Faces of Magnetic: Anna Gontar

Interviews & Articles

Anna Gontar, Junior Airworthiness Engineer, has been around aircraft since childhood – her dad has been working as an engineer (and still is part of our team!). However, for Anna, the path to aviation was not that straightforward – learn how she ended up being part of Team Magnetic as we feature Anna as Face of Magnetic!

How did you end up working in aviation? Do you remember the first time you were fascinated by it?

Anna Gontar: It would be fair to say that aviation played a significant part in my life way before I joined Magnetic Group. My father started his career in aviation in Tallinn in the late ’80s and was part of the core team of Estonian Air when it was founded and remains one of the most experienced engineers in Magnetic MRO to these days. So I was very lucky to see the airplanes up close from childhood and heard a lot of talks about aviation at home.

Nevertheless, at the time, I had never considered my career to be related to aviation. After school, I went to live abroad, studied Hospitality Management, worked in many exciting places and companies but none related to aviation. Then, in the summer of 2017, a friend joined the Magnetic MRO as an Engineering Assistant for a project that didn’t require a technical background but rather a good eye for details and extra pair (or two) of hands. I came along on a temporary contract to support the kick-off of that project with no intention to stay for more than 3 months. Then, one thing led to another, and I realized that being a part of the Engineering Team somehow combined my skills, personality and ambitions in perspective, I just didn’t see for myself before. Now, almost 5 years on – I am still here, loving every moment of it and not planning to go any time soon.

Can you tell more about your line of work? What do you enjoy the most? What do you find challenging the most?

AG: As I came to the industry with a very vague idea of how it worked, for the first 1,5 years, I was picking up the basics of continuing airworthiness concept, learning what kind of projects the department was handling and what role CAMO is playing in aviation. I was extremely lucky to receive support from my team and be involved in all kinds of projects starting from the simplest tasks but learning something new every day. Combined with my personal drive to grow in this field I was able to build myself up to face more challenging tasks.

For the last 1,5 years, I’ve been in a Junior Airworthiness Engineer role in Magnetic MRO Technical Services unit. Our small but mighty team mostly supports the aircraft redelivery projects from one Owner/Operator to another which is itself a very demanding process due to many parties involved. Apart from the technical aspect, there is always a cultural and international context to each project which sometimes catches you by surprise with challenges you just never expected to face. But on the other hand, the same thing makes our work more dynamic and interesting, with no day being the same compared to the day before.
Having said that, the recent two years were a time of huge uncertainty for this segment of the industry, with many redelivery projects being frozen until further notice. The good news is that it will not last forever, and slowly but steadily, the action picks up again, and we are surely ready for it!

Do you have some exciting stories from your work? What do you consider your best memory from working at Magnetic?

AG: There is a lot of stories to tell, but I should really choose the audience wisely so it will not be used against me! The best memories are usually the most recent ones and are usually related to people you work with! Probably the funniest situation that happened to me was when on one of the projects, I had to persuade the Irish Immigration authority to extend the crew visas for extra 5 days for the Vietnamese team of 4 Engineers accepting the aircraft. Some technical issues caused the delay in aircraft dispatch from Dublin to Hanoi, and a few days were needed to fix it. There was no such visa extension procedure existing, and the possible deportation of our customer’s team was not exactly the desired outcome of 5 months long project. I still have no idea what made the Immigration Officer in charge to change his mind that even after 2 official written refusals from the Authorities, we still managed to get the desired extension stamps and send the aircraft and the team onboard off without breaking the immigration law.

Your work sounds very interesting – and also very active. How do you relax after work? What are your hobbies?

AG: I don’t really have any exciting breath-taking hobbies like some of my colleagues have. I am a big foodie and never miss a chance to check out new restaurants in town or cook something myself at home, especially if friends or family are there for good company. I love travelling when I have time or just chill home for a weekend with zero plans confirmed. With work like mine, sometimes you really need it!