So we wanted to find out more about Ellie’s Interesting Job
So I’m an Aircraft Detailer. I honestly just fell into it, I’ve been very interested, (or obsessed, whatever you want to call it ), with automotive detailing for about 4/5 years. I research as much as possible, watch videos and then practice on my own cars. When my daughter was 6 months old, I went back to work and I studied level 2 Mechanics for a year. I ended up relocating for personal reasons and saw this job come up. I was over the moon to get the role. I love working on cars, but it’s just not what I wanted to do for a long-term career as my heart really was in detailing. The planes I work on are private and get regularly cleaned inside and out, not only for presentation but also to maintain the paintwork, brightwork, leather, carpets and interior surfaces. It’s important for aircraft’s to be cleaned often, as the grease used on landing gear stains horribly, and also gets flicked all under the belly and also down the sides. Oil from the engines also seeps out, which also stains, so it’s good to get it off as soon as possible.
This is not a job which requires qualifications, as knowledge and hands-on experience is what you need. However I started with just the experience of cars, and working on these aircraft’s are totally different. I took what I knew from detailing cars, applied it to the tasks at hand and learned as I went. A useful thing to have definitely is an IPAF license, so you can drive Skyjacks for example.
Expereince: knowledge of detailing Qualifications: Not required, IPAF license desriable.
The aircraft undergo a thorough wash, polish, paint correction, brightwork, (metal polishing) and coatings. dicta sunt explicabo
Very similar to a car in terms of cleaning the surfaces, windows, seats, hoovering, carpet shampoo etc, however we also have the bathrooms, a galley (including an oven, microwave, coffee machine and ice drawer) and of course the cockpit to do as well.
We work on every kind of aircraft, from helicopters to tiny Pipers up to the enormous Airbus’, and everything inbetween. The most common we do tend to be Globals and Gulfstreams.
The Verdict: I love my job, it’s interesting, I’ve met loads of lovely people, I get to travel around to different airports, and see how the other half live. Though it’s definitely not for everyone, as it’s long hours, hard work and due to the nature of aviation – plans chop and change at the last minute… But it keeps you on your toes!
Future plans for me is to start my own detailing business, it’s been a dream of mine for a long time to do it, and I think I’m getting to the point where I feel like I can go for it. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and own my own business – why not! For my Subaru, I’ve got a 2.5 engine to build which I am hoping will be big power. I’ve also always thought about doing a twin turbo flat 6, inspired by Andy Forrest I’m not ashamed to say, but that is way off at the moment.