Spotlight on: Benedict Smith, Management Board Support Officer

With more than 60 years of engineering excellence, 2Excel Engineering’s employees are critical to ensuring our business remains flexible, agile and widely respected. Our employees allow us to redeliver aircraft on time and within budget, cementing our position as an MRO partner of choice.  

Today, we are shining the spotlight on Benedict Smith, 2Excel Engineering’s Management Board Support Officer. 

Q         What qualifications do you have? 

I have a degree in Audio Music Technology (Audio Engineering) from Anglia Ruskin University.  I am a Safety Investigator and approved Auditor.  

Q         How did you get into your industry? Why did you choose this career path? 

After university, I worked for a precision engineering company in the oil and gas industry. I then set up my own manufacturing company in the audio sector before moving to a start an aviation services company where I took the rolas Quality Manager. I worked with them for two years, developing a Part 145 compliant quality management and safety system from scratch.  

Q         What are your biggest accomplishments and challenges during your career, to date? 

My biggest accomplishment has been setting up my own company and selling my share after a year and a half of growth. I learnt so much about the business world through the process of setting up and growing a self-funded company. It helped me to learn communication and management skills that I have been able to apply in my jobs since. 

Q         How did you hear about 2Excel? And what encouraged you to apply for a job with the company? 

I knew of 2Excel as I have been flying gliders at Lasham for several years. Additionally, the company I worked for previously was a supplier to 2Excel. I joined as a Project Coordinator working on re-writing the company’s technical procedure manual. This project has evolved several times due to regulation changes and company reconfiguration.   

Q         Tell us more about your day-to-day job(s), and what this entails. 

I work with managers to help communicate and write a variety of technical documents. Recently, I have been involved with various projects to help improve 3D modelling based planning tools that the company uses for aircraft parking and hangar use. This is something that we are looking at optimising as the demand for aircraft parking continues.   

Q         Please tell us more about a particular project you’re currently working supporting and how does it fit within the wider business?  

Over the last few weeks, I have been working with our in-house calibration technician to develop a series of procedures and processes to build on our extensive capabilities. We have been looking at which tools are used most frequently to ensure that we keep calibration work inhouse to minimise the unavailability of tooling.  

Q         Please list your hobbies and interests and any professional industry groups you are a member of. 

Outside of work, I enjoy flying and cycling. I am involved in running gliding competitions around the country and am part of the team working to organise the Women’s World Gliding Championships which is being held in the UK for the first time in 2022. One of the key aims of this event is to act as an inspiration to young people who are interested in a career in aviation as well as other STEM careers.  

Q         What advice would you give to the younger generation about a career in aerospace engineering? What makes your job interesting? 

I wish that I had learnt more about options relating to apprenticeships when I was at school. I believe it’s the best way to start a career in aviation due to the variety of areas that you get the chance to experience. My job is interesting due to the wide range of projects that I get to tackle, each day presents a new challenge. One day can be spent working with a department or team to develop a new procedure, the next day I can be out on the airfield helping our ground handling team to depart an aircraft after maintenance. 

2Excel Engineering’s New Customer

2EXCEL ENGINEERING’S NEW CUSTOMER

Lasham Airfield, UK, 3 March 2021  Following the end of the Brexit Transition PeriodHampshire-based Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) 2Excel Engineering has welcomed a new customer from Europe 

The service-oriented MRO for Boeing and Airbus narrowed-body aircraft has signed a maintenance agreement with Avion Express for its Lithuanian and Maltese registered aircraftBetween February and April 2021, three Avion Express A320 and A321 aircraft will undergo deep maintenance C-Checks and up to six-year structural tasks at 2Excel Engineering’s Lasham site.  

In spite of the uncertainties of Covid-19 and Brexit, this new European customer is a welcome addition to the MRO’s growing customer base which includes lessors, private owners and airline operators from across the UK, EuropeRussia, the United States, the Middle East and Africa. 

Matt Caswell, 2Excel Engineering’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Following receipt of 2Excel Engineering’s EASA Third Country Part 145 Approval on 1 January 2021we’re delighted to welcome our first post-Brexit European operator, Avion Express, to Lasham. This is positive news for everyone on site. 

After months of turmoil dealing with the effects of the pandemic on the aviation industry, I speak for everyone at 2Excel Engineering in saying that we are delighted to have secured this ‘normal’ deep engineering work for a European operator that is still flying. Our four large aircraft bays are all very busy. 

“Weve taken delivery of the first two in a line of three Airbus aircraft from Avion Express and we’re due to complete the first input early this month after its six-year structural inspection and C-check. 2Excel Engineering is well equipped for Avion Express and similar operators which require a wide variety of work completed reliably, swiftly and well so they can get back in the air quickly, sure in the knowledge that their aircraft will stay serviceable for the long term. Thanks to our highly skilled engineers, flexible facilities and capable back shops, were able to return aircraft back to our customers repeatedly, checks completedefects rectified, on time and within budget. That’s why our customers come back to us year after year. 

We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Avion Express for many years to come.” 

About 2Excel Engineering Ltd

Since taking over the MRO business based at Lasham Airfield in Hampshire five years ago, 2Excel Engineering has been transforming it to be relevant, respected and fit for the modern world. Delivering service-oriented maintenance to operators and owners, leasing companies and governments, the Company boasts four large aircraft bays and parking for up to 30 airliners, as well as two bays for lighter aircraft (up to King Air size), excellent non-destructive testing (NDT) capabilities and a full range of back shops with highly-skilled, experienced, specialist engineers. 

Spotlight on: George Turcu

Spotlight Profile on: George Turcu Profile, 2Excel Engineering’s Compliance Manager 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, George. I moved to the UK in 2014 from Romania. Prior to Covid, I was going home monthly to visit family and friends. I have a great social circle both in both countries.

How did your career start? I have been in aviation since I finished University. I wanted to develop my horizon and explore my full potential, so in 2014 I moved to Coventry to work for Atlantic Airlines.  In 2015, the company made the decision to move some of its offices to Sweden but that did not fit my future plans, so I started to look for another role in the UK. I was then drawn to the former ATC Lasham. 

I began at Lasham just before 2Excel acquired the MRO in late 2015, and I started at 2Excel Engineering in January 2016 managing documentation for the company during the administration period. I’ve been 2Excel’s Compliance Manager ever since and I have seen a lot of great change in five years. 

Have you always been interested in Aviation? Yes. I finished university in 2004, achieving a degree in aeronautical engineering and I was put in contact with a private business that operated helicopters, working there for around eight years. I have worked in aviation since 2006 so I have been in the industry for around 15 years. 

Tell us more about your role. My role consists of continuous monitoring of the organisation level of compliance with the Aviation regulation through audits, company staff approvals and competencies; as well as keeping the organisation up to date with regulation requirements. Helping implement these requirements is a crucial part of my role. These processes ensure that 2Excel Engineering continues to run smoothly.  

For example, last year we put in place a new system which allows us to issue company authorisation to our licenced engineers and increase flexibility, suiting our company needs. This made the system paper-free and easy to use whilst continuing to keep our staff properly authorised and also migrating the entire data base into the new system.  

Due to the fluidity of staff – because of Covid’s impact on the aviation industry – I had to ensure that the organisation maintained its compliance during these difficult times and as we return to a level of normality. Rather than face-to-face sample checks, now things are done by virtual meetings, live feeds, document checks and feedback questionnaires. Additionally, staggered visits at certain locations to avoid direct physical contact.  

Now into 2021, the challenge is brought by the necessity that both our Safety and Compliance must be compatible with both UK CAA and EASA.  

Up to December 2020, I had one audit plan covering EASA requirements, but now we need to split for both authorities, and this will keep me and my colleagues in Safety and Training departments very busy… 

What are the biggest challenges for the Compliance Department? Human factors will always be the driving factor in all our activity; therefore, we work hard with our internal teams to manage and evaluate processes in order to best fit the end user. Processes and procedures, simple or complex, have to take into account the human who uses them. 

Our procedures are developed together with the shop floor workers. They are not done in an office and then just imposed on the end users. They are written and dissected to the last comma with our colleagues who will use them in the end. 

What are your 2Excel achievements? I think the biggest success is that we have kept going and at the same time have adapted. And despite all the challenges with Brexit and the pandemic, we have continually raised our standards. 

The most visible successes are the aircraft leaving from Lasham knowing that we’ve all been a cog in the system and played a part in returning that aircraft to its customer after a job well done (and safe and compliant!). 

We have only moved forward. 

2Excel bades farewell to United Airlines ‘N2301U’

2Excel bades farewell to United Airlines ‘N2301U’.

 

On the 18th February, the team at 2Excel Engineering bade farewell to ex-easyJet Airbus A319 G-EZIM, now known by its new registration N2301U. The aircraft is now en-route to the United States flown by a United Airlines crew [pictured].

As the Airbus A319 and its crew departed Lasham Airfield, a 5,260-mile journey began. The aircraft is bound for Goodyear in the USA for storage. G-EZIM is the fourth Airbus A319 being delivered from Lasham for leasing company Aircastle for onward delivery to United Airlines. 

The aircraft had originally arrived at Lasham on 17th  of August having been withdrawn from service by easyJet. It was stored until mid-November when it entered the hangar for its end of lease Maintenance Check. Following completion of the check, G-EZIM successfully performed a demonstration flight on the 21st of January for owner, Aircastle, and new operator, United Airlines. In this instance, the flight was conducted over East Anglia and included an ILS approach and go around at Norwich Airport to check that the Autoland & ILS systems were fully operational.

Within days of completion of the flight, the aircraft was re-registered by the 2Excel Engineering team, which included application of new registration markings and changes to the identity of the aircraft’s air to ground communications data.

Our team wishes the United Airlines crew a safe onward journey. 

Thank you to all those involved.

 

 

*Map is for illustration purposes only. 
 

EASA APPROVAL AND A NEW CUSTOMER FOR LASHAM’S MRO

2021 BRINGS EASA APPROVAL AND A NEW CUSTOMER FOR LASHAM’S MRO 

The New Year has undoubtedly brought more challenges with it; the MRO industry and wider aviation sector continues to battle to retain and secure its customer basesnot to mention the complications associated with the UK’s departure from the European Union. However, perseverance, flexibility and remaining agile to the changing nature of the pandemic are traits embedded in 2Excel Engineering.  

The New Year also brought some good news: The approval of 2EE’s EASA certificate.  

2Excel Engineering has held aEASA MRO Approval since the business started on the 4th of January 2016Prior to ‘Brexit’, this approval allowed 2Excel to maintain aircraft from all over Europe – or any country that accepted EASA airworthiness standards.   

Compliance Manager, George Turcu, tells us more: The impending challenge presented by ‘Brexit meant that we could have been in a situation where our only approval would restrict us to G-Registered aircraft and we may have lost the legal rights to work on other aircraft from other parts of the world, and Europe especially. 

This EASA approval has reversed this worry and we have two certificates – meaning we are now back to where we were before Brexit, our engineering capabilities remain the sameIn terms of what we can provide to our existing and new customers, nothing has changed. The approval allows us to remain on the European and global market and provide the same quality services to everyone. News we are thankful for as, even though the UK market was fruitfulwe were receiving aircraft from all over Europe and the Middle East – important markets for us. 

Last year’s EASA Audit was conducted by the UK CAA, which acted on behalf of EASA. George continues: At some point soon, we will be audited by both authorities, UK CAA and EASA themselves and a large proportion of my job will be to ensure that our organisation is ready and prepared and both audits will go smoothly. Whilst we have demonstrated our potential to UK CAA, we need to maintain and even increase our high standards of compliance to satisfy both authorities in this new situation, which can only increase our reputation on the markets. 

The EASA Approval also means that there will be no customs difficulties. The services and commercial issues between Europe and UK remain similar following the agreement – in other words, business as usual. More so, earlier this month, 2Excel Engineering welcomed its first European based customer following the end of the Brexit transition. 

Map is for illustration purposes only.  
Our scope and geographical range of approvals means our customer base is varied. 

INTRODUCING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENGINEER

INTRODUCING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENGINEER: APPRENTICES’ Q&A  

In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week 2021apprentices George Feeney [aged 20] and Luke McMurtry [aged 19], tell us more about their experience so far and what their apprenticeship means to them 

How did you hear about the 2EE apprenticeship scheme?  

GeorgeI heard about the scheme through work experience that I undertook at 2Excel Engineering back in October of 2017. 

Luke: I was at Monarch Aircraft Engineering when the company went into administration and came across 2Excel when I was researching other MROs. I also have family that work at 2Excel. 

Why are you interested in aviation engineering? 

GeorgeMy interest comes from my Grandfather who worked at Lasham for just under 40 years. 

Luke: I love a challenge and having the responsibility of getting a hard task and figuring out all the possible ways to complete it. 

What was the most interesting task you have undertaken during your apprenticeship? 

GeorgeI would say completing Avionics Modifications on 2Excel Aviation’s Boeing 727 oil spill response aircraft. It was both challenging and fun to do. Working on B727’s at Lasham has massively helped my development as a mechanic and has also helped me appreciate the systems within older aircraft. 

Luke: Structure work interests me but one of the more interesting tasks I completed was removing the fan blades off a Boeing 757 and restructuring the acoustic drum surrounding the fan blades. I did a lot of research through the AMM, AIPC and SRM to figure out all the tolerances and found out some great facts about the balance and method of manufacture of the blades and engine components. 

Have you enjoyed your time at 2Excel Engineering? If so, why? 

George: Yes, I have developed many skills and have made good friends here and I look forward to coming into work each week. 

LukeYes, I have. I have only been at 2Excel for a year, but I have been put on a range of tasks. Some are complex and time-consuming and some a lot easier but there is always work to do. Building strong relationships with the technicians and mechanics have made my time here much more enjoyable. If you remain interested and communicate clear to all colleagues, then the trust between one another stays consistent. 

What have been your main highlights during your time at 2EE? 

George: My highlight would have to be the people that I have got the chance to work with as well as the opportunity to work on aircraft and complete jobs that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. 

LukeAt the start of my time here, our colleagues and mentors would allow us to experience the fire crew procedure where you prepare for the arrival of an aircraft. You get a safe but close-up encounter of the landing, whereas at other companies, you don’t always have this privilege. Ive also been trusted to do intricate tasks and that personal responsibility is a highlight for me. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? 

George: In five years’ time, I aim to progress my career specifically by working towards my B2 licence. 

Luke: I see myself with a full B1 technician licence and on a few aircraft types leading a team of mechanics and apprentices alongside other technicians. I’m a natural leader and have a passion for aviation which means I will excel and push myself. I love diving into the unknown and that happens daily within aviation. Having the technician responsibility is a very trustworthy role and dedication will help me be the best leader I can beIn the future, I hope to have a significant role within 2Excel and work my way up. 

Who is your biggest inspiration? Who do you look up to? 

George: My biggest inspiration is my grandfather, growing up with his stories of his time at Lasham truly inspired me and helped me make the decision to follow a career in aviation. 

Luke: I look up to my parents as no matter how hard times got, they always seemed to stay calm and content, never crumbling under pressure. Becoming a technician shows all those qualities and traits that I have adopted and adapted to suit my role within aviation. I have the upmost respect for my parents and will pass that on to my peers.

Spotlight On… Wendy Ingram, Customer Account Manager

Wendy Ingram – 2Excel’s Customer Account Manager

Customer Accounts Manager Wendy Ingram is part of 2Excel’s Commercial Team, a department dedicated to customer care. We delve into the life of an account manager and what the role involves. 

Wendy’s ambition to work in aviation was inspired from a young ageshe enjoyed STEM subjects at school, and spent her earlier years as an Air Cadet and Engineering Apprentice Here’s how Wendy made her journey to 2Excel Engineering  

Wendy, tell us how you got into the industry? 
At school I enjoyed science and technology subjects (STEM) and my main hobby was as an Air Cadet, and so it was a natural progression for me to become an aircraft engineer. My school held a WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) course when I was able to hear from a range of established female engineers. I decided to join my local Further Education College on a BTEC course for Electrical Engineering after leaving school and I was lucky enough to be offered an Apprenticeship with British Airways at Heathrow in its April 1990 cohort. 

Some of the most memorable highlights during my apprenticeship were being part of a team changing an engine on Concorde, enjoying a placement within the Flight Simulator department and meeting Neil Kinnock during his election campaign – I was the Chair of the Apprentice Association at the timeMy final placement was in the B747 casualty hangar on permanent nights (tech 6), which was interesting and provided varied work in getting the aircraft ready to fly the next day.  

After completing my apprenticeship, and an HNC in Aeronautical Engineering, I had a range of roles with British Airways Engineering and British Airways. I was part of the initial Business Process re-engineering team, before moving on to being part of the Engineering communications team. I then worked to create internal processes for an engineering customer airline before becoming a maintenance planner. My final role with British Airways was in their Operations Centre (Compass Centre) as a short haul operations planner. I left British Airways in 1997 to move to Cologne as my partner moved there for work. 

I worked as an English teacher for Berlitz in Germanymoving back to the UK at the end of 1999. At this point in life, I was a mother to three children, all under three years old and life was very busy. I worked in various customer service roles at evenings and weekends while they were little. While my children were in school, I worked as a teaching assistant in a high school, gaining a BA(Hons) in Learning and Teaching 

After leaving the education sector, I joined Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) as a Prototype Build Engineer (electrical) on their Degree level Apprenticeship. I gained a Foundation Degree (FdEng) in Automotive Engineering from Coventry University. I left JLR hoping to reboot my aviation career but it wasn’t so easy; I was unable to rejoin as an Engineer because, although I have the qualifications as a time-served apprentice my skills were out of date. I was unable to find a training course to allow me to get my recency back for my aviation engineering skills because I already have level three qualifications and was unable to get an engineering role without the experienceIf I had initially trained as a teacher or a nurse then it would have been easier to find a ‘return to teaching’ or a ‘return to nursing’ course, as these professions traditionally expect people to take time out to have a family. I hope that, with the numbers of females entering engineering careers, this changes in the future. 

I was lucky enough to find the customer role with Monarch Aircraft Engineering in Birmingham, joining them in July 2017. The role combined my ‘people skills’ and my engineering background. 

I then joined 2Excel in March 2019 when Monarch went into administration. I really enjoy my role but miss hands-on engineering. I don’t have many regrets but would love to go back and stay ‘on the tools’ for long enough to have gained my licences. 

My three boys are looking to follow me into aviation, one of whom is an apprentice working with me at 2Excel. I have one son looking to join the RAF and the other has a placement on the Rolls Royce Aerospace Engineering Degree Apprenticeship in Bristol. I’m very proud of them. 

How did you hear about 2Exel?  
I met Phil Whitehead, my line manager, at one of the careers fairs organised to help Monarch staff to find new positions, this was in 2019. After visiting the Lasham site and meeting its people, I was lucky enough to be offered the role of Customer Accounts Manager.  

Describe an ‘average’ day or week 
On a day-to-day basis, I will make sure that all the data on the aircraft check is up to date from a commercial point of view. We hold a daily production meeting and I issue the notes internally and externally, attaching the materials report and the updated project plan. 

I produce a weekly report to the customer to show any additional charges incurred, then give any additional information to the customer that they need to able to authorise the charges, issuing the invoices for the additional charges. 

More widely I deal with every commercial aspect of the checks, from agreeing the initial contract, agreeing costs for individual aircraft maintenance checks through to agreeing additional charges for work added to the check, which we will sometimes look to do for a fixed price, or will otherwise give an estimate of the time that it will take. I produce contact briefs so that everyone working on the check within 2Excel understands which items are included in the fixed price, if there are any materials included in the fixed price and if there is any defect rectification included.  

Customer satisfaction and care are my top priority; and I like to ensure my customers are happy and comfortable at Lasham. 

What do you enjoy most about your role? 
I enjoy the variety. I deal with most people and departments within the company and am the interface with the customer. I really enjoy building, and maintaining, good relationships with our customers. From-time-to-time, I may need to have frank conversations with them, so having a mutually respectable relationship is key. 

I really enjoy working in an aviation environment and particularly like working at Lasham, there is a great team spirit here. 

You’re featured within the company’s new corporate video. What does this mean to you? 
I hope that it promotes the company and the excellent services that we offer. I also hope that it shows the variety of careers on offer within aviation and could maybe inspire people to consider an aviation role (or engineering more generally) as a career, it would be good to inspire younger females to consider STEM careers while they are in school and so can make the choice to study STEM subjects in post-16 education.   

 

Spotlight On… Mike Nash, Composites Shop Supervisor

Mike Nash – 2Excel’s Composites Shop Supervisor

Composites is another essential back shop used every day in an MRO. If engineers on the hangar floor find any issues with components that they are working with, the composites team will support with repairing or restructuring the material, which saves time and money for the customer.  

Mike Nash, 2Excel’s Composites Shop Supervisor, tells us about his day-to-day role and the importance of this back shop in 2Excel’s core operations. 

What is the process of the Composites Back Shop? 

If the guys in the hangar discover that there are faults with composite components, we have various composites, such as metalonmetal, fiberglass and carbon fibre structures which I repair. 

The composites back shop use multiple materials to make a whole new material. The team will use cloth, metal or resin and combine them to make something new. New materials need to be made so that the aircraft stay as current as possible. Strong, new materials reduce the stress of parts. 

It is my job to fix any faults with those materials. Jobs are never the same and it differs with every aircraft which is what I like about the job. Even if it’s the same part of an aircraft, the two repairs will be different. Usually, I get a part and I won’t know how to deal with it until I start the process, so I like the challenge. 

What do you enjoy about your job? 

I’ve done my job for so long and I don’t know anything else, but I enjoy it. My favourite aspect is working out how to do the repair. As I said, the basics are the same, but every repair is different. For example, I can cut a panel open and it could be filled with water and I would have to figure out a way to solve that issue. 

Spotlight On… Mark Eccleston, Paint Shop Supervisor

Mark Eccleston – 2Excel’s Paint Shop Supervisor

Next up in the 2Excel Engineering Back Shop series, the spotlight is focusing on our Paint Shop, which plays an important role in the overall maintenance check of an aircraft. From aircraft snagging to complete livery overhauls, the Paint Shop’s expertise and attention to detail is essential to upholding the quality of aircraft checks.

One of 2Excel Engineering’s advantages is our ability to complete tasks in-house, as opposed to outsourcing to a third party. This gives us much greater control of our outputs. The Paint Shop orders in the materials for each individual job, as different checks require different amounts and types of materials. These are stored on site, alongside the different equipment required, such as sanders, hoovers, spray guns – to name a few.

Mark Eccleston, 2Excel’s Paint Shop Supervisor, tells us more about his role and 2EE’s Paint Shop department.

Why did you get into the aviation industry?

‘I did a four-year apprenticeship which involved painting cars when I left school and after that I got into the aircraft industry. I’ve never looked back.

‘When I first started in this industry, I loved working on vintage aeroplanes such as Hurricanes, Spitfires, the lot! Then I got into this game and I’ve been here at Lasham for 28 years or so.’

Tell us a little bit more about your role.

‘If there are snags found on the aircraft and the part can be taken off the aeroplane, like flying controls for example, then they come up to the paint shop. My job is to go through the maintenance manuals and use the appropriate paints and materials to do the job.’

The Paint Shop is essential throughout the whole check. Paint material provides sharp presentation but it also affects the weight and balance of the aeroplane, which means it needs to be completely accurate, making it a very important job.

‘Image is everything; an aircraft needs to look top quality otherwise people won’t want to get on-board. Paint is used on aeroplanes for protection and prevention of corrosion. Anything with bare metal on an aeroplane is an Airworthiness problem, it has to be covered with primer and topcoat for protection.’

What do you enjoy about your job?

‘I like all of it to be honest, I do different things every day which I enjoy. At the moment, I’m doing a few touch ups but the jobs do vary from day-to-day.’

Pictured – a project in which Mark was working on recently.

Meet our new Improver Mechanics

MEET OUR NEW IMPROVER MECHANICS

2Excel Engineering (2EE) opened the hangar doors to four apprentices in 2017, the year that the company’s Apprenticeship Scheme launched. Fast-forward to autumn this year and our hardworking apprentices graduated with offers of employment.  

With support from Fareham College, a total of 16 apprentices are going through the current training scheme, with four apprentices – Cameron, Bradley, Max and Callum – graduating in October this year.  

2Excel Engineering’s CEO, Chris Norton OBE DFC, said: All four of them haveworked very hard during their training over the past three years and, even as apprentices,they’ve had a hugely positive impact on our business. On behalf of thewhole 2EE family, I wish our graduates the best of luck in their careers with us.  They all have a bright future ahead of them.’’ 

Cameron Aldridge, Callum Jeffery, Bradley Hamilton and Max Wood are now permanent, full-time employees. We spoke to our new recruits about their 2Excel Engineering journey from Apprentice to Improver Mechanic.

 A Q&A with Cameron Aldridge 

Cameron, aged 22 and from Stubbington in Hampshire, heard of our Apprenticeship Scheme through his college course at CEMAST.

Why are you interested in aviation engineering?  

I’ve always had a passion for engineering and with a new engineering college opening in my area, I took the opportunity to study it. 

What was the most interesting task you have undertaken during your apprenticeship? 

I have been involved in many different types of tasks during my apprenticeship, however if I was to choose the most interesting, I would have to say sheet metal repair jobs. 

Have you enjoyed your time at 2Excel Engineering? If so, why?  

Yes, I have enjoyed my time here because I have gained experience in each area of the company and been heavily involved in heavy maintenance tasks, which for an apprenticeship, is very rare. 

What have been your main highlights during your time at 2EE?  

‘One of my main highlights was being involved so heavily on the shop floor. Getting stuck into engine removals/installations, component changes and so on. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?  

‘I’d like to be finishing my B1 licence and progressing within the company. 

Who is your biggest inspiration? Who do you look up to?  

I always look up to people with more experience who are willing to show me the way forward and the people at 2EE have done this.’ 

Congratulations on your new roleCameron!

A Q&A with Bradley Hamilton 

Bradley, aged 21 and from Portsmouth, also heard about the scheme through his work experience at CEMAST College.  

Why are you interested in aviation engineering?   

‘I have always been interested in aircraft in general and the practical aspect of the work. The most interesting task I’ve undertaken during this apprenticeship was the spray boom attachment modification on both of the Oil Spill Response aircraft. 

Have you enjoyed your time at 2Excel Engineering? If so, why?   

‘Yes, very much. The level and range of skillset is hard to beat and learning from everyone here has been a great experience.’ 

What have been your main highlights during your time at 2EE? 

‘I’ve loved being heavily involved in big jobs and trusted in the wider skillset areas such as sheet metal work and modification.’ 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?   

‘I see myself having finished my B1 licence and gaining experience with different aircraft types.’ 

Who is your biggest inspiration? Who do you look up to?   

‘I look up to the mentors and Leadership Team that had the confidence in me as an apprentice to do work on the more technical jobs independently. I feel this has helped me massively and if I get the opportunity to become a mentor, I will teach in the same way that I have been taught.’ 

Congratulations on your new roleBradley! 

A Q&A with Max Wood 

Max, aged 21 and from Bishops Waltham, heard about the Apprenticeship Scheme whilst completing work experience at CEMAST College.  

How did you get into the aviation industry? 

Originally, I was interested in developing my understanding of how aircraft operate and over my time at 2Excel Engineering, this has developed into a desire to maintain them to allow them to fly safely. 

What has been the most interesting task you have carried out? 

‘The most interesting task I took part in during my apprenticeship was when I had the opportunity to help a team with an engine replacement on a Boeing 757. 

Have you enjoyed your time at 2Excel Engineering? Have you got any highlights? 

‘Very much so, I have been able to work on something that has always interested me and I feel I have gained a very good understanding of how the industry operates. The main highlight of my time at 2Excel has been working with a team of skilled engineers to better my skills and knowledge of the aircraft industry and how each aircraft operates. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? 

In five years’ time, I’m hoping to be well on my way to completing my modules, which will allow me to carry out large tasks with my own team of engineers. 

Congratulations on your new roleMax! 

A Q&A with Callum Jeffery 

Callum, aged 23 and from Camberley, was an employee at 2Excel Engineering and when he heard that an Apprenticeship Scheme was starting, he expressed his interest to join. Callum was the winner of our ‘Lasham Blade’ Award presented by the members of the 2Excel Leadership Team. This accolade was presented to him for his above-and-beyond commitment to his apprenticeship and to supporting the company.  

Why are you interested in aviation engineering? 

From a young age, I have always been interested in aviation and engineering. I’ve always enjoyed learning about engineering and how things work, and with my passion for aviation I knew aircraft maintenance was the career path for me. 

What was the most interesting task you have undertaken during your apprenticeship? 

The most interesting tasks I have undertaken at 2Excel are structural repairs. These tasks are so varied and unique, which has helped me gain a better understanding of aircraft structures and I’ve enjoyed carrying out these tasks. 

Have you enjoyed your time at 2Excel Engineering? 

I have really enjoyed my time at 2EE so far, I have worked with a great team of people who have supported me. 2Excel Engineering’s Apprenticeship Scheme has dedicated a lot of time and commitment to me to help me gain valuable skills, knowledge, and confidence to become an Aircraft Engineer.

My main highlights during my time at 2EE are the fun moments I’ve had working with my friends. 2Excel has a great team of people who create a fun, enjoyable work atmosphere.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? 

In five-years’ time, I’d like to progress to lead mechanic within the company and look to gain my B1 licence. 

Who is your biggest inspiration? Who do you look up to? 

I’ve always looked up to my grandad. He brought me into aviation from a young age and has always passed down lots of his aviation knowledge to me, inspiring me to follow a career path in the industry. 

Congratulations on your award and new role, Callum! 

To find out more about our Apprenticeship Scheme, visit our Careers Page.

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