Meet The Team: Thomas Houston

Meet the team: Thomas Houston, our DUB station Engineer who has joined our team in early 2018 and has been witnessing first-hand how the company has grown since then. And enjoys it – the same way as he enjoys the dynamic work where there’re no similar two days and every day bring some new challenges!

For you personally, which recent work experience has been the most exciting or the most challenging and why?

I joined Direct Maintenance in Feb 2018. When I joined, I was familiar and confident on 2 aircraft types. These were the A320 family and B737NG. Prior to joining I was told the job would require intensive type training in conjunction with my Engineer duties in DUB and that it would not be easy. This excited me as I knew it was a great career opportunity that was not available in any other company in DUB. I embarked on 18 months of type training on various aircraft types.  The investment from DMX and the experience I have gained have been huge. It was a difficult but rewarding 18 months. 

What do you like most about working in aviation / for Direct Maintenance?

There are no 2 days the same in DMX. We deal with so many different aircraft types and airline operators that each day offers something different. Each operator has its own procedures and preferences on how tasks are to be carried out.  This variety helps keep us on our toes 

The stand out a benefit to working with DMX is the small team environment. DMX has grown considerably even since I have joined. But regardless of the growth, everyone is still on a first-name basis with each other.

How has the Covid pandemic changed your job? What is now different than before the pandemic?

Like so many in the aviation sector, we too have been impacted by the pandemic. We have been split into 2 separate shifts in order to maintain continuity in case someone tests positive. 

The decision was made early to reduce wages in DUB. As a team, it was agreed that this would give the best chance of maintaining everyone’s job in the company. To date, there have been no job losses in DUB and given the circumstances, this is an indication of the integrity of the company. This has helped maintain morale for us here in DUB. 

Meet the Team: Sven Schmitz

Meet the team! Sven Schmitz is a ground engineer in Düsseldorf – and he has been part of our global team since summer 2019. During this year working at Direct Maintenance, he already had the experience to fulfil his childhood dream and work on A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft.

Read the interview with Sven and get to know him better!

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed your job? What is now different than before the pandemic? 

Our job changed fast and I never expected such a change. At the beginning of the outbreak, I was in Dubai for an A380 level 3 type course. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish it and have missed the practical part. In the last week, my colleagues and I sat on packed suitcases in order to be able to react to any changes: we rebooked our flights at short notice and I came to Düsseldorf on one of the last flights from Dubai. 

During the peak of the lockdowns, there was also little work as customers at Düsseldorf no longer were flying, with the exception of a few cases (freighters). And then since mid-July, I’ve been back half a day for two to three days. The work has changed since then: masking is mandatory at the airport and on the planes. We also pay more attention to hygiene and cleanliness in our office and on the planes more than normal. I also haven’t seen many of my colleagues yet, but I also stay optimistic and believe we’ll all come out of it stronger than ever!

For you personally, which recent work experience has been the most exciting or the most challenging and why?

There have already been some exciting and challenging work experience. We had an A380 AOG with an engine problem, a B787 with a lightning strike… All of this work is extremely interesting and challenging as these are planes that you don’t see every day and, above all, don’t work on them. 

However, the bird strike on a B787 has been the most exciting for me lately. We only had a turnaround time of about 1:30 hour. Thanks to excellent teamwork, we even managed to push the plane safely out 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

What are the main qualifications needed in your line of work? What are the main tasks and responsibilities in your position?

In general, I think that a quick mind, manual skills, and of course a good understanding of the maths! In addition, teamwork, flexibility and the ability to make decisions are much needed in our line of work!

As I am currently working as a ground engineer in Düsseldorf, my main job is the maintenance and repair of aircraft. As B1.1, aviation security is in my hands as I am the person authorized to release the aircraft. It is a very interesting job and I am lucky to be doing it!

What do you like most about working in aviation / for Direct Maintenance? 

Working in aviation is no ordinary job, it’s something special for me. Every day is different and it never gets boring. The challenge is to make the best every day by always continuing education and not standing on the spot – and I am up for this challenge! 

The special thing about Direct Maintenance for me is the team and solidarity. You are not a number, you know each other; you have insights into departments and jobs that you don’t have in every company.

How do you evaluate your experience working at Direct Maintenance? What are your best memories from your time working here?

I felt very comfortable from the start. I was accepted directly into the team and was able to get involved. I learned a lot and also got the opportunity to continue my education. The best memory was when we took over a customer with an A380. For me, it was a childhood dream to work on the world’s largest passenger aircraft and this dream has now come true!

Privacy Policy | Web usage terms | Cookie policy