14 July 2014
Former Napier Boys’ High School student, and now Air Force aircraft technician, Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Chris Robertson, aged 24, won a silver medal in the aircraft maintenance category at the 2014 National WorldSkills competition held in Hamilton 4 – 6 July.
The competition is New Zealand’s premier work-skill competition and can lead to competitors representing New Zealand in the ‘Tool Blacks’ team at the international WorldSkills competition held biennially.
LAC Robertson undertook two full days of practical and theory assessments in the aircraft maintenance category and will now go into the selection phase to represent New Zealand at the International WorldSkills competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil next year.
“I joined the RNZAF in 2010 to learn a trade. I was always interested in cars so it was a perfect opportunity to work at the highest level of maintenance. I was also interested in the travel opportunities so getting to travel to Brazil next year for the international WorldSkills competition would be awesome,” LAC Robertson said.
LAC Robertson remembers a RNZAF Iroquois visiting his high school when he was 13 and thinking how impressive it was. “Little did I know that 10 years later I would be working on one,” he said.
“My role involves daily inspections of helicopters and replacing major components such as engines and transmissions. The work is quite varied, one day I could be working on aircraft at Ohakea and the next be on an exercise in Waiouru.
“I have been to a variety of different places of places with the RNZAF. I recently spent two weeks on Exercise ALAM HALFA travelling the North Island, four months at Base Whenuapai in Auckland assisting the Aeronautical Maintenance Squadron and the Intermediate Level Maintenance, as well as other various taskings around the country,” said LAC Robertson.