Saturday, 20 August 2022

RAF technician pits skills against world’s best

AN RAF technician will represent the UK in a competition to find the best aircraft engineer

AN RAF technician will represent the UK in a competition to find the best aircraft engineer in the world.

Senior aircraftman Shayne Hadland, 24, who is based at RAF Benson, will take part in the finals of the WorldSkills contest in Brazil.

The competition encourages young people to demonstrate the practical training needed for global development. Snr aircraftman Hadland, who has spent almost seven years with the RAF, including two tours of Afghanistan, said: “The goal is to be the best young aircraft engineer in the world. I don’t think there is a bigger prize for me.”

Henley MP John Howell visited the base to meet the serviceman and see his work. Snr aircraftman Hadland showed him how to repair helicopter rotor blades and wire looms in order to keep the front-line aircraft operational. Mr Howell said: “These skills are vitally important to the safety of aircraft and it is very good that the RAF is supporting them. This is one of the few places that provides this level of training.”

Fl Lt Ken Bibby, snr aircraftman Hadland’s flight commander, said: “I’m proud of him. The standards of his work are very high. Although across the RAF we’ve got guys with very similar standards, what’s different in Shayne’s case is that competitive streak with tunnel vision dedicated to this competition.”

Station commander Gp Capt Simon Paterson said: “Shayne has worked extremely hard to get to this position and thoroughly deserves this fantastic opportunity. He is a real credit to the Royal Air Force.”

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