Inside Iberia: A day in the life of aircraft mechanic Carlos Alonso
Carlos Alonso has been working as an aeronautical maintenance technician since 1996. We chatted with him about his profession and day-to-day work.
Why did you decide to be a mechanic?
Hasn’t everyone dreamt of touching the sky with their hands? Even though I know the basic principles of lift, I’m still fascinated by how a structure weighing so much is able to rise above our heads so easily.
How many years have you been working in avionics and how has your job evolved?
I’ve got 20 years in the business, and the truth is that, looking back, we wonder how we managed to do all the inspections and solve all the challenges that we dealt with every day without the means and technology we have today. As professionals in this field, we’re constantly updating our knowledge and learning new things. We can’t forget that behind the safest means of transport in existence, there’s a whole team of professionals that make this "miracle" possible.
When did you start at Iberia?
It was in the summer of 1996; I’ve got special memories of that day. I was overwhelmed at first, until I finally realised that I was, indeed, part of this incredibly complex team. I’m still astonished.
Do you remember the first plane you worked on? And the last one?
Yes, it was one of Alitalia’s Jumbos (Boeing-747). Today, we’re working on the fleet of Airbus A-330s.
Who works in Iberia’s hangars?
It wouldn’t be fair to mention only the mechanics working in the hangars. There are other departments like Wheels, Components, and Engines; without them, it would be impossible to do any maintenance work. They’re all instrumental in this complex logistics.
Of the older, classic models, are there any you would have liked to work on?
It would have been a challenge to work on those old Rohrback Rolands or Breguet Limousines, with their wicker seats and complete lack of on-board electronics.
Did becoming an aircraft mechanic change the way you fly as a passenger?
Obviously, knowledge is everything; having an insider’s perspective gives you a completely different approach than someone who doesn’t know very much about aircraft. When I fly, I'm surprised by how other passengers react to some of the plane’s sounds or manoeuvres.