Spotlight on the Women of Bristow: The All-Female Technical Records Team

Bristow is shining a spotlight on the women who make Bristow soar. This interview features the all-female Technical Records team, who reside in Bristow’s Aberdeen office.

The Technical Records team is responsible for the compilation, coordination and maintenance of a data recording system within Bristow to ensure the aircraft usage information is retained, that aircraft component removal and fitments are recorded, their lives are accounted for, and that all necessary logbooks / cards are updated, along with the necessary documentation.

The All-Female Technical Records Team

The Technical Records team is composed of (from left to right) Technical Records Administrators: Emily Hunter, Aanchal Subedi and Shannon Pickard and Technical Records Supervisor Christine Anderson.

Tell us about your roles at Bristow.

Christine: I joined the Technical Records department in 2004 from the oil and gas industry and moved into the supervisor role two years later. I truly enjoy my role as a supervisor. My responsibilities include the day-to-day oversight of the department and the team, as well assisting my line manager with any training requirement, procedure rewrites and various reporting duties. Technical Records work closely with the aircraft engineers from various bases across the UK and the heavy maintenance engineers.

Shannon: I have been working at Bristow for nearly eight years, and in my current role for the past three years. I manage the aircraft records for our AW139 fleet based in Norwich and ensure the records and paperwork are checked and updated accordingly, which can range from aircraft components being installed or removed to writing up the engine log books to auditing the flying hours of each aircraft flown every day.

Aanchal: As a technical record administrator, I monitor and analyze daily aircraft paperwork to ensure the forecast is correct. I also check base-maintenance paperwork and archive paperwork as needed.

What are you currently working on?

Christine: I am currently working on the Leonardo AW189 search and rescue (SAR) aircraft. The daily documentation and heavy maintenance work packs for these aircraft are keeping me very busy. There are aircraft coming in for maintenance, various checks and modifications as part of the import and export of aircraft through Aberdeen and there are aircraft with their leases coming to an end soon with the aircraft are being returned to the lessors. The lease return work is currently ongoing, and we will be updating all relevant changes regarding the records and preparing the aircraft documentation for the final return.

Emily: I’m working on a day-to-day basis looking at the aircraft techlogs and maintenance checks. I audit the daily aircraft documents to ensure the data is correct and that the data aligns with our ERP system.

Shannon: I am currently working on any base maintenances of my aircraft, which can range from small base maintenances that can last from a few days to a week, or to big base maintenances that can last a few months. I also prepare my aircraft for Airworthiness Review Certificate inspections by ensuring components of the aircraft that are installed and removed are kept up to date with the forecast aligning, writing up modifications and the engine books of that aircraft.

What is a recent success you're particularly proud of?

Christine: I recently put in place a process for reporting any errors found during the daily paperwork reviews for all aircraft operating in the UK. I take the data and present it to all bases each month. This reporting method allows the Engineering team to identify and address any potential training needs for their department or trends that may require attention within the documentation and the ERP system.

Shannon: A recent success I’m proud of as both individual and team is remote working successfully through the challenges of the pandemic. Also, I recently gained my company authorization, which allows my to authorize entries in the logbooks without supervisors’ oversight and I’m now authorized to make the decisions that the data I’m auditing and recording is correct. I can also make those decisions for team members who don’t hold an authorization yet.

We started off as a big team when I started in the department, but our team has shrunk considerably due to staff members transitioning to other roles. As a team we have adapted to all changes and balanced the remaining workload among us, ensuring everything is covered.

Aanchal: The recent success I am proud of as a team was being able to adapt to the new changes that happened due to pandemic and working from home, while making most of the work paperless and online.

As an individual, I am proud to have passed my driving test during the pandemic. When I found myself with more time on my hand because everything was closed due to the pandemic, I wanted to make the most of this opportunity for personal development and learning to drive seemed like the best option.

What are some challenges the team has faced? How did you overcome them?

Christine: I would have to say the biggest challenge we have faced as team recently has been adapting to a mainly working from home environment due the pandemic, with a day each in the office a week. As we are responsible for the physical upkeep of the aircraft records, as well as the digital records, we had to look at our work processes and adapt to suit the current situation. By doing this, we streamlined our work processes and eliminated about 10% of non-productive activity, which is an achievement for us as a team. Another hurdle for us during the last year is that we have gone from a team of six people to a team of four. With two team members moving into new roles within Bristow, we have each gained more responsibilities. I think we are great at working together as a team and we always maintain open communication, so that we can keep our high standards and attention to detail, whilst helping each other when needed, even with this increased workload.

Emily: The challenges the team has faced was the implementing of remote working at the start. It was overcome by continual communication and planning.

Shannon: It would have to be when the pandemic hit. As our job requires to physically inspect the paperwork and log cards, we had to quickly adapt to working from home doing this. It entailed starting a new routine as we learned to work from home. Now everything is accessible online and the bases scan paperwork and documents to us, which streamlines the process, especially when we are not in the office.

Christine: Everyone around me at work inspires me! We have an amazing group of people working in Fleet support, and the skill set is incredible. The wealth of knowledge is amazing throughout the team.

On a personal level, my mum inspires me. She is the strongest and most selfless person I know. If I am half the woman she is, I will be delighted.

Emily: My dad’s work ethic inspires me. He’s worked his way to the top through the years and continues to excel. He’s a director at an oil company, and his commitment and passion to do good inspire me every day. I incorporate the lessons I’ve learned from him by being true to myself and striving to reach my potential.

Shannon: My parents have inspired me throughout my life. They are both very hardworking and incredible at what they do. They have always been my strongest support system no matter what life throws at me; I can always count on them.

Another huge inspiration for me is my dancing teacher, the way she comes across to her students is admirable. I love how passionate she is about teaching and dancing. She inspires her students and is a fantastic role model. I hope to do the same someday and inspire the next generation of dancers.

Aanchal: My biggest inspiration is my Mum. Even though she has been working in a hospital throughout the pandemic, she radiates positivity and is an uplifting spirit for everyone around her. I can always go to her any problems, and she has a solution for all of them.

What advice do you have for women just beginning their career?

Christine: Know your worth, be confident in your abilities and always be open to learning new things.

Emily: Create a good work-life balance and believe in yourself.

Shannon: If there is anything you want to achieve, just go for it! Never underestimate yourself. Do not be afraid to speak up and share your ideas or opinions because every individual is valued. Every woman’s success is an inspiration to another.

Aanchal: In my time in college studying mechanical engineering, I didn’t see many women pursuing this career path, so my advice is to take the chance and seize the opportunity. Don’t be afraid of challenges or being the minority

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Christine: I like to spend most of my free time with my family and having a very active eight-year-old daughter keeps me on my toes. I also enjoy walking, swimming and socializing. I worked as a sign writer for many years after leaving school and it’s still a passion of mine, so I like to brush up on my calligraphy skills when I get the chance.

Over the years, I have been involved with a lot of fundraising for various charities and just recently completed a 300,000-step challenge in aid of Maggie Centers across the UK, which provides support for people living with cancer and their families.

Emily: In my free time, I enjoy working out. I used to be a competitive athlete, and these days I compete with myself by pushing myself at the gym. I run and do core body exercise to stay strong and active.

I also enjoy taking vacations. My favourite vacations are Dubai and Bali – I love the scenery and the weather at both locations.

Shannon: I am a very active person and love being busy, so I enjoy dancing and assisting at my dance school. I am currently working through my final unit for my diploma in Dance Education for Modern Theatre, where I can become a qualified dance teacher. I love to be out and about walking my sausage dog Baxter, who loves a trip to Forest Farm for an ice cream. I also enjoy doing some home baking for my family and friends.

Aanchal: In my free time I read books, romantic or slice of life genre are my favorite. I have started gaming too.

What question should we have asked you?

Christine: What do you enjoy the most about your position at Bristow?

Meeting new people from different departments and being involved with the Engineering and Maintenance side of the business is so interesting for me.

Emily: How do you feel about woman’s equality.

I feel gender equality in the workplace has improved throughout the years, however, there is still progress to be made in regards to work life balance and pay gap.