Working at JETMS for over a decade, Dmitrij Gagarin, Head of Technical Department, has gone from a mechanic with little experience in aircraft base maintenance, to a full-fledged maintenance professional, even climbing as high in his career as becoming the main person behind the Technical Department’s wheel.
Joining the JETMS family in 2012 as an Aviation Mechanic, Dmitrij put in hard and diligent work in learning the ropes and two years later became an Aviation Technician, holding certification in B1/C Support Staff Bombardier Challenger CL850, CL604/605, as well as Hawker 750/800/800XP/900XP. After six years of relentless attitude and focus on becoming a real definition of an expert, Dmitrij took on the role of Head of Production, which eventually lead him to where he is now – Head of Technical Department.
“It’s a position that really made me leave my comfort zone,” he shares. “It’s not only about learning new things, which I’m still excited about doing, but also about always being prepared for new challenges and taking on bigger responsibilities”. Dmitrij adds that the road to the current position of the Head of Technical Department is a tough and long one. The candidate must be extremely well-versed in EASA Part 145 requirements, as well as be assessed by Transport Competence Agency (TKA), which Dmitrij has already under his belt. The position also carries large responsibilities for the main activities of the company, and, in his case, being in charge of the largest division in the company.
When it comes to a typical day for the Head of Technical Department, Dmitrij notes that he rarely has what most might think of as a normal workday. “One day I might be concentrating more on meetings with customers, another day working with the team by supervising, training, or taking on other similar activities. Other times, I work on projects or pay more attention to improvements of certain aspects. It’s a very dynamic position, and each day is different from the last one. One thing that does stay the same, though, is our team’s daily routine – meetings we hold each morning to plan our activities, taking into consideration specific situations for that day.”
Organizing, planning, and prioritizing work is one of Dmitrij’s responsibilities. What especially helps him bring efficiency in taking care of these day-to-day tasks is having a clear structure, and specific function assignment in the company, that allows planning properly. “Our company uses LEAN framework and that is a core of our company; it helps us solve any problems here and now,” explains Dmitrij. “We have clearly identified indicators, which we follow every day. It then allows us to see precisely how the numbers are changing due to various orders of components, deliveries, or delays. We also track the hours the employees put into an aircraft maintenance project and are constantly analysing situations to better the efficiency.”
An efficient maintenance organisation, as Dmitrij sees it, is where enough resources and facilities are used to provide services in a shorter period of time. “Here, the speed of decision-making is critical. Time is number one for our clients, that is why we have to not only react at lightning speed but also forestall certain situations. In many cases, MRO effectiveness depends on the speed of component supply – the ones that are the quickest, show better results. At JETMS, for example, we constantly refill our stock, have a dedicated logistics team, and that is how we are able to do our jobs quickly and with quality.”
The team – is the most important part of achieving planned results. That is what Dmitrij strongly believes in. Aircraft maintenance processes require a lot of teamwork within each unit and cooperation between different ones: hangar, stock, procurement, planning, logistics, and more. He notes that working with people is another important responsibility for Head of Tech Department – one does not only have to bring motivation, but also join different people for a goal.
“When you’re in such a high position, you take on responsibility for the results of the company – it is your and your team’s direct outcome of work. It’s also an important responsibility to customers and to employees alike, ensuring their safety – it’s like your child,” explains Dmitrij.
This all comes into the high-quality work the JETMS Technical Department does on a daily basis, but Dmitrij stresses that it doesn’t stop there. “Another part of the same coin – to support customers after the maintenance is complete. It’s an all-rounded service that we provide. We are always looking forward to customer feedback, which really helps us make specific improvements to our services”. Customer support and feedback are an integral part of JETMS.
The company wrapped up 2021 with a customer survey and new goals, which are being reached to meet the expectations customers have. The very open and honest customer answers not only helped JETMS improve but also make several important changes in process management, communication with clients, and more. One of such changes was offering Dmitrij to become the Head of Technical Department, which marked the beginning of big changes not only for the company, but also for him personally. This was a remarkable success story for Dmitrij, and for the whole of JETMS.
Over the ten years at JETMS, Dmitrij has encountered a number of situations with varying degrees of challenges. But for him, completing something that might look like an impossible task at first glance is what gives him dizzying motivation to push forward.
One such instance – is an aircraft defect that a client had been trying to find for two years. “The aircraft of the client had a defect for a couple of years. It was only identified as such, but the client wasn’t able to find, explain or fix it. Eventually, they came to us for help. We found the problem – which was connected to the fuel system – and fixed the issue.”
When it comes to specific projects that Dmitrij has worked on this year, a Bombardier Challenger 604 aircraft project comes to his mind first. “It was quite a dramatic situation,” he recalls. “During the maintenance, we discovered a number of defects, which were not known at the beginning of the project. In these cases, the service time becomes longer, but we managed to take care of everything not a day late and released the aircraft on time as scheduled. We put in maximum effort, the customer was happy, and we were extremely proud of our team. Of course, this required a change of plans and quick decisions to be made, but the customer’s needs are our number one priority.”
JETMS is also a part of Avia Solutions Group, leaders in end-to-end capacity solutions for passenger and cargo airlines worldwide, and Dmitrij tells that being a part of a group like Avia Solutions Group offers a great sense of security, as well as more opportunities to find the best fitting position for oneself. This also allows constantly grow as a professional and deepen his knowledge in a particular area – something that he constantly strives for.
Dmitrij’s career in aviation is one of success – a result of his headstrong perseverance, wilfulness, and dedication to his craft. With an important position comes big responsibilities, but Dmitrij seems more than excited to be facing challenges and taking on small- and big-scale projects with a professional team at JETMS.