Airworthiness engineers ensure that aircraft are fit to fly and comply with all the relevant aviation regulations. This is a challenging and interesting job, which typically involves working in an aerodrome. These engineers deal with aircraft and associated software systems that test for airworthiness on a daily basis.
Whether you’re working on Tornado fighter jets, Boeing 747s, helicopters or space rockets, you will need a in-depth understanding of aircraft design and structure, aerodynamics and control.
Senior airworthiness engineers will be trained to use highly sophisticated aircraft software systems, and understand their interfaces and operation. Airworthiness engineers will also need to know about systems safety.

What does an Airworthiness Engineer do?

Day-to-day work will involve the use of design certificates, drawings, and test reports provided by BAE Systems specialists and equipment suppliers. It’s likely that an airworthiness engineer will operate as part of a team, compiling detailed documentation to certify an aircraft and imposing any necessary limitations.
Other job responsibilities might include: 
  • Conduct airworthiness assessments to support and guide design development, modification and equipment failure investigations. 
  • Assist in development and deliver of airworthiness capabilities
  • Provide airworthiness support and DDP certification to support airworthiness of equipment
  • Generate reports surrounding projects and assessments
  • Undertake regular audits in accordance with quality control regulations

What skills does an Airworthiness Engineer have?

Skills that prove useful for an airworthiness engineer include:

  • Product design
  • Aircraft safety knowledge
  • Stakeholder management
  • Project management skills
  • Professional registration (for example CEng/IEng)
  • Design certification experience within an aerospace organisation
  • Previous OEM aircraft operations experience
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Team player
  • Strong problem solving and decision making skills

Planning a career as an Airworthiness Engineer

Studying for an Aeronautical Systems Engineering degree is the usual entry route for this career. There are more than 30 universities in the UK offering aeronautical engineering-based courses.

What qualifications do I need?

Entry requires at least two A levels and five GCSEs at grades A*-C. At many universities, students without the necessary background in science and maths can take a one-year foundation course before applying for a degree.
Organisations including British Aerospace, British Airways, the RAF and the Ministry of Defence, may offer sponsorship to students on degree courses.
It helps to have done a work placement as part of your engineering degree, and to have gained some specialist experience in design certification and airworthiness.
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