Babcock Australasia engineer Antonio (‘Atoi’) Vicentesouza has recently achieved a major career milestone with his H175 type licence. Based at Babcock’s Aviation Offshore base at Dili, Atoi is the first Timorese national to gain this licence and one of only a handful in the southern hemisphere.
Atoi has come a long way in the 15 years he’s been in the aviation industry, where he started as a storeman. After a couple of years, he knew he wanted a career with greater opportunity and decided to pursue his dream of becoming an engineer.
“I spoke to the Base Manager about working as an engineer assistant and, once he’d looked into it, he gave me the green light. It meant that I’d need to pass a three month probation period, but I was determined – I decided to ‘back myself’ and take on the challenge,” said Atoi.
With the support of the engineering team, Atoi threw himself into learning his new profession, taking every opportunity to work on different helicopters. He said, “My friends in the engineering team helped me gain practical experience on AS332L/L1 and H225 aircraft and provided manuals to read so I could build my knowledge. I really appreciate their trust in giving me more responsibility and the support they always gave me.”
As part of his H175 type licence, Atoi spent six weeks in France at the Airbus Training Centre in 2018. Although he was in picturesque Aix-en-Provence, Atoi focused entirely on working through the theoretical and practical training he needed to achieve his ambition. “I didn’t have time to play tourist,” he said, “even though it was my first time in Europe.”
Working up to his licence, Atoi needed to log many hours of hands-on experience on H175. Starting in August 2019, it took around six months to work on every part of the aircraft type and record it in his logbook. Assistance from the engineering team at Dili, as well as support and encouragement from pilots, kept him focused and well-prepared to submit his logbook for assessment in March 2020.
“I didn’t achieve this on my own – I had a lot of support from everyone around me, including all the engineers and the pilots.”
Atoi appreciates the support he’s received from Babcock, and is particularly grateful to management for their willingness to provide opportunity and their encouragement throughout his training. He said, “I didn’t achieve this on my own – I had a lot of support from everyone around me, including all the engineers and the pilots.”
And while he didn’t get to see much of France while he was training in Toulouse, he plans to take his family there one day. “Of everyone involved in my journey to become an engineer, my family has been the most important. They were so supportive of everything I was doing, even when it was challenging.”
For anyone thinking about chasing their dream, Atoi’s advice is to go for it. “It takes hard work, a willingness to learn and the honesty to accept when you make a mistake, and then to learn from it. I’m proof that you can achieve anything when you give it your very best.”