How I got where I am today: Helicopter engineer
Published: 05 Dec 2014
John joined Bond as a storeman in 1989. Today he is a licensed helicopter engineer and leads one of the skilled teams charged with ensuring Bond Offshore helicopter’s fleet of aircraft remain fully maintained, safe and ready to fly.
What did you want to be when you were young?
I always wanted to work in engineering and for a while considered joining the Royal Air Force as an airframe mechanic.
What are the main career stepping stones you have taken?
After leaving school I had a few different jobs before moving to Bond as a storeman. That was where I found myself working in the same environment as the helicopter engineers. When I saw what they were doing and how their teams kept such complex machines at peak condition, I knew I wanted to be part of it.
So I made sure everyone knew I was interested in engineering and after a few years in the storeroom I was lucky enough and persistent enough to get the opportunity to move into engineering. I spent the next few years following experienced and licensed engineers and learning about the industry and all the rules and regulations that govern our work before embarking on the road to becoming a qualified engineer myself.
What would you count as your best achievement so far?
It took years of hard work and study, but passing my exams and becoming licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority to oversee maintenance on helicopters including the AS332L2, the EC225 and the S-92 was a great moment for me. Working as part of the team that keeps these great aircraft safe and ready to fly is fantastic.
Is there anything you would do differently?
I took the scenic route to becoming an engineer, so it would have been useful to have embarked on my qualifications earlier, but it showed me that with hard work and dedication and a supportive family and employer you can get what you’re looking for.
What motivates you?
The team I work with are a great bunch. We all recognise the huge responsibility on us to do the best job we can at all times so it’s a really supportive atmosphere. Our helicopters transport hundreds of men and women offshore every day and it’s great knowing I play even a small role in the UK’s critical oil and gas industry. We work in a closely monitored and regulated field and we’re all proud to keep every Bond Offshore flight safe and dependable.
What's your best career advice?
Engineers should look for a company which recognises their ambition and talents. Bond has supported me at every step and I’m proud to be a part of the company. Also, engineers, particularly experienced and licensed engineers, should look for an employer that rewards teamwork and encourages responsible performance. Everyone is responsible for keeping things safe and knowing you can trust every member of your team to do their very best is so important.
Is there a time in your career you miss most?
I’m thankful that I have been able to progress exactly as I wanted to, so every step has been in the right direction.
What have you actively tried to avoid in your career?
Desks. I love being hands-on and working alongside my teammates. I don’t want to move into management any time soon.
Who's been your greatest influence?
My wife, Pamela. It takes a lot of time and effort to study for the engineering exams and she made sure I put the effort in. Without her help and support I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
What’s your dream job?
I'd like to dabble in property development, although I think I’ll stick to helicopters.