For Elisabeta Zahariade, a Junior LMCC (Line Maintenance Control Centre) Engineer working with FL Technics Romania, life in the aviation industry started at the coalface. Working in a maintenance hangar, with multiple aircraft in a full-throttle environment, Elisabeta quickly got to understand the complexity of the industry she was about to call her own.
However, it was only after her move to FL Technics that Elisabeta fully realised the real complexity the industry had in store. At first, she had mixed feelings about throwing her life into something different, and being the only woman based at the station made things feel even more difficult. But as she realises, “Every new beginning is difficult, but at FL Technics I was lucky to be surrounded by patient and understanding colleagues who made my integration so much easier.”
With FL Technics, Elisabeta soon saw the benefits of working hands-on as a Junior LMCC Engineer in an environment that meant many changes to her work schedules, the knowledge she had to assimilate, and the pace that needed to be maintained to get the job done. However, Elisabeta also discovered that she was now entrenched in an environment that, “allowed me to communicate directly with the engineers and technicians, to ask as many questions as were needed to plan the delivery of materials, to schedule the actual work on the aircraft, and to prepare for any further maintenance tasks down the line.”
For Elisabeta, there are so many plusses to her job with FL Technics and in the aviation industry overall. “I became eager to understand this industry early on in my life, way back when I was a child. Because of that, in my studies I was able to cover a broad range of subjects related to aviation: cargo and dangerous goods, maintenance and operation,” she says. “In my opinion, what we should all like about working in aviation is the fact that we cannot do our jobs without our colleagues. We depend on each other to do our jobs right and to get those aircraft back in the air. We carry on the troubleshooting started by engineers in another maintenance base, we work directly with the airlines to schedule maintenance schedules, and we put our minds together to solve any faults or defects that the aircraft may have. It’s like working as part of a compact but dedicated community of people with the same goals.”
But in the aviation industry, positivity doesn’t come without some form of difficulty. For Elisabeta, she attributes her difficulties to the pace with which she needed to thoroughly learn about the aircraft she would be working on, to understand the aircraft’s systems, faults and their implications, and to be able to properly plan her work schedule and her tasks. However, in FL Technics, being surrounded by supportive colleagues makes the whole process manageable.
When it comes to any discrimination or career difficulties faced by women in the aviation industry, Elisabeta is quick to offer her thoughts. “Look, I don’t consider myself a force to be reckoned with, and that is fine. No woman should have to prove themselves to anyone, regardless of the work environment. If someone chooses to put their feelings first at work, that is a recipe for a low-quality work environment and lifestyle, both for women and men. A sharp mind, willingness to work, a good attitude and you’re good to go, no matter what others may think.”
According to Elisabeta, “FL Technics has brought the aircraft closer to me. My job has allowed me to understand the knowledge I’ve already acquired and what further opportunities might lie ahead.” Regarding personal growth, the Junior Engineer says that her job has allowed her to grow both personally and professionally. “I do see and appreciate the diversity in the way my colleagues understand and do their jobs, and I also appreciate how they are willing to share their knowledge. And for me, I am always eager to listen and understand.”
Not one to rest on her laurels, Elisabeta still holds many further ambitions for her future with FL Technics, both inside and outside of the workplace. “I want to build on my foundations and eventually I would love to travel for work, be that for maintenance planning or in some other related field. Somehow, I still have a feeling that I am not enjoying life to the full, and if I could, I would love to get to know other cultures, live in new places and experience new things.
The MRO industry works at a high and demanding pace and energy levels need to be maintained at all times. Elisabeta likes to joke about her colleagues and the constant need to be energised, “I don’t think that there is a living soul in my station who doesn’t rely on coffee. I often wonder is it just where I happen to work, or are other stations like this too?”
FL Technics has a policy of trying to encourage the entire workforce, regardless of gender, race, creed, or colour, to make the very best of their skills and to turn to their colleagues for support, help, and to gain further knowledge at any time.