RAF Benson’s Champion Engineer

Senior Aircraftwoman Kerry Winters has been acknowledged as a champion in her engineering field.

Kerry is currently a mechanical technician with 78 Squadron, RAF Benson, working on Merlin helicopters. Last year she was nominated by her Squadron Commanders to enter the UK Skills Competition 2010 to demonstrate her exceptional skills in the mechanical engineering field. The competition is only open to those under 24 years of age who have achieved or are working towards an Aircraft Level 3 Apprenticeship.

Following extensive interviews and filtering by the Royal Air Force and the UK Skills, Kerry was selected for the final rounds of the UK Skills Aircraft Maintenance competition in the Mechanical section, held at HMS Sultan in Gosport. Competing against the best apprentices from organisations including British Airways, Thomas Cook, QinetiQ, Newcastle Academy and the Royal Navy, each individual had to undergo six separate intense skills tests. A typical test for the Mechanical trade was to fabricate an item based on an engineering drawing, which involved making calculations, bending radius and hand riveting techniques.

Following an astounding performance, Senior Aircraftwoman Kerry Winters won the Mechanical Competition and was awarded a Gold Medal for her achievements, along with other prizes, at the UK Skills National Award Ceremony held in London. For her victory, Kerry now goes forward as a member of the UK Squad. She is also in the running to represent the UK in the World Skills Competition later this year, which is held every two years in a different host nation.

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