Meet our team ... he looks after our aircraft
Diversity is definitely one word to describe the SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS). We offer a quality, value added service to the communities in which we operate, but this would definitely not be possible without our dynamic group of dedicated people working together to make this service what it is. One of the organisation’s critical departments is the Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO). This Department’s responsibility is to maintain the AMS aircraft in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and the Civil Aviation Authorities’ (CAA) Regulations. This team ensures that the aircraft is safe, serviceable and flying. Today we take a look inside Mervyn October’s world. Mervyn has been with the organisation for four years and is a Qualified Aircraft Structural Technician. Mervyn fulfils one of the most important roles within the AMO and that is to keep the structure of the aircraft intact. Mervyn also tied the knot recently. We wish you and your family a happy married life Mervyn.
What is your role within the AMO? “I do a bit of everything. I am a Qualified Aircraft Structural Technician – almost like an aircraft panel beater, it basically means looking after the air frame. I am also the AMO Safety officer. This provides a platform for the AMO crew to raise safety concerns in order for me to address it with the Safety Manager. I am also part of the AMO Apprenticeship programme in order to become an aircraft mechanic as a second trade to assist the engineers with daily aircraft maintenance.”
How did you get into this career? “I am grateful for the opportunity I received at the previous company I used to work. My uncle also played a huge role in my career. Some days it was more difficult than others, as I was away from home, but I persevered and finished. Still today, I am thankful for the opportunities that comes my way, I always try to improve myself, my message to the youth is: if you want, you can, there will always be a way!”
Where did you grow up, tell us a little about your background: “I was born and bred in Ravensmead, Cape Town. As a youngster I enjoyed skateboarding, riding bicycle as far as Muizenberg and many days riding my bicycles past school! I had fun growing up as a child, I am the oldest of three”.
What do you do in your spare time? “If I could I would just relax. My spare time is usually spent working on cars. I would love to spend it with my kids -when I have time I spend it with them.”
What do you enjoy most about your job? “I love everything about it. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
What is your future plans/your dreams/ambitions, where do you see yourself in the future? “In the organisation: to become an Aircraft Mechanical Technician and to grow in the field of Safety Management.”
What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “It is nice to have my kids and family with me.”
What kind of music do you like? “I don’t have a specific type that I like, I listen to whatever makes me feel good at that moment. I do however love Hillsongs.”
What item in your closet do you wear the most? “Definitely my tracksuit pants. My favourite item is my green Lacoste sweater my wife bought me.”
What is your greatest indulgence? “Pork rashers, skilpadjies (Is a traditional South African food. The dish is lamb's liver wrapped in netvet - caul fat) and a green salad.
What is the best gift anyone has ever given you? “Must be my kids.”
Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Don’t leave what you can do today for tomorrow. Famous words by AMO manager, Marc Lawson.”
Any motto you live by? “Live each day for today” be happy, spread love every day.”
Any exotic places you travelled to: “My most recent travels took me to Pakistan. although it was work related I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I fell in love with the place, its people and definitely their food. You get served the most delicious Biryani (a mixed rice dish). My views of Pakistan is definitely not what is being portrayed in the media, this is a place I will definitely visit again.”