Technician’s skills put to the test
Published: 29 Apr 2016
Avionic specialist Ros Wynne was initially attracted by an apprenticeship advert. After gaining experience on a range of Boeing types, he demonstrated his vocational expertise during a WorldSkills Competition in Brazil.
Have you always been interested in aviation?
Yes, I have always been a big fan of flying. When I saw the advertisement for an aircraft maintenance apprenticeship it immediately caught my eye, as it would enable me to learn exactly how aircraft got in the air and stayed there.
What are your qualifications?
I am an avionic technician. My experience is mainly in heavy base maintenance on the Boeing 737, 757, 767 and 777. I am in the process of applying for a B2 licence and I plan to apply for a B1 licence next year.
You recently competed in the WorldSkills Competition. What is it and how did you become involved?
The WorldSkills Competition is held every two years and is the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world. It is designed to show off your vocational skills and compete against the best in your field.
To qualify for the championship, in the aircraft maintenance category, I took part in the 2014 and 2015 Irish National Skills competition. I won the 2014 event and was invited to compete again the following year as a guest.
After this I was selected to represent Ireland in the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo, Brazil. From June to mid-August 2015, I trained intensely at the Shannon training centre. The competition itself lasted four days.
During that time, I competed in seven disciplines: sheet metal repair; flight control rigging; daily inspection of an aircraft; gas turbine engine borescope inspection and hot section inspection; gas turbine compressor inspection and blade blending and polishing; powered flying control unit removal, inspection, reassembly and rigging; and fabrication and installation of an electrical wiring loom and fault finding.
It is an experience that I will carry with me always and I know that it has helped mould and mature me, both professionally and personally.
What does your job entail?
My day-to-day work, with Ryanair, includes routine and nonroutine rectifications, servicing, inspections, troubleshooting, functional testing and especially avionic modifications. I am an avionic technician so the majority of my work is based around aircraft electrical systems.
Describe your typical day
At the moment I am working nights, so I will describe my typical night. I get up around 16:30 and leave for work at 20:00. After a quick team meeting I get started on the modification – I am currently working on an avionic modification programme. The work consists of aircraft strip-out to get access for the new wiring, wiring installation and continuity checks, aircraft rebuild and, finally, function testing of the disturbed systems. I finish at 08:00 and after a quick snack and a chat with my wife I go to bed.
“Once I get my [B2] licence I want to become a certifying engineer, and later be involved with training”
What are your ambitions?
I am in the process of applying for my B2 licence. Once I get my licence I want to become a certifying engineer on the aircraft. Later on down the line I would like to be involved with [the] training of aircraft maintenance technicians.
What activities do you do in your spare time?
I am currently working a four-days-on, four-days-off shift in England, so on my days off I am back in Ireland spending time with my wife and our puppy, going for walks or watching a film. I am a huge rugby fan, so I also try to watch as many matches as I can, especially Leinster and Ireland.
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