Page 9 - Cemair SkyNews Jun 2018
P. 9

Hannes Kloppers is CemAir’s Per-  according to strict manufacturer   Casper Van Zyl is one of CemAir’s Air-
           son Responsible  for Maintenance.   guidelines,” Hannes explains.  That   line Maintenance Engineers and a resident
           He started his career in aviation the   work is then checked, tested,   comedian.  He is responsible for all Aircraft
           day he walked out of school.  He   rechecked, retested, audited and   Maintenance Engineers out in the field, as
           was one of approximately 50 out   quality assured internally. As if that is   well as serviceability and maintenance of the
           of 1000 applicants, who, after ex-  not enough, everything from A to Z in   aircraft stationed away from the main base.
           tensive psychometric and aptitude   the CemAir operation is then quality   He trained through the South African Airforce
           evaluations, was accepted into the   controlled by no less than 3 external   and then later became a K2 instructor, which
           Air Force Maintenance Engineer   regulatory bodies (IATA, the SACAA   allows him to teach other Aircraft Maintenance
           Programme.  He spent 4 years   and aircraft leasing clients such as   Engineers.    He may be cracking a joke every
           going through the gruelling Airforce   the United Nations). It sounds like a   two minutes to keep life on the maintenance
           training, which subjects engineers to   job that would take its toll on even   line fun, but he is proud of his qualifications
           everything from the theory of flying   the toughest.  Hannes acknowledges   and experience as an Aircraft Maintenance
           to the practical training of stripping   that it is stressful work, but rewarding.   Engineer.  “It’s a tough qualification,” explains
           and reconstructing  aircraft.  It’s the   The stakes are incredibly high so no   Casper.  “First you have to be an apprentice
           live version of every Lego builder’s   bolt is left unscrewed when it comes   for 3 years, then work as an aircraft mechanic
           dream: to assemble and disassem-  to staff well-being. Drug and alco-  for another 2 years, after which you can apply
           ble planes. He has been doing it for   hol testing is carried out frequently,   to get certified. It was a proud moment for
           decades and it seems there is little   engineers are required to report all   me…and when I got my K2 instructor certifi-
           that Hannes doesn’t know about   medication they may have to take,   cation as well.”
           every bolt, switch and flap across   and staff work in shifts to ensure that
           the CemAir fleet.              everyone is well-rested. If anyone is   Casper has 15 years’ experience working in
                                          ill, there is a backup person on call   33 countries. “I’ve been in some of the best
           At CemAir, like all CAA regulated   so that excellent quality maintenance   and the worst parts of the world, including the
           airlines, the maintenance of aircraft   on the aircraft can continue.  Sahara desert where we have to fix planes
           is governed by triple-layered and                              leased by the United Nations.  We slept in
           segregated safety assurance    CemAir’s entire operation is a well-  tents with the mosquitoes! They were drop-
           teams. “It’s a job that means you   oiled machine with an unrelenting   ping like flies,” he jokes, implying that in Mos-
           have to be comfortable with many   focus on safety, driven from the   quitoes vs. Men, the Sahara mozzies were
           people double and triple-check-  top.  Miles van der Molen, the CEO,   winning!  “This experience really helps me to
           ing your work all the time,” says   is involved in almost every detail of   assist the guys” he explains, “I know what it’s
           Hannes.  “But this is what makes air   the operation, from flying aircraft on   like to be out there.”  He goes on to describe
           travel the safest form of transport,”   occasion to sourcing and checking   how he sees his role as making sure that
           Hannes reminds us.  “Each aircraft   parts that go onto the aircraft.  He   all CemAir planes are safe all the time.  “It’s
           is closely monitored by our plan-  makes sure that all travellers, includ-  important that we look after the planes, and
           ning department and scheduled for   ing his own family who fly regularly,   the people who look after the planes.  Happy
           maintenance based on take offs,   are safe on every CemAir flight.   people work twice as hard and twice as fast,”
           hours or calendar date. Expertly                               he notes wisely.  Casper loves to keep things
           trained professionals then install                             positive, professional and funny, which is why
           and test every part of the aircraft                            he recommends not dating anyone at work.
                                                                          “It’s trial and error,” he chuckles….” I tried it
                                                                          and it was an error.”

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