00:00:03 My name’s James G, I’m the Engineering Maintenance Manager at Phoenix Air Engineering, who are based in Lydd. My job is to manage the day to day running of anything to do with aircraft maintenance carried out here at the Airport. My day has no real structure. Whether it be scheduled servicing underway, defects happening out on the line, even down to accidents, crashes, I need to respond. So I have a rough idea of what’ll happen first thing in the morning, but until I actually get here and start operating, I’ve no idea.
00:00:35 I got into this from a general interest in aviation. When I left school I really didn’t know what to do. I had a little stint of water sports, and computer sales, wasn’t happy. So I went back to college, just exploring a general interest in aviation, and the fact that I loved taking things apart. Took all the CAA examinations, and gradually over a few years obtained my engineering licences.
00:01:03 My first proper job was with a flying club, and I was involved with anything and everything there. Flying clubs really are the bottom rung, and you muck in, you’re involved in everything from fixing aircraft through to the facilities, through to helping pilots’ training. It’s a fantastic community.
00:01:23 I then had a fantastic job opportunity to work in the Caribbean. My job changed to getting involved with flying, observing, intelligence. Anything which anybody thought an aircraft might be able to help or do – we had a go at it. And had a fantastic five and a half year period.
00:01:43 Part of the job ended up with me being sworn in as police, and given the rank of Inspector. It’s something that’s very important to me it was – my father was ex police, and he was incredibly proud when I turned up one day and – excuse me I’m also police. And it reminds me of some fantastic work. We did a lot of search and rescue operations, and the feel-good factor, you just cannot describe it, when you actually do find, after several days of searching, somebody who otherwise would be dead. There are several people in this world now, who are alive because of me. And I look back on those days very, very fondly.
00:02:24 My inspiration and influences have come from the pioneers really, again within aviation or engineering. People like Frank Whittle, with the jet engine, Barnes Wallis – some of these people who did something new, something nobody had done before. They had a go at something. Fantastic engineers.
00:02:44 The future’s a blank book, I’ve got no real plans. I want to basically start more planning for the future, for my future retirement, and starting to look at getting into a location where I want to be. Comfortable position, comfortable job, but something that’s still going to challenge me.
00:03:03 I regret I didn’t do more at school. I left school without a lot of qualifications. I went to a good school, but had far too much fun. I regret not doing better. No other real regrets within my career. Everything has happened and led on to something better, and I’m always looking towards the future, how to improve, how to be better, have more fun!
00:03:30 Low points – certainly there are companies which I’ve worked for, where you’re not treated particularly well. That’s never nice, when you’re in an environment where you’re not happy. High points – I’ve had a fantastic life within aviation. There are so many things that I’ve done, so many places I’ve been, because of aviation. I’m lucky in that every day I wake up, I look forward to going to work. I love work, possibly a bit too much. It’s a wonderful position to be in.