So, a brief introduction. I’m a 27 year old, aircraft technician and private pilot. Ever since I was a young lad, I’ve suffered from underlying aerosexual tendencies. These tendencies are now manifesting themselves into an irrational need to spend tens of thousands of hard earned euros on an uncertain career.
When I left school, I knew that I wanted to fly for a living someday, but I also was fully aware of the fact that I had no money to pay for a license. At the time there was also no form of airline cadetships, so the only option was self-funded. Which as already discussed, wasn’t an option.
I figured, that since I also had a keen interest in mechanics and generally liked using my hands, that I’d try to get into aircraft maintenance. I initially attempted to get into this line of work through a course at the Carlow Institute of Technology, in Ireland. But, it became quite clear early on, with the course in its infancy and not really in tune with the requirements of the aircraft maintenance industry. It was pretty clear, that this wasn’t the route to a job in aircraft maintenance.
Myself and another class mate, towards the end of our first year in Carlow, then applied to an add in an Irish newspaper for Aircraft Mechanic apprentices at a company, which was then called Air Atlanta Aero Engineering. A subsidiary of the better known, Air Atlanta Icelandic.
We were both one of about 12 selected to start the apprenticeship that September and eventually 4 years later we qualified.
About, midway through the apprenticeship I began to fly at Coonagh Airfield (EICN) on the West coast of Ireland, where I would eventually gain my PPL. There’s one flying club at Coonagh called Limerick Flying Club and they operated two Tecnam P2002S’. LFC was and I’m sure still is a great flying club. With very friendly members and some great instructors.
Without giving you my full aircraft mechanic CV, I eventually ended up working for Cargolux International Airlines. A completely cargo operation, flying only the 747-400 and 747-8 freighters.
While working Luxembourg I continued building my hours with a flying club called Aerosport ASBL at Luxembourgs, Findell Airport (ELLX).
Cargolux, like all companies, has a few idiosyncrasies, but all in all, they’ve been a great company to work for. The environment in Cargolux is generally good. The pay and conditions are good, the staff are well trained and importantly they are, for the most part, keen to work and have a general pride in the success of the company.
This system, has been under more and more pressure lately. Through a poorly planned and executed merger with Qatar Airways and a generally poor world economy for the freight industry, Cargolux has suffered over the last number of years. This led to the inevitable, rise to prominence of bean counters, which has certainly brought some of the direct costs down. But, it would be interesting to put a monetary value on the effects of a hard hit moral and willingness of the staff to dig the airline out of the holes it finds itself in, on so many occasions.
On a positive note, since the departure of Qatar from Cargolux, things seem to be on the up again. Leading to further skepticism about the reasoning behind the deal in the first place, I guess. But, either way it’s good to see a good company thriving again.
The reason I’ve gone to so much detail on Cargolux, is to help you understand the decision I had to make. Basically, it was now or never for me to, either let that aerosexual come out and flourish, or find myself a few years down the line no longer in a position to follow my goal, and I guess the dream, for want of a corny expression. The decision was of course made extremely difficult, by the realisation that I was going to have to part ways with Cargolux and a very good job, not an easy decision, but sometimes you just got to put yourself out there.
Well, it’s done now, as of the 27th of September 2013, myself and Cargolux will go our separate ways and I begin an uncertain road to a career in front end of aviation. There’s, very much, all to win and all to lose in this gamble. But, as the man once said. If you’re not in, you can’t win.