Maintaining the highest standards
Published: 15 Jan 2018
Business aviation engineering specialist Flying Colours is used to dealing with demanding clients, and director of maintenance Trevor Knox has the task of ensuring the company makes good on its promises.
What inspired you to work in aviation?
I always wanted to be an aviator but started later than most. My first job was with a small cargo company that I worked for while attending my aircraft maintenance course. This allowed me to practice in real time what I had learned in class. After I had graduated from that course, I was taken on by an airfreight company in Montreal, which put me at the heart of Canadian aviation. I was exposed to and worked on many different types, from small turboprops to larger jets. It meant long days, and sometimes nights too, but I loved it. From these humble beginnings, I now hold nine aircraft type endorsements on my aircraft maintenance engineer licence, as well as a Transport Canada and US Federal Aviation Administration airframe and/or powerplant certificate.
How has your career evolved?
After the experience in cargo operations, I moved on to air ambulance services and then into the business jet realm – my preferred environment. I simply worked my way up through the ranks while also taking an interest in the aircraft management business. The genuine interest in the business made career progression smoother. I also found that I enjoyed working directly with customers and owners. Sometimes it can be tough when issues arise, but it can also be very rewarding to see a project through from start to finish. It’s even more satisfying delivering the completed project to a happy customer.
What do you enjoy about your work?
I have travelled globally in my customer-facing roles and still enjoy working in a business that is truly international in outlook. Flying Colours offers the sector a full range of nose-to-tail services that are completed to the highest standards. Working with a company that welcomes challenges and always finds a solution is really stimulating. This makes me proud to be part of the team. We’re engaged with the customer; will travel to them when they need us, and will always think outside the box to find the solution.
What does your working week typically look like?
Each day begins with a meeting with the maintenance crew to review where we are on each project. Higher-level meetings discuss issues and solutions, timelines and budgets. Much of the week is spent appraising project deadlines, any issues that may arise and ensuring we are maintaining the highest standards. Flying Colours invests heavily in training too, so I like to make sure the team remains current with what the sector needs in terms of skills.
What are the challenges for this aircraft maintenance niche?
Aircraft technology is an ever changing landscape. Crews always like to work with the latest technology in the cockpit for flight safety and flight operations. The principal wants the latest in connectivity, entertainment and comfort, so keeping current is essential to stay competitive. We pride ourselves in delivering on time and on budget and that can occasionally be challenging. Clients can change their minds midway through a programme and that can cause some issues, so managing customer expectations is important.
What plans do you have at Flying Colours?
We are an expanding business, so recruitment of the correct people with the right skill-set requires planning. Then we have to train them. My aim is to ensure that we maintain our high levels of service using the latest technologies. This will give us the best tools to fulfil our customer requirements. At the back of my mind I’m always thinking about this, because we are known for our quality. This pretty much drives all my plans for future maintenance development.