International Civil Aviation Day
- Mel’s Journey to Babcock Canada
- Life as a Stores Person
- Pressures of the Civil Aviation Industry
- Mel’s Advice to anyone looking to pursue a career in the Civil Aviation Industry
December 7th marks International Civil Aviation Day, a day that was founded in 1994. This day aims to generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of nations.
This year, we are excited to recognize International Civil Aviation Day by highlighting one of Babcock’s own: Mel Carlos.
Mel’s Journey to Babcock Canada
Mel joined the Babcock team in early 2023 with a background in Network and Database Administration. Soon realizing desk work was not for him, and with a curiosity for aircraft, Mel entered the civil aviation field.
“Living close by an American Airforce base and seeing planes fly by minute after minute piqued my curiosity about planes and always made me wonder how such a big contraption could take flight, stay in the air, and be considered as the safest form of transportation.”
Mel began working for an airline in a variety of roles including aircraft deicing operator, cargo and ground operations, and maintenance stores before moving to Babcock in January this year.
At Babcock, Mel holds the position of Stores Person at our Winnipeg, M.B., hangar, where we engineer, maintain, and operate Manitoba’s seven Canadair amphibious waterbombers, and three Twin Commander 690 bird dogs.
To learn more about Babcock’s work in Manitoba, visit: Aerial Firefighting – aviation + tanking + training | Babcock Canada Inc. : Babcock
Life as a Stores Person
As Stores Person, the majority of Mel’s role is looking after inventory control of aircraft parts. However, a typical day on the job depends on the season.
In the summertime when the waterbombers are in service, Mel continues to do vital inventory count but is also on-call to support the aircraft maintenance engineers in case of an ‘aircraft-on-ground’ (AOG) situation.
An AOG means a plane cannot fly due to technical or mechanical issues that engineers or pilots notice during flights or scheduled maintenance. In order for the plane to be deemed airworthy again, engineers will contact the Stores team to inquire about and receive parts. Due to Babcock’s line of work fighting wildfires, this work is vital to ensure our aircraft can always be mission ready.
In the winter maintenance season, Mel supports the engineers when picking and issuing parts needed for work on the aircraft. Aside from his normal day-to-day work, Mel also works with student interns who are supporting him in re-organizing store shelves and stock.
Pressures of the Civil Aviation Industry
The civil aviation industry can have many challenges, the biggest being pressure. Pressure comes in many forms within this industry, including environmental, financial, operational, people, and self-pressure. It can result in corners being cut ensuing incidents or accidents, but for Mel this is not an option.
“Regardless of any deadline, safety should always take precedence. Safety is number 1, 2, and 3.”
However, the civil aviation industry is home to many people with diverse backgrounds, which Mel says is what he likes most about the industry.
“Meeting different people, hearing their stories of the places they are going, and who they will be seeing, is what I enjoy most about this work. Especially the stories of why they chose to move or travel to a place that is thousands of miles away from home.”
Mel’s Advice to Anyone Looking to Pursue a Career in the Civil Aviation Industry
“There are lots of opportunities in civil aviation with many different jobs, trades, and careers. All that is needed is hard work to master the trade, and you will be an effective contributor to the industry.”