Air Engineers Course Blog Four

The time running up to Christmas has been a little manic with various different events and projects on the go to fit around our classroom time. Every year SEMC(AE) are tasked with organising the Taranto Night dinner to commemorate the Battle of Taranto in 1940 (Google it, it’s an incredible story).

After many, many progress meetings over the month before and a lot of evening prep work the day finally came on Thursday 19 October. 

We had prepared 2 satire based videos that were played in between courses and a few members of the class acted out a final skit of an RAF briefing before the desserts were served. 

The main theme of the evening’s comedy is taking pride in being members of the Fleet Air Arm, usually at the expense of the Marine Engineers and the RAF (both of which were in attendance). 

This friendly rivalry is great for morale but everyone involved knows that the Navy works as a team; without the Marine Engineers our aircraft would never get to sea, and as Air Engineers we work extremely closely with our very professional RAF colleagues. 

The final act of the evening was a re-enactment of the battle itself, including three huge model Italian ships, 30,000 fun snaps, 8 rocket-propelled biplanes and 48 different pyrotechnics. 

The evening gained great feedback from the 200 people in attendance and turned out to be extremely satisfying, after putting in many man-hours into something out of our comfort zone; it was great to see so many people having a good time and enjoying the entertainment.

Inspired by Ali’s success with the Royal Navy Netball team, the class took a trip to represent HMS Sultan in a mixed netball competition at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth. 

After spending some time (and giving away many penalties) we reached the semi-finals where we were unfortunately knocked out bar some far more experienced players.  

All in all it was a great afternoon and we now appreciate how skilful (and competitive) the sport can be!  

On another sporting note; one of the other lads in the class, Oggy, took part in the rugby match to decide the outcome of the year-long AE vs ME sports competition, it was a great game but the Air Engineers came out on top, securing the annual trophy for the WAFUs (Jackspeak for the Fleet Air Arm).

Academically, we have been in the classroom studying more subjects including Aircraft Integrity Monitoring (checking for damage and fixing it if needed), Radar and Sonar systems, Navigation systems and much, much more. 

We also spent last week in workshops getting hands on experience of simple aircraft wiring and metalwork, this has given us all an appreciation of how much work goes into apparently small jobs and the time and skill-set required to carry these repairs out. 

As our Technical competency boards draw closer we have spent more time with our mentors. These extra sessions are becoming more formal, allowing us to practice further our board technique and answering testing questions when grilled by an experienced AEO.  

As I have mentioned before; the mentors have been invaluable to us and we greatly appreciate them giving up large amounts of their time to develop our aircraft engineering knowledge. 

Going into Christmas leave we are all revisiting the subjects we have studied to prepare for our Technical Competency Boards in the New Year. 

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Yours Aye,