11 Feb Taking Flight with SKYTRAC: Celebrating a Decade of Dedication
When Monty McEwen first saw an opening at SKYTRAC, he was intrigued by a unique Quality Assurance position that would enable him to work closely with a growing aerospace technology company within BC’s Okanagan Valley. Since coming on board with the SKYTRAC Quality Assurance team in 2010, McEwen has worked with many different internal and external departments, including worldwide government and industry regulators to ensure the highest service and quality standards are met by the company.
While Quality Assurance is now his key role at SKYTRAC, aviation has always been his passion and at the foundation of his career. Before SKYTRAC, McEwen held positions at Airborne Technology (NAT) and Cobham Aerospace. He was first introduced to the SKYTRAC team on a couple of projects while working within the industry and heard very good things about the company’s culture.
According to McEwen, his position’s diverse requirements have kept him continuously engaged and learning more about SKYTRAC’s systems and modernizing avionics to improve client safety and efficiencies in aerospace. He explained that working with a strong team also engages enjoyment within every challenge that presents itself. For McEwen, developing close relationships with clients and SKYTRAC’s creative and dedicated staff enables a thriving environment to continuously improve and work towards developing innovative, cost-efficient solutions at a premium standard.
“The people I work with and the challenges that we need to address keeps me dedicated and focused,” said McEwen. “The job is very dynamic, and the environment is ever-changing. Quality Assurance is an interesting role. You get to see all the elements and processes of the company, engage with every team, and really get to understand the inner workings of the company, from sales to engineering to shipping.”
Meeting SKYTRAC’s customers’ varying needs within today’s global aerospace can present many differing challenges. However, McEwen believes these needs and expectations have led to the vast and rapid improvement of the company’s technologies.
Throughout the last decade, his natural readiness to seek continual improvements has successfully helped to positively reshape the way SKYTRAC’s products and services are provided for clients around the world.
What has been the most important project that you have worked on at SKYTRAC, and why?
Implementation of a certified AS9100 Quality Management System (QMS) has allowed us to elevate the business into domains and customers we would not have previously been able to. The AS9100 QMS was released in October 1999 by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the European Association of Aerospace Industries and has become a widely adopted and standardized QMS for the aerospace industry. This QMS improved aerospace technologies’ quality and safety, and now major aerospace manufacturers and suppliers worldwide require compliance or registration to AS9100.
What is your family life like while you are working more from home this year?
Working from home this year has allowed me to focus on some of the more detailed procedural aspects. Still, it has created issues and new problems for us to go on-site to our external providers for audits, First Article Inspections, etc. However, we are continuously developing new ways to make things work.
How were you introduced to your current career?
I was always interested in electronics and aircraft and was very fortunate to join Northern Airborne Technology (NAT) shortly after school. There I worked with many people who had been working in the industry for years and learned a lot.
What do you like most about working at SKYTRAC?
The people – as we have a great, energizing team that I get to work with everyday. We work with a very passionate group that continually strives to provide innovative solutions for our clients’ needs.
What draws you to work in the aerospace industry?
The projects and problems we get to solve at SKYTRAC are very interesting. There is always something new being projected on the horizon, which keeps us from becoming complacent.
If you had to choose a fixed-wing or rotor-wing aircraft, which one would you choose?
Rotor-wing – as helicopters are more versatile and can get in and out of most places without the need for runways and other supporting facilities.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Gravel biking and mountain biking here in the Okanagan Valley is fantastic. There are so many great trails to ride in the valley that offer various difficulty levels and challenges to test your skills and cardio. It is a great area to get out and explore.