My Two Years As An Aircraft Technician
TLDR; What I do on a daily basis, can simply be summed up in a single video:
Although the video shows a F16 aircraft instead of the Super Puma, our roles are basically the same.
I spent two years as an Aircraft Technician in the Republic of Singapore Airforce. I was lucky that this was something I liked because not many people get to enter the vocation they want. Looking back, it was a wonderful two years out there. I’ve made a lot of lifelong friendships, and learnt many invaluable lessons.
I’ve learnt several aerospace related stuff, ranging from aircraft parts, to how to service an aircraft down to the nuts and bolts. My dad used to be a pilot and I still have pictures of him during his National Service days. I, however, have been bestowed the responsibility to support the pilots instead.
Before I entered National Service, I was accepted into computer science, and as they say, the rest is history. Computer Science was my first choice when I entered university. My second choice was actually Aerospace.
The picture above is me posing with the Super Puma. After my training at the Air Force School, where I learnt about how an engine works and every single part of aircraft, I was posted to the 125 Squadron.
125 Squadron is home to the Super Puma. The Super Puma provides support for our Singapore Armed Forces during their missions. It could function as a aircraft to ferry soldiers, or casualties in a Search and Rescue operation.
Two things can be installed at the doors of the Super Puma; door guns are installed if the Super Puma has to assume a defensive role, and hoists are installed if winching operations are to be conducted.
The Super Puma can also land on a ships such as the one above. Few years back, we have participated in anti-piracy operations where Super Pumas were sent out to sea to deter pirates from hijacking ships. If you have seen the movie “Captain Philips“, you probably have a vague idea of what I’m talking about.
The Search and Rescue (SAR) team is always on 24/7 standby to attend to emergencies. We have already saved countless lives. It could be one of our guys suffering from a severe heatstroke or fever in Pulau Tekong and the only way out was a heli-evacuation. Or, it could be a sea vessel emitting an SOS signal where there was a medical emergency onboard their ship.
I’m really proud to say that I’ve played an important role in Singapore’s defence. Also, it’s not everyday you get to look at an aircraft engine face to face and watch an aircraft take off right in front of you.
Throughout this two years I’ve not only increased my knowledge of aerospace, but also learnt the importance of teamwork, safety and having an eye for detail. Furthermore, I’ve had to make decisions based on my judgement and taking responsibility for those decisions. This is definitely a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.
Now let me end off this post with an awesome video of this RSAF marshaller!