2Excel Engineering’s Airbus A320 training course commenced in August and is the first Airbus course for the company. 2EE Licensed Technician, Nick Jeffery, shares his experience on the course so far…
‘I’ve been at 2Excel Engineering for 18 months and I’m enjoying my time working for the company. I do have quite a lot of Airbus experience from my previous jobs working on larger aircraft for Virgin Atlantic and Airtanker. And, I currently have a B1 licence on the Boeing 737 NG.
‘As an engineer, the requirement is to do a different Type Course for each individual aircraft that we service. For example, the B737 Classic is a separate type course to the NG. The B727, B757 and A320 are all completely separate courses. So, it’ll be great to have this qualification; I’m keen to continue my professional learning and training and this course is supporting me in doing that.
‘The course allows you to hold a B1 or B2 type rating depending on the licence you hold and we have to sit through both sides (mechanical and electrical). But, we can only sign off work if we hold that specific licence. The course itself is based on an A320 aircraft type, which covers the B1 and B2 aspects of the aircraft. B1 licensed engineers predominantly deal with the mechanical parts of the aircraft whilst B2 licence is the electrical side.
‘Last week, we covered all the basic structures and the electrical power generation. At the moment, we are working on flight controls. We have exams at the end of each week which, for me, is the biggest challenge that the course presents. The course is carried out on site at Lasham during the day and finishes anywhere between 3pm and 4:45pm, which allows the trainees time to review what they have covered and revise it.’
‘This particular course would give me the A320 family type-rating on my licence. Therefore, I will be certified for tasks on an A320, which is a great opportunity for me, for the Company and our customers.’
The Cabin Interiors department, previously known as Upholstery has had a recent rebranding to better reflect its full capabilities. The new title clarifies the various work that this back shop regularly completes. Cabin Interiors support aircraft maintenance checks by ensuring that the interior work is of the highest possible standard.
When an aircraft comes in, Cabin Interiors liaise with the relevant Crew Chief to learn what interior work needs to be done. Often, it is the removal of seats or carpets but, jobs differ with every aircraft.
Cabin Interiors Supervisor Dave Lewis tells us more.
“Our job is to focus on adjusting, fixing or replacing anything on the inside of the aircraft,” he says.
Carpets, linos, seats, ceiling panels, trays and lavatories are just a handful of features that the back shop works on. Many of the tasks are done off the aircraft in the back shops themselves. Seats and other equipment are usually transferred to the back shop to complete a full service before being loaded back onto the aircraft. These jobs require a detailed visual inspection (DVI), which involves taking a very close look at the intricate structures to ensure that specific defects can be corrected. This can often involve a lot of material!
‘In carpet binding, there are 5,000m per roll and on average, we use five to six rolls a day’, explains Dave.
The team need to have a good eye for detail as quality and finish are crucial. Organisation is key as labelling needs to be accurate to ensure pieces are reassembled correctly.
Dave continues: ‘Cabin Interiors provide a visual aspect of what the customer is paying for. We often get very good reviews on the visual work and we pride ourselves on the presentation. Finish is everything! Recently, a TAG aircraft came in with VIP seats – we had to dismantle them to remove them from the aircraft and dismantle them again to fit them into crates. They were very pleased with our effort, as we treated them with a lot of care as we always do. The satisfaction comes from finishing the job and seeing that the customer is happy.’
For a small department, Cabin Interiors contributes a quick and efficient service working around the timeframes of the aircraft work package.
‘Nothing is impossible. We will always go the extra mile to ensure the customer is accommodated. Although, we are sometimes limited due to paperwork and manuals. If it is legitimate and safe, we will always cater to the customer’s needs,’ Dave adds.
Today, 19th August, a community of people from across the globe are celebrating World Photo Day with the aim of inspiring positive change across the world.
The 2Excel Group (which includes 2Excel Engineering and 2Excel Aviation) prides itself on driving positive change across its many business divisions, from habitat mapping and oil spill response, to empowering women within the aviation and engineering industry.
Through sharing our own photos, we hope to raise awareness, connect with our own communities and inspire others – and positive change.
These are our highlights:
2Excel Engineering, a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul organisation – the sister company to 2Excel Aviation, is encouraging female engineers and technicians to join the industry:
2Excel Engineering is proud to celebrate the women in their workforce. From engineers like Maria Arnau pictured above, to customer and admin support and apprenticeships, women play a big role in 2Excel Engineering.
2Excel’s Aerobatic Team, the Blades, has been celebrating International Women’s Day for the past four years through connecting with younger people – no matter their gender – to inspire and encourage them to think about careers in the aviation industry.
The Department for Transport attended the day and produced a short video which can be found on their LinkedIn here.
This annual event is led by the team’s only female pilot and Department for Transport Ambassador, Kirsty Murphy. The event welcomed a variety of young students and a panel of inspirational women. The agenda was focussed on sharing knowledge and experiences. The ultimate goal – to inspire young people to aspire to anything they want to.
2Excel Geo, the remote sensing arm of the company, maps oil spills off the English Coast:
In June 2017, OSRL and Special Missions invited 2Excel Geo to participate in a complex oil on water trial. This involved the controlled spill and subsequent dispersal of 500 litres of Weald Basin crude oil off the English coast. The trial involved surface vessels, above and below water unmanned vehicles, tethered balloons, airborne (UKCS and Geo) and space platforms. The objective for Geo was to assess the utility of hyperspectral imagery to map and characterise the oil spill.
Help us break down the gender barriers today, and beyond, and share our photo highlights.
#WorldPhotoDay #2Excel #PositiveChange
We’re extremely proud to announce that 2Excel Aviation and its co-founding company director, Captain Chris Norton OBE, have been shortlisted for ‘Employer of the Year’ and the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ respectively in the annual British Ex-Forces in Business Award.
The Ex-Forces in Business Awards are the world’s largest celebration of ex-military people in second careers. They recognise the value veterans add to businesses as well as the employers that support the transition of servicemen and women.
Business leader Chris spent more than two decades in the Royal Air Force, flying numerous operational tours, and was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross and an OBE for his front-line service. His Service career culminated in two tours in Whitehall, where he developed Ministry of Defence strategic plans, initially for the Royal Air Force and then for all three Services. On leaving the RAF in 2006, Chris used his nascent entrepreneurial skills to set about an ambitious plan to start a company specialising in complex aviation projects that others shied away from.
Chris, who holds two positions within 2Excel, has predominantly focused his time over the past four years developing and modernising the former ATC Lasham MRO, after it went into administration. Now operating as 2Excel Engineering, the company delivers deep engineering maintenance, modification and repair services to narrow-body Boeing and Airbus owners and operators.
Entrepreneur Chris has held numerous roles in the business. He been one of 2Excel’s pilots, its Operations Director, its Quality Manager, its Business Commercial Director and is its Accountable Manager (responsible for its regulatory compliance, its safety and its viability as a business). As a Board Director, he sets 2Excel’s vision and strategic direction, resources its plans and develops and controls 2Excel’s oversight, operational and supporting processes. Unwilling to let innovation go completely, he still develops some of its more unusual lines of business and, when no-one else is looking, he still flies. He has developed a range of cutting-edge capabilities to deliver innovative contract-air services to Government, the Defence and Security Industrial Base, the Oil and Gas Industry and agriculture.
Director and Accountable Manager, Chris Norton, said: ‘‘Thirty-percent of our workforce has a military background; from our pilots to our engineers. 2Excel is a company that recognises the talent and expertise that military experience can bring to a business and therefore, the economy.
‘‘Within our Special Missions business stream, we recently won a contract to deliver a fixed–wing Search & Rescue service for the UK Government and actively targeted service leavers and ex-service personnel who were already in industry during the recruitment campaign because we recognised the need for highly-skilled pilots and systems operators to deliver this contract.
‘‘We’re committed to promoting within and using our people across the business as much as we can, and this has proved a successful strategy as we continue to win contracts against bigger competitors.
‘‘Personally, I’m very proud to see 2Excel in the shortlist as we’ve worked very hard for a long time and everyone deserves this type of recognition. To be shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement Award is also an honour. When I started this company with my co-founders, the vision was to launch an innovative aviation company where ex-forces could use their military skills and progress within industry and business. We have achieved this.’’
For more information about the awards, visit https://exforcesinbusiness.co.uk/
For further information, please contact:
Head of Communications, 2Excel Engineering
+44 (0) 7753 464 637
(Updated 18 March 2020)
2Excel continues to closely monitor official sources about the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and we want to ensure all our staff, customers and other stakeholders are kept informed about the actions we have taken so far.
Dealing with the effects of Coronavirus is our number one priority. Our Senior Leadership Teams are developing and implementing actions that will mitigate the challenges to our business from the spread of the virus. Our ethos is built on agility, strength and courage and we are proactively managing our risks.
Firstly, we have re-assessed our policies and we believe they are all clear and fit for purpose, including in the light of Covid-19. As the situation evolves, we will update those policies as necessary, in line with UK Government advice.
At the start of the crisis, we stood up a Pandemic Management Team – which is in constant contact and includes our operational managers – to make appropriate business and risk management decisions. This ensures we have the very latest information and advice provided by the UK Government, including the NHS and Public Health England.
In this fast-changing situation there are multiple sources of guidance, but we are basing our decisions solely on the official UK Government advice. Our Pandemic Management Team are reacting rapidly, providing regular updates to all our staff as soon as practically possible.
We communicate directly with our staff via email and, where appropriate, additional information is passed down the existing management chains. Printed hard copies are made available in crew rooms, tea rooms etc.
We have already posted advice notices provided by the UK Government around all our sites with the official NHS recommendations on cleanliness, including hand washing. And we are reminding staff that that anyone suffering from the most common Coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature – however mild – should immediately self-isolate themselves for seven days. This will protect others in the community against infection.
Since UK Government advice was updated on 16 March 2020 for everyone in the UK to ‘stop non-essential contact with others’ and ‘stop all unnecessary travel’, only essential personnel are working at our premises. Those that can work from home are now doing so, with all non-essential visits to our sites cancelled. Where possible, we are looking to conduct business via virtual meetings or conference calls to reduce the risk of spreading infection.
So that we can continue with normal business as best we possibly can and to take care of our people, many of whom are unable to work from home due to the nature of their roles, we have increased cleaning of our sites and are providing anti-bacterial hand gels and other materials.
Together we will get through this incredibly challenging period and we thank all our staff, customers and suppliers for their patience, hard work and understanding at this time.
Just before Christmas 2015, 2Excel Aviation bought the business of ATC Lasham – an MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul company) that had very recently gone into administration. With this came a host of challenges, including a depleted labour force, but most importantly a struggling reputation.
In the past four years, ATC Lasham, now known as 2Excel Engineering (2EE), has had significant boosts to the business, customer relationships are far improved, and staff morale has seen a definite increase. We invested in the 43 staff that remained when it took over, with pay rises, funding for training and investment in the site’s facilities. And, we recognised the importance of investing in people because, in return, they invest themselves into the company.
As a result, we are proud to be supporting an apprenticeship scheme for a third year. Around 10 apprentices join us each year for the three-year programme, learning the ropes of being an aeronautical engineer, living and breathing the heritage and expertise of the site and its people.
This is how is how we do it…
To select our apprentices, we operate a feeder programme in the form of a series of week-long work placements for local colleges and organisations that offer Aeronautical Engineering (or similar) in their syllabus. This week we caught up with Josh and Kim, who are both completing their Level 3 Aeronautical Engineering course at Fareham, and Farnborough college.
Josh said: “I was encouraged to apply to the 2Excel apprenticeship scheme rather than the big airlines from a mentor, because at 2EE you get chucked in straight away, and because of the variation in the apprenticeship scheme.
“I’ve always had a passion for engineering, which stemmed from my dad’s love of steam-locomotives, and at the age of 12 I flew a flight simulator at Farnborough – and that’s what inspired me to work with planes.
“I’m really enjoying the work experience week at 2EE because I’m getting to experience so much that we don’t get taught in the classroom. I’m currently working on a Boeing 737, swapping components from an old engine to the new one, working with the ‘sparkies’. I’ve liked this area so much that I’m now thinking about specialising in engines.”
Kim spoke about her aspirations: “I’m looking to secure an apprenticeship place for September with 2EE so I was really keen to have a work experience week here.
“My love of aviation came from going to Bournemouth airshow with my family when I was younger, but it wasn’t until I got my first car that I realised I was interested in the engineering side of things.
“I’ve loved the hands-on aspect at 2EE because I’ve been given responsibility and trust from the start of the week. It’s been awesome learning as much as I can and having a different mentor each day means I get to see all the varied work.”
Josh and Kim will find out in April if they have been successful in attaining a place on the 2EE’s Apprenticeship Scheme for 2020, where they could take the next steps to becoming fully-fledged Aeronautical Engineers.