UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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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.

Spotlight On… Ryan Langley, Calibration Engineer

Job role: Calibration Engineer Trainee

The 2Excel Engineering Calibration Back Shop is integral to supporting the engineers working on the hangar floor to ultimately ensure aircraft is released to customers on time. 

The Calibration team enables the engineers to have access to equipment and tools needed to complete repair and maintenance tasks. Crucially, the team oversees that this equipment is performing to the highest standard and reads the correct measurements to ensure that the engineers can do their job accurately.

 We caught up with Calibration Engineer Trainee, Ryan Langley, about his role and the department:

‘I joined 2Excel in November 2017, but I started with Calibration at the end of March this year. Recently, I’ve been busy with lifting and GSE (Ground Safety Equipment) inspections as well as Aircraft Jacks. Due to COVID-19, I’ve also been doing some online training, but I’m looking forward to attending training courses when permitted.  I enjoy learning on the job and I’m enjoying my role so far but there’s a lot to learn. I have great support from the Avionics team, and our COO Matt Caswell. 

‘Calibration, in our line of work, means measurement. For example, you have to make sure that the torque wrenches are reading exactly the same as what they are expected to be, gauges need to be incredibly accurate and we make sure they are not reading anything different to what they should be. As part of my role, I will check our equipment is reading correctly because for example, if someone over-tightens a bolt on an aircraft this could cause damage later on.

It’s only when we’re 100% satisfied with the tool that we will release it to the engineers. If a tool isn’t reading correctly, then it will be either fixed on site, sent off for repair or replaced by a new tool.’

The department is kept busy as an abundance of engineers will be in and out every day, therefore the Calibration team ensures that the tooling is prepped and ready to go, quickly and safely.

‘My day can be a mix of tasks. Most recently, I’ve been calibrating our crimp tools which is what the Avionics guys use for wiring modifications or loom manufacture. My job is to make sure that they’re performing as they should be. Given the different types of aircraft that we work on, the equipment is diverse and there’s lot of it. The process has to be meticulous.’

Find out about our current vacancies on our career page: https://www.2excelengineering.com/careers/

Spotlight On… Pete Dawson, 2Excel Engineer

Job role: B1 Aircraft Mechanic (airframe & engines)

I’ve always had a passion for aviation since I was a child so a career within the industry just made sense. I studied at Farnborough College before taking on a four-year Apprenticeship Scheme here at Lasham. I started with the company almost five years ago and I’ve enjoyed every moment and opportunity. I’ve seen the company grow and excel and it is an honour to be a part of the team at Lasham. As soon as 2EE began its journey at Lasham, I was on the phone wanting to continue my career in the aviation industry to further my skills, and I’m now a skilled Aircraft Mechanic.

In terms of my role and my average day, I conduct in-depth maintenance on narrow body aircraft. This can be everything from changing fasteners to departing aircraft after scheduled maintenance. The maintenance we perform is unique to any other maintenance organisation because of how heavy our checks can be.

There’s a lot that I enjoy about my work. I really enjoy how different and diverse the job can be. One day I could be changing an engine on an A320 and the next, I could be doing routine maintenance on a landing gear of a Boeing 757. The people you work with in aviation and especially at 2EE form a family environment and that makes the job even better. I’m a very motivated individual who is always striving to be better and I hope to move to the next stage in my career in the very near future.

 Pete, tell us something about your life outside of work.

I love the gym! I tend to work out 5-6 times a week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I’ve also featured in a few films in previous years as part of my hobby of acting, so being asked to feature in a company video means a lot. For 2EE to showcase me and my role feels rewarding.

Find out about our current vacancies on our career page: https://www.2excelengineering.com/careers/ 

 

2Excel Engineering apprentices offered employment

PRESS RELEASE

Lasham Airfield, Hampshire2Excel Engineering is investing in the future of the UK’s vital aviation and aerospace industry by offering its final-year graduates ongoing employment, giving them the opportunity to continue their careers with the business 

The Alton-based Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) engineering company, which is part of aviation group, 2Excel, welcomed the apprentices in 2017 when the scheme was launched. With support from Fareham College, a total of 17 apprentices are going through the training scheme, with four apprentices graduating this week 

Employment at the end of the Apprenticeship Scheme was not guaranteed, but Cameron Aldridge, Callum Jeffery, Bradley Hamilton and Max Wood are graduating with offers of an ‘Improver Aircraft Mechanic’ role, giving them the opportunity to remain employed by 2Excel Engineering and apply for Aircraft Mechanic vacancies when these become available.     

2Excel Engineering’s CEO, Chris Norton OBE DFC, said: ‘‘It’s with great pleasure that 2Excel Engineering (2EE) has been able to offer employment contracts to all of our Year 3 apprenticesAll four of them have worked very hard during their training over the past three years and, even as apprentices, they’ve had a hugely positive impact on our business.   

‘‘With 2EE’s six aircraft bays and numerous specialist back shops, we’ve been able to give them very varied, hands-on, practical experience. They’ve had insight into all aspects of aircraft engineering, from small commuter class aircraft to a wide range of narrow body airliner repairs such as avionics installation and interiors refurbishment as well as the supporting departments of a busy MRO.” 

‘‘The 2EE Apprenticeship Scheme is crucial to the to the long-term resilience of the Company and we’re pleased to announce we’re able to continue with it, despite having to deal with such a turbulent year across the entire aviation industry. We have a particularly talented team here at Lasham and, I believe it’s incredibly important to practically support the STEM subjects for our youth. On behalf the whole 2EE family, I wish our graduates the best of luck in their careers with us.  They all have a bright future ahead of them.’’ 

Callum Jeffery was presented with an additional accolade by members of the 2Excel Leadership Team, winning the ‘Lasham Blade’ Trophy, for his above-and-beyond commitment to his apprenticeship and to supporting the Company.

Apprentice, Callum Jeffery, said: ‘‘I’ve always enjoyed learning about engineering and how things work and with my passion for aviation, I knew that aircraft maintenance was the career path for me. 

I’ve undertaken lots of different tasks during my apprenticeship but I particularly liked structural repairs. These tasks are so varied and unique, which has helped me gain a better understanding of aircraft structures. In time, I’d like to progress to lead mechanic within the company and look to gain my B1 licence. 

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

 

Building on a respected legacy of 60 years, 2Excel Engineering acquired the MRO business out of administration in late 2015. With a rich heritage to build on, 2Excel Engineering has gone from strength-to-strength growing by 500% in 5 years. The year after the acquisition, the team looked to Fareham College to support the running of a new apprenticeship scheme, which will continue to run, with further apprentices due to graduate in autumn 2021 and autumn 2022.  

Louise Holland of Fareham College said: “Fareham College’s Business Plus Team is delighted to continue to work with 2Excel. Delivering training to this group of apprentices has been an honour. The apprentices have attended CEMAST and worked with our Professional Coaches in their workplace to achieve their full Apprenticeship programme. During lockdown, successful remote delivery ensured achievement and that their Graduation was possible. With the next two groups underway, we look forward to celebrating future Graduations.” 

 

New Airbus Training Course introduced at 2Excel Engineering

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.’

Back Shops Series: Cabin Interiors

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. 

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