Bombardier and Gulfstream service centers invited NAA-New England students for site visits during the summer break. On Thursday, July 28, 2022, students and NAA team members, including instructor David Webber, toured the Bombardier Hartford Service Center in the morning and were extended an extremely warm welcome by all of the Bombardier employees. Our students and student uniforms were even complimented, with the Bombardier team mentioning that we looked like a Nascar Team!
David Huot, Bombardier’s Structures, Interiors and Paint, Operations Supervisor, led the tour. Huot took his time explaining every phase of maintenance being performed on the aircraft in the hangar and interior shops. Our students were engrossed in the hangar maintenance and blown away by the number of airplanes being serviced!
“As an instructor, and former employee of Bombardier, it was awesome to see how excited the students were up close and personal with so many Private, Corporate, and VIP aircraft,” said NAA’s David Webber.
The tour lasted about two hours, and one of the highlights was meeting up with an NAA alumnus working at that facility. He was beaming and telling the students what an excellent company Bombardier is – and that he is living his dream job by working there.
After Touring Bombardier in the morning, the group headed over to the Gulfstream Service Center in Westfield, MA. Some students didn’t go, thinking they had just seen the best of the best.
However, Gulfstream thoroughly impressed the students as well. Their new hangar was packed, air-conditioned, and super clean. The company-issued tools were also great to see!
Deryck Savoy, a New England alumni, is the Senior Operations Manager and was joined by Mark Heatherton, Operations Manager, who is an NAA Alumni from Tampa Bay! Both were incredibly knowledgeable and hospitable, spending almost two hours with our students.
Our students were thrilled to meet alums who have risen to supervisory positions. Proof that hard work pays off! Additionally, seeing the kind of aircraft they might work on also made an impression.
One of the airplanes had severe corrosion damage, and the students marveled at the extent of sheet metal work required to repair the airplane. The engines, horizontal stabilizer, landing gear, and prominent section of the belly skin were all removed! The skin was mapped out, with approximately 1,000 and 2,000 rivets to be installed. The students were amazed at how our classes offer a practical glimpse of what it can be like in the real world.
At the end of the tour, students were able to meet two more NAA-New England Alumni who now work full-time at Gulfstream. Both were excited to have careers working on Private and Corporate jets! Their excitement lit a fire in our current students, who are ready to make their careers just as rewarding.