RVL engineer Haydn Jakes appointed MBE

posted on 12th October 2020 by Eddie Saunders

Haydn Jakes, a young engineer working at RVL, has been appointed MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. His citation in the Gazette reads:

M.B.E.
Haydn Lloyd Richard JAKES
Team Member, WorldSkills UK
For services to the WorldSkills Competition.

“It’s really exciting to be appointed to this honour by The Queen. I wasn’t expecting it but I really appreciate it. It feels like further accreditation for the achievements in the WorldSkills competition and recognition for all the effort it took to get there. It’s amazing and I hope it inspires others to go for it.”

The whole RVL team congratulates Haydn on this honour.

While students across the UK are having a tough time pursuing their education, award-winning aircraft engineer Haydn has made the most of the Covid crisis. At the same time as he studies for his degree in aerospace engineering via online lectures from Nottingham University, he is able to further his aircraft maintenance skills with East Midlands Airport-based RVL Group.

Haydn, 24, joined a RVL in mid-August, working on the airline’s fleet of passenger charter, air freight and aerial survey aircraft.

He believes he has turned a difficult situation to his advantage: “It has worked out well for me. Because my lectures are pre-recorded it means that I can access them at any time, whenever it suits me. Normally all my lectures would be timetabled and I would have to attend. That would mean I couldn’t work. This is a much more flexible way of doing things and it means I can do both.

“Being back on the tools and spanners has been great, and working with RVL has taught me a lot. RVL’s fleet consists of twin turb-prop aircraft and in my previous roles I was working on larger machinery like the C130 Hercules, Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. Being on smaller aircraft, as part of a smaller team, has been beneficial and very enjoyable.”

After school Haydn undertook a four-year airframe / propulsion apprenticeship with Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, simultaneously completing BTEC qualifications in public services, aviation studies and aeronautical engineering. In his final year with Marshall the company entered him into the WorldSkills UK contest. He beat other young aircraft engineers from across the country to be selected to represent the UK at the WorldSkills international contest in Kazan, Russia, in 2019, where he secured the Gold Medal and was crowned best under-25 aircraft maintenance engineer in the world.

With no plans to rest on his laurels following the completion of his apprenticeship, Haydn applied to Nottingham University to join its Aerospace Engineering BEng course and learn the science behind flying. That has sharpened his appetite for further adventure, and he now has his sights set on joining the RAF as a pilot.

“Going to university has opened the door for me to join the RAF. To be a pilot has always been an ambition and now my goal is to be a test pilot one day, which to my mind is the ultimate culmination of engineering and flying. A test pilot has to have an engineering bias and be able to assess how things affect the aircraft and everything around it. That’s the goal for me, to fuse the two disciplines together.”

Dean Simpkins, RVL’s Head of Engineering, said: “We are all proud in RVL-Group that Haydn has been bestowed with an MBE.

“It is a privilege of my position in RVL to be able to support young engineering talent. So to bring an ambitious individual such as Haydn into our sector of the airline industry is welcome. During his time with RVL, Haydn has shown great qualities, I am therefore convinced he has a great career ahead of him.”