May 27, 2013 was the date that started it all; the Design Organization Approval had come through, and QCM now had its own Design Organization: EASA.21J.509.
18 months on, and it's always nice to reflect on our successes and all that we have learnt during this time.
During our very busy and functional 18 months, we have given 45 Minor Change Approvals for all manner of changes; ranging from carpet changes to veneer refurbishments to the certifications of coffee machines and Blu-Ray players, the variety is vast, and has provided quite the wide learning ground. There is always something to learn in each of the these projects, especially when one has only just graduated, and begins in the Part 21J industry with little to no experience in design engineering. However, the continued support and combined knowledge from peers, in particular Mr. Christian Schusser and Mr. Alexander Luley, have been phenomenal.
Not only has our team grown in members to round us off quite nicely at four people, but we have expanded our project horizon and knowledge. We are currently handling between three to four Minor Changes, we are also in the process of certifying and supporting two companies with the approval of Major Changes, which result in Supplemental Type Certificates.
Our combined experience can only be expanded upon by giving a broad view of our team, and our capabilities.
Our Head of Design Organization always has a keen interest in the types of projects we are working on, and is always looking for more opportunities to bring in a variety of clients from around Europe.
In comparison, QCM’s Chief Office of Airworthiness has prepared numerous certification projects, encompassing STCs and minor changes, and has been in the aviation industry for 16 years. He has since set up two Design Organizations from scratch, the latest one being QCM design GmbH. As well as being Chief Office of Airworthiness, he gives training courses for QCM about Design Organization Approvals and Production Organization Approvals, and the legislation and regulation behind them. Having given these courses for a while now puts him in a good position to teach the members of our team at work, when we have questions about the regulations, or about why something is done the way it is.
Some of the things our team members have learnt over the past year and a half with QCM design are among the following:
- How to be creative and flexible whilst handling numerous projects at the same time;
- The complexity in substantiation for even a cabin carpet change;
- The devil is in the details! Take each project slowly and efficiently;
- How to ‘correctly’ interpret regulations based on which country or authority they originate from, i.e. FAA, JAA, EASA, etc.;
- Avionics are a complex playground; it’s very easy to get lost in the wirings, however practice makes perfect;
- How changes are classified into Minor and Major, and from there, into Substantial, Significant, and Non-Significant, as well as the reason behind the Changed Product Rule (Part 21A.101);
As for myself, in the 18 months since beginning at QCM design, I’ve learnt so much more than was ever taught at Uni. Being immersed in the aviation industry has given me more experience than I had ever thought capable of knowing, and I am always surprised when I can write a certification programme and not have to rely on my team, or when I explain to customers the right type of flammability test to conduct!
I really enjoy having such an efficient, brilliant team as this one, and I’m always hugely thankful for the support they give me!