Australian Aviation Technicians Begin Engineering Challenge

Australian Aviation Technicians Kick-Off Engineering Challenge

Stage one of the “Engineering Challenge” kicked off for Aviation Technicians this week at the Royal Australian Navy’s 723 Squadron (CMDR Al Moore).

The challenge required two teams of five personnel from 723 Squadron repair a section of simulated aircraft structure following damage that mimicked small arms fire or minor impact. The test required teams to assess the damage, plan the repairs, complete all documentation requirements and then effect the actual repairs.

The competition organiser Warrant Officer Gerry Eastgate said the competition was designed to be as realistic as possible.

¬†“We ensured that the documentation and administration that would normally be required was included in the competition process,” said WO Eastgate.

“The simulated damage had been sustained to both the airframe as well as electrical and communication cabling for avionic systems.”

“Whilst it was not a race between the two teams, a time limit was imposed that would be expected in real life scenarios,” said WO Eastgate.

The teams were led by Petty Officers Philip Barrett and Tim McNamara and had quite different approaches to the challenge. Overall, both achieved a very high standard of work. Whilst the damaged structure and cabling initially appeared simple, the teams quickly found it to be a healthy challenge to ensure that the repairs were made in full accordance with relevant instructions and procedures.

The challenge will continue throughout the week with the Navy’s 816 and 808 Squadrons as well as a team from the Navy Aviation System Program Office (NASPO) competing. Results from the first stage of the Aviation Technician Engineering Challenge will be released on Friday, 26 July 13. The winners will progress through to the second stage in September and the final competition will be held in November 2013. Levels of complexity will increase as the competition progresses.

The winning team of the competition will qualify to wear a cuff-rate on ceremonial uniforms identifying them as champion technicians and will be afforded an opportunity for overseas travel for an industry exhibition or defence equipment exposition.

Press Release, July 25, 2013; Image: Australian Navy