NZ Young Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Announced

Elliott Farnan carrying out a daily inspection on a Mitsubishi MU2 aircraft
Left to right: Top placegetters — Michael Hey, Elliott Farnan, Tim Duncan

13 November 2023

Ten young aircraft maintenance engineers and engineers in training showcased their skills under the eagle-eyes of eleven industry expert judges at the tightly fought 2023 WorldSkills New Zealand Aircraft Maintenance Competition. Each competitor completed time-trials and documentation for a daily pre-flight check, structure fabrication, and engine repair and borescope inspection at the two-day event at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand in Wigram.

Twenty-year-old Elliott Farnan, a North Shore aircraft engineer trainee from Air New Zealand Auckland, took out Gold and the title of “New Zealand’s best young aircraft engineer” He was followed closely by Michael Hey (24) from Airbus New Zealand in Woodbourne with Silver, and Tim Duncan (21) from HeliSupport New Zealand in Wanaka, with Bronze.

One young engineer, from this trio of top placegetters, will be announced as New Zealand’s representative to the 47th WorldSkills International Competition in Lyon, France in September 2024.

Carl Rankin General Manager, WorldSkills New Zealand is thrilled with the high calibre of competition and industry support for the event. “Healthy competition drives excellence. These engaged, capable aircraft engineers coming through signals great confidence for the aircraft industry.  All ten competitors demonstrated a desire to learn, push boundaries and challenge themselves. I’d be very happy to fly on any aircraft they have been working on.”

Carl says competing isn’t just against someone or something. “It starts within, competing internally to be better, to try harder, to challenge oneself. Competition starves off complacency and mediocrity. We need more people in our society that want to be better than yesterday, continually seeking improvement and striving to be the best version of themselves.”

“Competition also provides measurement and benchmarking opportunities. It benefits individuals, employers, and the wider industry, and well as New Zealand Inc through increases in productivity and higher standards.”