Dambuster Adam Returns Home to Willis Role After Decade In Air Force

Teesside International Airport | Published on: 3rd March 2023

An engineer has returned home to a job at Teesside Airport after a decade in the Royal Air Force.

Billingham dad Adam King has returned to Teesside to become an Aircraft Mechanic at Willis Aviation Services Limited and will start in April.

The 28-year-old will bring with him a wealth of experience from his time in the Air Force working on Boeing C17s and the F-35 – one of the most advanced jetfighters in the world.

A member of the 617 Squadron – commonly known as The Dambusters – Adam clutched the chance to move closer to home to see his daughter as his nearest RAF posting was in Lincolnshire.

He said: “For 10 years, I’ve not been back on Teesside for more than a week at a time.

“I’ve been based near Wolverhampton, in Oxford, and over at Norfolk – I was hopping around all over the place.

“With my daughter moving up this way, this puts me 40 minutes up the road. There are so many people from Teesside in the forces and all they want to do is get closer to home.”

Adam said he’d seen recent news about airport investments and dug through his contacts to see if positions were available.

He added: “I was asking if he had any advice on the best way to go about transitioning into civilian aviation, and that’s how I heard Willis Aviation Services Limited was expanding at Teesside Airport and one thing led to another.”

Adam’s rich military experience, training, and work under pressure served him in good stead in his interview and opened the door to his Teesside return.

He said: “It’s nice to hear you haven’t given up 10 years of your life to serving in the forces, and it’s not for nothing.”

Brought up in Billingham, Adam left school and studied Aircraft Engineering at Hartlepool Further Education College.

“Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to work on aircraft,” he added.

“Being in the Air Force as an Aircraft Engineer, I’d achieved my dream. As life changed, I needed to be closer to home.”

Adam started working on Boeing C17s – strategic heavy lift aircraft capable of transporting helicopters, before working on the F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter with The Dambusters.

Adam said he hopes to learn a lot more but is also keen to pass on his expertise.

He added: “There’ll be skills which will transfer across as well, and I’m a firm believer in sharing experiences and learning with the team you work with.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’s great to see Adam returning home and bringing his Air Force experience to our airport.

“We’re delighted he’s joining a number of ex-service personnel at our airport, and he is another example of someone who is returning home to take his career forward.

“It’s an exciting time for our airport and Willis Aviation Services Limited, who have been a hugely supportive force in investing and committing to Teesside. The future looks bright for Adam, and I wish him all the best in the latest chapter of his career.”

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