by Heidi Riley
Action Aero Inc. in Charlottetown specializes in the overhaul and repair of fuel, oil, and air-related engine accessories installed on the PT6A, PW100, LF 502/507, PT6T, JT15D, and RR250 engines.
Some of the more common components are Fuel Controls, Fuel Nozzles, Fuel Pumps, Flow Dividers, Valves, Tank Ejectors as well as Overspeed & Turboprop Governors.
Action Aero supports numerous aircraft, and customers include regional air carriers, major engine overhaul shops, distributors, and corporate fleets in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Action Aero currently has 60 employees. The majority of staff are Overhaul and Repair Technicians, and they also employ Shippers/Receivers, Store Clerks, Customer Service Agents, and a full Quality Control department.
“We are actively looking for more Overhaul and Repair Technicians to work on engine components,” says Johnathan Doiron, CFO, who handles the finances, accounting, and human resources duties for Action Aero in Charlottetown.
Qualifications the company looks for include the following:
- Able to read and comprehend documents
- Basic mathematics skills
- Must be able to operate a computer
- Attention to detail
- Aerospace background is an asset
- Minimum grade 12
- Certificate from Holland College Gas Turbine, Electromechanical, or small engine repair training is an asset
- Experience in factory environment considered an asset
The Overhaul and Repair Technician position does not require specific formal education or experience, and the company does all the training and certifying in house.
The company also hires individuals from the Holland College Aircraft Turbine Technician program who do on-the-job training at the Action Aero facility.
“Some previous technical training or mechanical ability goes a long way, but we recently hired a few Technicians with no real experience who showed a willingness to learn and want to work. They have worked out fine.”
Hiring: Job shadowing replaces the traditional interview
“Sometimes it can be difficult to find Technicians,” says Johnathan. “Lately, we have been conducting Job Shadow Days. Interested applicants spend the day on site with our employees.
“We ask for feedback from the applicants to determine if they would like the job, and what we could potentially improve. We also ask for feedback from our employees who spent the day with the applicants to determine if they would be a good fit.
“This has been a successful way to hire so far. We bypass the whole interview process and use a one-day job shadow in place of the interview. If the feedback from present employees ticks all the boxes, we will do a reference check and a job offer.”
Working at Action Aero
“The aviation and aerospace industry is fast paced, and every day is different. The culture and work environment at Action Aero is very positive, and everyone likes working with everyone else. There are no direct supervisors – the teams themselves are responsible for controlling the work, which allows each employee to take charge of their own area and make decisions.”
Technicians work nine-hour days Monday to Thursday and four hours on Friday mornings. Support staff work five eight-hour shifts.
Wages for Technicians is $17 to $25 per hour, depending on experience and education. “We focus on three different product lines, and you can move to more complex product lines that require more skills and experience. It all depends on the individual’s attitude to the work.
“We offer benefits that are very attractive to employees, including a solid group insurance plan and group retirement plan. The company contributes four percent of the employee’s wages to the retirement plan. Personal time off and gym memberships are offered as well.”
Future hiring plans
“When the pandemic hit in 2020, business took a bit of a dive, but we avoided layoffs. We are now getting back to 2019 levels, and I anticipate we will continue to hire as business picks up.”