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A Quick Word With … Bristow Australia Engineer Todd Corey

December 01, 2016

In this interview, Engineer Todd Corey shares how he became an engineer, his pride in ensuring successful flights, and his favorite memories through his 15-year career with Bristow.

Why did you decide to become an engineer?
In the 1970s, you either went to university, or joined the workforce or military. My high school principal suggested that it would be best for me, my parents and the school that I seek employment. My father was mechanically gifted; he could repair, design and improve things, and I inherited some of his skills. I applied for an aircraft engineering apprenticeship position with Hawker De Havilland at Perth Airport, but I wasn’t accepted. I asked the engineering manager of Hawker De Havilland if other aviation companies in Perth employed apprentices, and he gave me the names of companies who did. It opened the door to a fantastic career and to this day I still remember the name of that engineering manager at Hawker De Havilland who gave me the chance of a lifetime.

Why did you decide to work for Bristow?
I was apprenticed to an aerial agricultural company whose hangar was next to Bristow Australia’s at Jandakot Airport during the early 1970s. At that time, everyone knew each other at the airport. It was very social and I got to know many of the managers and staff. I was fascinated with helicopters and decided that I wanted a change from fixed-wing to rotary-wing aircraft.

During the 1980s, I was a contractor working on the S-76A and S-61N in Asia and the sub-continent. On a tour to Bombay (now Mumbai), I met a very attractive British woman, who I later married, and she immigrated to Australia. It was decided that we base ourselves in Perth and I seek employment within Australia. I approached the Engineering Manager of Bristow Australia and over lunch the conditions of employment were detailed on the back of a drinks coaster.

What is your current role at Bristow and what are you working on at the moment?
I’m a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer and have been doing fly-in-fly-out work internationally and throughout Australia since 1979. In the early days, international work was two or three months on, one month off. Within Australia, it was two weeks on, one week off -- that is if your replacement showed up.

What is a recent success you're particularly proud of?
It’s not a recent success, but it’s a long-term success….I’ve worked in the aviation industry and signed off on aircraft to confirm that they were fit for flight for 35 years, and every one of those flights came home.

What’s your favorite memory with Bristow?
I remember the working camaraderie most. The people we worked with weren’t just work colleagues – they became lifetime friends. I trusted former Bristow Australia Engineering Managers Ken Coss and Dick Jones, they built company loyalty and pride.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from a colleague?
Never be afraid to ask for help. I’m still doing that today!