Late last year a Ph.D. student from the University of Auckland, Paul Olumunmi, reached out to our CEO, Don McCracken, about the possibility for his 13-year-old niece to visit our facilities as she has hopes to become an aeronautical engineer one day. He explained their families wish to “help keep her dream alive” by allowing her to meet engineers, ask questions and see first-hand what happens to aircraft when they are on the ground.
On December 20th, 13-year old Favour and her family joined me for a tour of our Ardmore facilities where she was able to converse with our engineers and get firsthand experience of the behind the scenes activities that get aircraft back in the air.
For those in aviation it is easy to forget how others can consider our everyday workplace a “once in a lifetime experience” and this became no clearer than when we began the visit with a walk-through of our helicopter hangar where we had a Bell 212, BK 117, AS350, MD500, BO105 and EC130 on display.
After learning about gearboxes from our Helicopter Components Manager Peter Hatley, we ventured over to our Turbines shop. Here workshop supervisor Yuri Voronstov gave a much more in-depth description of my “suck, squeeze, bang, blow” explanation of how a turbine engine works using a turbine cutout. This cutout allowed Favour to see firsthand the inner workings of a turbine and to understand how the rotor blades are moved. This became one of the highlights of her visit.
We followed on through our Fixed Wing hangar where a 100-hour inspection of a Cessna 172 was underway.
When asked why she was interested in a career in aviation she explained how scared she had been when first boarding an airplane but how afterward all she wanted to understand was how it could stay suspended in the air.
We are always happy to nurture interest in aviation so when Paul first reached out there was no hesitation in setting a date for their visit. And our engineers will take any chance they get to talk about their work. When asked about her visit, Favour said it was eye-opening but now she has the courage to pursue a career in aviation. We couldn’t be happier and want to wish Favour all the best.