As I told you in my last blog, I continued with the cultural exchange program in France at the beginning of September. I visited Bordeaux for about four weeks again, a beautiful town near the river Garonne. I really looked forward to my third and last trip to France because I got the chance to visit the company Sabena technics.
After the landing at the airport of Bordeaux Merignac I could already see the gates and halls of the company: my new workplace for the next month. I moved into a house near the “Bordeaux Aeoropark” with my colleagues. On the first day at Sabena technics, they welcomed us in English and we got to know our mentors. We directly worked on an Airbus A 310 that just completed a large check. To finish the work on the engines, we conducted a “Run up”. This means that the plane gets carried out of the hall on the apron in order to start the engines. During this procedure I was sitting in the cockpit with my French colleagues. We watched the parameters on the instruments to make sure the start and the functions work without any problems.
After that the next plane arrived. It was an Airbus A330-200. The jet was carried into the hall and hulls made it possible to work on it in all positions. The following month a C-Check needed to be done whereas the plane gets checked and tested completely. To make sure that the workers are able to reach all the components of the plane, panels were removed. Furthermore wheels and brakes were removed, too. During the following weeks we checked the landing-gear, the engines and also the hydraulic and electrical systems. To do so, I conducted various tests from the maintenance computer in the cockpit.
The work on the engines of a Rolce Royce Trent 772B was also very interesting. Beneath the regular work, like checking the ignition-plugs and fuel pipes, we also had to check something special: We should measure the space between the big fan blades and the engine-inlet cowling. Using special sandpaper, we could then re-establish the allowed distance.
Also the cabin of the Airbus was nearly cleared. Additionally, the oxygen masks were checked. They are very important as they help the passengers to breathe in case of an emergency. We inspected the masks carefully and looked for damages and contamination.
What happens if both engines and the auxiliary power unit of a jet fail? Is the Airbus able to glide to the next airport? The answer is yes! In case of this emergency, a small propeller comes out of the right wing. It is powered by the ram air pressure in order to secure an emergency power and hydraulic pressure for the most important systems and control surfaces. My colleagues and I activated the turbine manually from the cockpit in order to check this component carefully.
After all these checks, the Airbus A330-200 was ready to fly again!
During my journey, I also got to know a lot of cultural aspects of the city. We visited a famous castle in Bordeaux, where the wine is stored in catacombs under the surface of the earth. Furthermore our community was strengthened through this journey to the South. We often went out for dinner together or we went on trips to the beach in Arcachon. Additionally, we could enjoy a perfect late summer with lots of sun during our visit.
At the end of my work in France I can say that the program was not only a personal but also a professional gain for me. I got to know a lot of French colleagues and I want to stay in touch with them. Also the work itself and the communication in English were important experiences for my future life.
I really hope that you enjoyed my report about my professional and personal experiences in France. But don´t worry, I will tell you more about my work and everyday life at Lufthansa Technik in Frankfurt soon!
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