Aircraft Services Technician (AST) Garrett Watson tells us about the merits of elbow grease, turning a hull into a home and the thing he never expected about KF.
The KF Aerospace AST Team provides professional exterior and interior aircraft detailing. Services include washing the plane, cleaning and refurbishing its seats, bins, galleys, lavs, wall panels and carpets. The department is home to over 50 employees across our Kelowna and Hamilton bases—and growing!
How did you start at KF?
I had just turned 18 and didn’t have any experience in aviation. At that time no one in town was hiring. I applied at KF and started out on their ‘wash crew,’ cleaning the aircraft to get it ready for inspections. Lee Swackhamer helped train me. He made sure I knew exactly where everything should be!
How would you describe the AST role?
Sweaty! Haha. We cover such a broad spectrum of tasks. Some things we do are very meticulous, like applying corrosion preventatives, and other times brute force is your best friend, for example, when removing carpets and moving full carts of seats in a timely manner.
Any key requirements?
Teamwork is a huge part of it. Getting along with others is one of the most important parts of the job. You pretty much become a family.
Your favourite aircraft to work on?
I like the 737-800’s and 700’s, but the Hercules are probably the coolest. They need exterior detailing and interior detailing on the pilot and co-pilot seats.
Most rewarding part of the job?
To see the a fully stripped cabin go from a husk of a plane to a fully furnished interior. It’s like renovating a house to make it new and shiny.
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I hope to be an AME-Mechanic apprentice. Right now, I’m taking International Correspondence School (ICS). It’s more affordable for me than going to college and it allows me to work the entire time to save money.
It’s interesting though, I came to KF for something temporary and it ended up being a lot more than that. I didn’t realize how much of a career you could really make out of it.
Be part of our world-class aircraft maintenance team—click here to learn more about KF’s diverse career opportunities!