Welcome to our Anniversary Interview with Leho Lõhmus. He is our Line Maintenance Shift Leader and has recently completed his 20th year at Magnetic MRO!
On behalf of celebrating his past years amongst us, Tiina Shein (a.k.a. our Marketing Manager) asked a few moments of Leho’s to share his experiences with us.
Tiina Shein: Hi Leho! Can you tell us for how many years have you been working at Magnetic MRO (including AME years – before rebranding)?
Leho Lõhmus: I started working here on 1st of March, 1998. So in total I’ve worked here for 20 years.
TS: How did you get involved in aviation?
LL: I am originally from Tartu and there was this local flight club. It was during the Soviet times, and when I was a 14 or 15-year old teenager. So I just showed up there one day – just out of pure interest. I received training and started to fly gliders, which I still do today. Back then, you knew everybody there and you knew who worked where. So when I heard Estonian Air was looking for new recruits during the 90s, I got interested, applied and passed their training. Flying with the glider was a hobby, and still is, but you know what they say about aviation – it’s a lifestyle, not a hobby.
TS: I think we all know how the story evolved from Estonian Air to Magnetic MRO. But our readers who don’t, please kindly click here! So Leho, please tell us about the departments and job titles you’ve worked under so far.
LL: At the beginning I was an unlicensed technician. After I completed the 3-year training in Finland, I became a licensed technician. Basically all of my time here, I’ve been in line maintenance unit. There were many times I worked in both base and line maintenance to gain more experience and support other teams, but always belonged to the line in core. And now for the past 3 years I’ve been working a shift leader.
TS: Can you remember your favorite memory during these past years in this company? Do you mind sharing it with us?
LL: Positive, or so to say the happiest memory was when I got handed the papers and the right to become a licensed technician. That was surely a milestone in terms of my career. Apart from that, there are so many of course, hard to say. Whenever you can fix a very difficult problem on which you have worked on for weeks, have been looking for an answer for ages and when you finally find a solution, that’s a great feeling and moment. One of the brightest memories is probably when Estonian Air received the first CRJ jet from Canada. I went over the Atlantic to take the delivery and came with it back to Estonia.
TS: Brilliant! Have you ever visited the outstations as well? If yes, then what are your fondest memories from them?
LL: During my time here, I’ve been to quite a few. One time I went to Sharm El Sheikh to change a nose of a Boeing aircraft after a bird had flown into it. I’ve also been in Amsterdam, Finland, Copenhagen and Sweden. All great memories! I think the best experience was when Estonian Air still had SAAB aircraft and we were contracted to go to Germany, to Baden-Baden. Wonderful weather, beautiful nature, amazing landscape.
TS: How would you define all these years spent in Magnetic MRO?
LL: Responsibility, responsibility, responsibility! Of course, the keywords vary on the kind of work you’re doing. But beside responsibility, I would definitely say that the work is intense as well.
TS: Would you say working at Magnetic MRO has changed your life in any way?
LL: MMRO life is quite interesting for sure. It’s amazing that such a small company has built itself up here in Estonia and globalized itself so fast. We used to have only four line stations but now we have so many hangars, all filled with planes. It is a huge thing. And so many people work here, that it is almost all Estonia is employed by us. The professionalism and quality standards we have reached today compared to 20 years ago; it is truly impressive! Meanwhile, I have grown with the company of course. I am proud and grateful.
TS: Would you recommend working at Magnetic MRO?
LL: I would recommend working at MMRO for everybody who has a strong interest in aviation and hunger for challenge.
TS: Thank you very much, Leho! On behalf of Magnetic MRO I am confident to say that we are happy to have you on board. We wish you best of luck and have a successful life ahead.