Team Lead Technical Operations – Kisik Aerial Survey

Jun 4, 2016

Trevin Muscat

The summer months are the busiest time at Kisik Aerial Survey, however despite his packed schedule, Trevin Muscat who is the Team Lead of Technical Operations made time for us to learn more about what his role is at Kisik Aerial Survey and how he ended up working in the industry.

What does a typical workday look like for you? 

I do a bit of everything in my role, so there isn’t really any typical work day. My tasks can include getting in one of our aircraft and collecting data and taking photos, processing data and images, client liaison and management, flight planning, technical troubleshooting, maintaining equipment, and managing a technical team of 3… like I said, a bit of everything.

How did you get started in the aviation industry?

 I studied Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing at York University in Toronto and upon completing my degree did GIS & IT work for about 5 years. Then the mountains we calling me, so I packed up and moved to B.C. I was looking for a new challenge and ended up getting a job with Kisik Aerial Survey. Aviation was an industry I never thought I would be working in, I always liked planes but it would have never guessed I would be here.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

 There are many possibilities as to what can happen in a day, but I’ll give an example of what a field day may look like.

I wake up very early to check weather. If the weather looks good, I wake the pilot and we usually meet up for breakfast to go over our plans. We file our flight plans, check more weather, check equipment and then get in the plane and take off. We are usually in the air for about 5 hours on a good day, taking photos and collecting data. On longer summer days we pull a quick fuel turn and go right back up – we can easily be flying for 10 hours a day. The whole time we are flying we are always communicating with our headquarters and ensuring we have the latest operational info. At the end of the day we land and head to a hotel to review and upload data. Somewhere along some dinner happens and possibly a swim or run if I’m lucky, then I check more weather, prepare for the next day of acquisition and hopefully get some sleep before doing it all over again!

If you could try a different job in the aviation industry what would it be?

 I love helicopters and went in my first heli ride the other day, so I would have to say something with hanging out of helicopters!

What part of your job was the most surprising or unexpected when you started?

 How often things change. Weather is always changing and you can layout the perfect plan and within 2 hours the weather may change and you have to start all over. You need to be adaptable and think on your feet, but that is also what makes the job challenging and exciting.

Do you have any advice for students looking to get involved in the aviation industry?

 Be willing to be out of your comfort zone. Go out on a limb and take risks.

 What are three items you always carry with you at work? 

 All my items are for survival when flying and those are: a knife, a lighter and a first aid kit.

 What has been one of your most fulfilling or successful moments at work? 

Last season there was a technical issue with a piece of computer equipment that was preventing us from being operational. When we are in photo season and something is preventing us from working, nothing else matters. I didn’t know where to even start troubleshooting but before I knew it I had disassembled a flight management computer in the aircraft and was working my way thru the problem. My colleague and I worked thru the night and around 4 or 5 in the morning we had resolved the issue just in time for the flight crew to takeoff and continue collecting photo. It was very satisfying and one of the most rewarding moments.

What other types of businesses do you work closely with?

Government and municipal organizations, forestry and mining companies, Department of fisheries and Oceans, engineering firms, and many more.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the job?

Favorite thing is flying and being in the aircraft. I also love being able to see a job through from the initial request for a quote all the way to the delivered product. My least favorite would have to be scrapping plans due to weather, but again it’s just the nature of the job.

Favorite airport?

I love flying into Port Hardy on Vancouver Island, Terrace in Northern BC and on a rare day, Fort Chipewyan in Northern Alberta.

 Some Background on Trevin:

  • Volunteers with the Aviation Leadership Foundation Communication Committee
  • Can be away of field operations up to 15 days a month in the summer
  • Is a snowboard instructor and loves the mountains…and oceans

 

 

 

 

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