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Celebrating International Civil Aviation Day

December 7, 2020 – Today is International Civil Aviation Day and we are celebrating it at Babcock Canada by highlighting one of our many talented Aircraft Maintenance Engineers.

We sat down with Mike Monney, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer for Babcock Canada, who provides maintenance repairs for the water bombers and birddog aircrafts that we operate in the province of Manitoba, to discuss his experience and journey within the Civil Aviation sector.

Q: What is your professional background?

MM: I started my aviation career in 2001 at Manitoba Government Air Services (MGAS) where I did my apprenticeship to become an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME). There, I worked mostly on the water bomber program as well as the air ambulance program. After completing my apprenticeship in 2006 I continued working at MGAS as a fully licensed AME. In April of 2019, I transferred to Babcock when they were awarded the Wildfire Suppression Services Contract issued by the Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development.

Q: Why civil aviation?

MM: I chose aviation because growing up I always had an interest in mechanics and the thought of working on planes really intrigued me. I wanted a career where I could work with my hands but at the same time use my mind, as an aircraft mechanic I get to do both.

Q: Can you describe your role within Babcock?

MM: My role at Babcock as an AME is to travel remotely with the water bombers and birddog aircraft on a scheduled rotation in between the months of April and September. I work with a partner to maintain the aircraft in any way needed in order to keep them serviceable and available to be dispatched to fight forest fires. During the winter months, while there are no forest fires locally here in Manitoba, I work with a team of around 15 other engineers at our home base hangar in Winnipeg, where each aircraft is fully inspected and we perform all scheduled maintenance to ensure the planes are safe and ready for the next wildfire season.

Q: What is your favourite part of the job?

MM: Working on the road with planes while they are being utilized for forest fire suppression. I like how I never know what each day will bring and often new scenarios arise that require me to explore different ways of problem solving. As well, by working remotely, I get an opportunity to really get to know my coworkers and develop camaraderie. My job has allowed me to travel to different communities and cities for training and maintaining aircraft.

Q: What motivates you?

MM: Knowing that I am helping to provide a service that protects people and their properties, as well as forests and wildlife. Seeing firsthand how vital the water bomber program is to the communities they serve motivates me to do my very best.

Q: What advice do you have for someone interested in pursuing a career in civil aviation?

MM: It is a challenging but rewarding career. It teaches you many life skills, and gives you confidence to perform other challenging tasks outside of work as well. Although, as an AME you have to be prepared to work away from home at times. At Babcock, during the winter months, we generally work Monday to Friday but many other operators require you to work overnights or shift work. As an aircraft engineer, there are different types of career opportunities with many possibilities for advancement.