Meet Russell Trow, Composite Crew Leader – Atlantic Aviation Group
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Meet Russell Trow, Composite Crew Leader

Meet Russell Trow, Composite Crew Leader

Russ is a long standing figure in Atlantic Aviation Group. He began his career as a Sheet Metal Worker 19 years ago. Russ has diversified his role in the business, spending time as a Shops Production Support where he made a significant impact and in 2019 moved into his current position as Composite Crew Leader in our Composite/Paint shop. Working in our MRO, Russ develops processes that ensure quick turnaround of repaired parts, his role also involves evaluating the extent of the repair, materials availability and if EQR’s are required. We caught up with Russ to learn more about his experience in Atlantic Aviation Group. 


Can you tell me about yourself and your career so far?  When did you join the team at Atlantic Aviation Group and how has your experience been?

I was born in Shrewsbury, England in 1966 the youngest of two boys

I’ve been in the aviation industry most of my working life, 38 years. I completed an apprenticeship at Rolls Royce Motors in Shrewsbury, having worked there for a number of years I left to explore some of the items on my bucket list. (I survived) and returned to the aviation industry sum years later, like most people in this industry I became a contractor, gaining a lot of experience in different work and cultural facilities, which broadens our horizons.

I eventually arrived in Shannon on a short-term contract in 1998 but as you can see, I’m still here that’s because after a couple of months I met Sheila who would eventually become my wife, hence  22 years down the road I’m still here, I originally contracted between here and Shannon aerospace for 3 year, and eventually took up a permanent position in Shannon MRO as this place was called then in 2001 (three weeks before 911).     

What inspired you to work in aviation (Aircraft Maintenance/Design/CAMO/Training)?

I was not inspired to join the aviation industry at all; it was a series of luck, being in the right place at the right time and taking full advantage of what was put in front of me, when I left school in 82, Britain was in its deepest recession & highest unemployment rate ever and in the middle of a war in the Falklands. Jobs and opportunities were very few and far between.

When I left school, back then the only main option was to join a government work scheme in traditional trades hoping that the company you were with may employ you at the end of the 6 month or 1 year depending on the scheme (very unlikely) or joining the forces was the other option. Third level education was not really a starter back then compare to today’s opportunities.

I managed to secure a 1-year government work scheme, at Rolls Royce Motors training school to learn basic machining and fitting skills. After nearly a year of training and within a month or so of joining the dole queue, one of the Instructors a man who I owe so much to, turned out to be the man to change the direction of my life. He asked me if I would be interested in a sheet metal apprenticeship in the aerospace section of Rolls Royce Motors Factory.

Unbeknown to me this instructor had been doing a lot of work in the back ground trying to persuade the company to take an apprentice on. There had been no apprentices employed for nearly 3 years. They agreed to it, I got the apprenticeship and the rest is history.

Can you describe to me what it is like to work in your department/team?

The Composite / Paint shop is different as the title says we are a shop, so we are not assigned to a line, which sets us apart from the hanger floor, this give us the opportunity to develop processes which hopefully help the lines in the running of a check, and with a great little team that is developing skills and ideas all the time to produce a better product, which I think we achieve most of time.

What is a typical day at work for you? What are some of your favourite tasks to do/projects to work one

On a normal working day, I start around 7.30 (with a coffee) to organize the day’s work obviously working multiple lines we have to prioritise work, before the team arrives for work. And also check work area for obvious safety issues.

When we are running a full schedule of work the mornings often fly by, taken up with line meetings and seeing that the scheduled repairs are running to plan. Afternoons with the inspector, often see us looking at new cards as they arrive to assess the depth of evaluation required to predict the extent of the repair to be carried out, materials availability and if EQR’s are required, with check schedules being tight, quick turnaround of repaired parts is essential. Plus working multiple lines colleagues are always dropping in for help or information.

What are the benefits to working in AAG?

Being here for so long I feel AAG encourages you to advance your career and personal development. As with me being able to take up a new opportunity in composites, having spent most of my career in sheet metal/ structure side, resulting in me being in the position I’m in today,

Having a company of this stature local, also allows me to have a good work, life balance

What’s your favourite thing about working in AAG

Working at AAG allows you to work in an environment that challenges you often during the day, which in turn gives you job satisfaction. Through this I’ve developed some good friendships  over the years.

If you could have one super power what would it be?

LUCK  (Deadpool 2) I may have it already 😎

I would like to dedicate this piece to John Griffiths the instructor who started me on the path that led me to where I am now.

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