Alessandro Caccia’s all-aeronautical training started at the Novara-based technical aeronautical institute Fauser and continued at the Politecnico di Milano with a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering (specialisation in Aerodynamics). But perhaps, as he says himself, his passion was “instilled” little by little, when as a child he would spend his “Sundays with my father and grandfather watching planes land and take off at Malpensa and at the Cameri military airport.”
Today, Alessandro works as a Service Engineer, in the field of Customer Support & Training, at Leonardo’s Sesto Calende (VA) site, the headquarters of the helicopter Training Academy in Northern Italy. His work mainly involves assisting customers with a view to meeting their needs and making the best use of their platforms, including the AW109, AW119, AW139, AW169 and AW189.
Upon joining Leonardo, Alessandro was instantly able to put into practice what he had learnt during his academic career. As he told us himself, “the training I received at the Politecnico di Milano was theoretical and based on problem-solving, while Fauser’s was more practical. The combination of these two aspects grants me a fully-rounded view of the technical aspects involved in a product’s operational improvement” – and, of course, the ability to solve them, through direct, first-hand experience: “During my first few months with Leonardo, I was introduced to the world of product support engineering for the AW109/119. At the start I was given simple tasks, such as searching for components on drawings, until gradually I learnt to manage any technical problem experienced by customers”.
The initial impact was undoubtedly strong: “At Leonardo, I had to learn to interact with many different people; now, I find this aspect of my work very stimulating.” Having to liaise with many colleagues and customers in different parts of the world has given Alessandro the possibility to open up to different cultures and experience different ways of thinking and dealing with problems, and not just from a technical point of view.
Alessandro’s most exciting memory of these first three years with Leonardo is linked with the support given to customers, particularly an Australian operator who took him to the other side of the world to improve the efficiency of his helicopters. He integrated with ease into this new working environment, which provided “a very useful experience as it helped me understand the complexity of the world in which the customer operated.”