For Ryan Schuck, Babcock’s Base Chief Engineer at Adelaide Airport, a passion for managing people is the most important factor in keeping Babcock’s fleet of specially configured Bell 412 helicopters online 24/7/365 for the South Australian State Rescue Helicopter Services (SRHS).
“Working with helicopters is a fast paced, dynamic environment, especially when we need to have the aircraft ready to fly with as little as 10 minutes notice,” Ryan said.
“Every day presents a different challenge, which is why it’s important to have a close-knit team that trusts and supports each other to get the job done safely and efficiently.
“Professional qualifications and experience are vital, but it is also about the non-technical skills to get the best out of people. How you interact, lead, and communicate with other people, how you solve problems, and manage workloads are all critical to success.
“I’m all about creating a trusted and supportive environment, to nurture each team member’s strengths and knowledge, empower them to make decisions, and to always strive for improvement and growth.”
Leading and supporting high performing engineering teams is Ryan’s speciality. He has 25 years’ experience in the civil aviation sector as a specialist engineer and manager, and training in aviation maintenance across Australia, Canada, France and the United States.
Originally from Canada, Ryan moved from Vancouver to Adelaide in 2005 where he then worked for 14 years in the offshore oil and gas industry managing a team of 25 engineers and 12 rotary wing aircraft.
During his career, Ryan has been involved in many Australian firsts in the aviation sector.
He was heavily involved in the introduction of the AW139 aircraft to Australia for aeromedical operations on behalf of the NSW Ambulance Service and became one of the first aircraft engineers in Australia licenced to maintain the AW139.
He was also involved in the research, testing development, and design of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) installations for aircraft, including winching, stretchers, and bespoke oxygen systems to meet Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations.
Another of Ryan’s key achievements was leading a company’s change to a Part 42 Part 145 Civil CASA approved maintenance organisation, a role that required him to relocate to Perth.
In 2020, joined PHI International as Engineering Safety & Quality Manager, an executive role that saw him get ‘off the tools’ and into the office managing PHI’s engineering teams across Australia.
A desire for a better work / life balance saw Ryan return to Adelaide to be closer to his wife’s family where he joined Babcock in late 2021 as Base Chief Engineer at Adelaide Airport.
“After spending a few years in an executive role, I have enjoyed stepping back into the front line with Babcock,” Ryan says.
“Planning the maintenance so that it has the least impact on SRHS operations is the biggest challenge for the role.
“Not only do we have to ensure the aircraft are ready to fly, we are also maintaining the rescue equipment from search lights and Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) cameras, to life jackets and harnesses, winches and radios, as well as the hanger, equipment, and the tooling and parts to service the aircraft.
Ryan enjoys being part of a culture that ensures safety and compliance in everything that they do on a day-to-day basis.
“In my world, safety and compliance come first. I truly believe that if you look after your people, your people will look after you, and Babcock is a company that supports that.”