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Women of Aviation Worldwide Week: Heli-One Spotlights Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor Rebecca Dunn March 10, 2016

For Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, Heli-One is proud to spotlight Airframes Maintenance Supervisor Rebecca Dunn, who has been working in the industry for nearly 10 years. We spent some time with Rebecca to reflect on her journey in Aviation and what she enjoys about her career:

Heli-One Spotlights Rebecca Dunn for Women of Aviation Week

 How did you get into the Aviation industry?

In high school, I gravitated more toward the sciences. Medicine is what I always strived towards. My mom was a nurse and I initially wanted to go to medical school. I completed a Kinesiology degree and wrote my MCAT, but I had an epiphany, “this isn’t what I want to be doing.” I took some time off and spoke to a lot of people and did a Trades Discovery course offered specifically for women. It took away a lot of the intimidation of trades and I realized that it really was something I can do.

 As a part of the course, you try out different trades by doing hands-on tasks and research into the industry and job profile. I really got into helicopters from the Aviation practical experience and from there I enrolled into the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) Program at BCIT. It was a 16-month program followed by an apprenticeship. I was fortunate that my instructor had some contacts and got an interview with Heli-One. Right place, right time I guess and the rest is history.

What do you like about the Aviation industry?

Initially, I had the idea that this job would be somewhat isolated and independent but it’s been the exact opposite. There’s a lot of collaboration and teamwork and I really enjoy it. I’ve stayed in this job for so long because of my team and the profound respect I have for the people and the work that they do. It’s been great to be a part of something and to see it to completion. The mentorship I had as an AME on the floor was amazing – I’ve learned so much from the people I work with. From my academic background, I have a love of learning and understanding how things work. And I think that’s the crossover from my interest in medicine. A lot of the job was understanding the systems and troubleshooting. And that was what I was looking for – the translation of theoretical knowledge to hands-on work.

What do you like most about your job?

Aviation is really versatile and offers a lot of travel opportunities. You get to see and go to places where most people can’t. I am really attracted to the travel and the ability to work out of different places and environments. I’ve been able to go to France and Italy for training and Asia for work. I’ve been to Malaysia to help unload and assemble an aircraft for delivery. Last year I spent 7 weeks in Indonesia to perform work. What can I say? It’s been good to me.

What opportunities are available to women in Aviation?

You name it! Anything! A strong, confident, capable woman can do whatever she wants. Aviation can be a boy’s club but you can’t focus on that. If you’re willing to listen and collaborate – anyone can accomplish anything, male or female. I’d definitely like to see more women mechanics that’s for sure. It’s not about what men or women can do better – it’s about what you do well and how you can contribute and add value.

What advice would you give to women who want to pursue a career in Aviation?

Try and learn what those with the experience and skill are trying to teach you and keep an open mind. Be willing to learn and to be taught. From there, you can start to develop your own experiences and foundation to build on. Don’t take critique personally and be accepting of mistakes that you’re going to make and learn from them. And as a woman, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there a little bit more.

March 10, 2016

About Heli-One

Heli-One is based in Delta, British Columbia, Canada, and has MRO operations in Delta, Canada; Stavanger, Norway; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Rzeszow, Poland. Heli-One is the world’s largest independent helicopter MRO and hold certifications and expertise on a broad range of airframes and components from major helicopter and engine manufacturers, including Airbus, Sikorsky, Finmeccanica (AgustaWestland), Bell, Turbomeca, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric.

Heli-One is a segment of CHC Helicopter, the operating company of CHC Group Ltd. (OTCQX: HELIF) 

Heli-One Contact Information

Liam Fitzgerald
Communications Advisor

About Women of Aviation Worldwide Week

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week is a global outreach initiative that takes place annually during the week of March 8, anniversary date of the world’s first female pilot license since 1910 and International Women’s Day since 1914.

The week is designed to raise awareness of aviation opportunities available to girls of all ages while celebrating the accomplishments of past and present women of aviation.