Anniversary Interview with Talgat Salihhov – 35 years of (Aviation) Love

Talgat Salihhov found two loves when he came to work in Estonia as a shift leader and mechanic in 1985: first, he met his wife who was working at Magnetic MRO (Aircraft Maintenance Estonia at the time) and secondly, he found the workplace he appreciates to bits (yes, it’s about us!).

This year Talgat’s celebrating 35 years “workiversary” here – that’s a proof that Magnetic MRO takes a particular part in his life.

We sat down with Talgat to chat about his experience being part of Magnetic family.

Q: Talgat, 35 years is quite something!

Talgat Salihhov: Indeed! And that’s just 35 years since I came to Estonia – feels like I’ve been here forever.

Q: And how you decided to pursue your career in aviation?

TS: Aviation was something I was into since my childhood. I wanted to be a pilot, but the vision of one eye wasn’t good enough, so this dream had to remain the dream. Then I entered to Riga Civil Aviation Engineers Institute. And after graduation, I arrived in Tallinn!

Q: Can you let us know what was your role in Magnetic during all those years?

TS: I’ve started as Shift Leader and maintenance mechanic for Aeroflot, continued to work at Line Maintenance at Air Maintenance Estonia from 1991 until 2002; then became B1/B2 Technician and Shift Leader until 2017 when I became a Base Maintenance team member as B1, B2/BM Technician. And I am currently part of the same team, mostly working on A320’s. 

Q: That’s quite the road you travelled here at the hangars – also, you’ve seen quite some changes within the company and faced then it became what it is today:

TS: It’s true – I’ve seen it all, and I can say proudly that I feel like I was always there when the company was transforming, growing, continuously improving and become its best self as it is today.

Q: This should make some good memories! Share what your best moments from all those years were?

TS: On the 1st of April, 1985, when I came to work in Tallinn, I met my wife. This is no doubt, one of my fondest memories! Also, I can look back at my first aircraft type training course which I have passed in Seattle and the next training which took place in Spain, Slovenia and other locations. Actually, thanks to the courses I travelled a lot.

I have to mention also the first C-check in Tallinn on the B737 ES-ABD which took place in 2002. And trust me, these are just some of the best memories!

Q: The first C-check in Tallinn on the B737 – was this the first time you worked on Boeings?

TS: No, first Boeing which came to these hangars landed here in 1996: there were not that many of those flying around this region. It was indeed a difficult yet great experience – I remember the first impression it had on me – I was really impressed! And look at me know – Boeing and Airbus are our bread and butter!

Q: What you like the most of your job?

TS: A lot of things: from team to actually just simply doing what I enjoy to do. Also, being avionic means a lot of flexibility – you can work on the interior or exterior, so there are no dull or similar working days here, and you’re always learning something new. Yes, even after over three decades, aviation has many things it can surprise you with – and teach you.

Q: And now, you also eagerly share your experience with those in the apprenticeship program?

TS: Yes, we have quite some students here. I am a firm believer that it is not too difficult to learn to be a good aircraft technician – all you need to do is to have passion for these birds of steel and have a technical mindset. And then even the skies are not the limit!