?

The competition was carried out over a four-day period (22h) with six modules to be completed. The six modules were:

  • asset image Aircraft structural sheet metal repair
  • Daily inspection on a Gazelle helicopter
  • Hot section inspection on a Rolls Royce C250 turboshaft engine, using a borescope and a detailed visual inspection following removal of various components. This module also consisted of blending a compressor rotor blade in accordance with the maintenance manual
  • Rigging of an aileron flight control system
  • Aircraft component removal, inspection and installation
  • Fabrication of a typical aircraft electrical wiring circuit that included fault finding

What is your role at Transaero Engineering and what would a typical week be like?

I work as an aircraft mechanic at Transaero Engineering Ireland. We are a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility located in Shannon, Ireland. We carry out maintenance for Transaero Airlines and for many third party airlines, including passenger/cargo and VIP aircraft. Presently, we maintain Boeing 737 series, 757, 767 and 777 aircraft. I work as part of a "flexi-crew team". Every day is different in that I can be sent to any zone around the aircraft, including wings/flight controls, engines, landing gear, air conditioning, cabin interior, avionics or composites, depending on where there is a manpower requirement for that particular day. It is an excellent way to gain experience all around the aircraft.

What is your career background so far?

I started my apprenticeship in 2008. The apprenticeship is run by the Irish National Training Authority (FÁS) in conjunction with private industry and includes seven phases of training. Three of these phases are "off the job" training, carried out in facilities at FÁS Training Centre Shannon and Dublin Institute of Technology. The four other phases are "on the job" training carried out at Transaero Engineering. I qualified in September 2012.

I was selected over three years to compete in three Irish National Skills competitions, winning on two occasions. Having gone through a rigorous selection process, I was selected to represent Ireland in the skill of aircraft maintenance. I recently completed a B1 Type training course on the Boeing 767 aircraft.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in engineering?

From a young age, I had a huge interest in how machinery worked, and I showed a good mechanical aptitude when on work experience as part of our school curriculum. Having an interest in aviation, I decided to pursue a career in aircraft maintenance engineering.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I really enjoy working as an aircraft mechanic and I hope to gain more responsibilities and duties in my trade, and become experienced and knowledgeable in all zones around the aircraft. I see myself as having lots of Group1Aircraft Type ratings on my EASA B1 licence and progressing to a managerial role within Transaero Engineering Ireland.

What do you do to relax outside the job?

In my spare time, I enjoy playing hurling with my local GAA club, and following the All-Ireland Hurling and Football leagues and championships. I also like to play golf and attend social events with my family and friends.