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.