Combining a technical career with soccer skills

Published on LCDR Helen Ward (author), CPL Nicci Freeman (photographer)

Able Seaman Aviation Technician Airframe Chris Rowe, from 808 Squadron, HMAS Albatross, inspects the mooring on the MRH 90 Taipan multi-role helicopter, at the Australian International Airshow, Avalon, Victoria. (photo: CPL Nicci Freeman)
Able Seaman Aviation Technician Airframe Chris Rowe, from 808 Squadron, HMAS Albatross, inspects the mooring on the MRH 90 Taipan multi-role helicopter, at the Australian International Airshow, Avalon, Victoria.

Able Seaman Chris Rowe has found the perfect career choice that combines his love of aircraft with his nifty soccer skills – he is an Aviation Technician Airframe in the Navy.

Currently at the Australian International Airshow in Avalon, Victoria, Able Seaman Rowe is helping to showcase a MRH-90 Taipan maritime support helicopter he is responsible for maintaining.

As an airframe technician he is responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of all the aircraft systems.

Able Seaman Aviation Technician Airframe Chris Rowe, from 808 Squadron, HMAS Albatross, inspects the mooring on the MRH 90 Taipan multi-role helicopter, at the Australian International Airshow, Avalon, Victoria.

Able Seaman Aviation Technician Airframe Chris Rowe, from 808 Squadron, HMAS Albatross, inspects the mooring on the MRH 90 Taipan multi-role helicopter, at the Australian International Airshow, Avalon, Victoria.

“I get to work on one of the most sophisticated helicopters in the world, with the most up-to-date technology,” he said

“The Airshow is a great chance to tell all sorts of people about the technology in the Taipan, and who knows where that can lead for them. I hope some may want to follow my lead.” 

Able Seaman Rowe is part of 808 Squadron who will supply aircraft for the brand new Canberra class Amphibious Assault Ships, also known as Land Helicopter Dock, being built just up the road from Avalon at the Williamstown Dockyard in Melbourne.

"I have been with this squadron since I completed initial training and I can’t wait to go to sea with a Taipan.”

He is a gifted soccer player too, having represented the Navy at an Fleet Air Arm event in Sydney in 2013.

“Not only do I get to work on great equipment, I am also encouraged to keep as fit as possible, what other employer can offer that?” he asks.

Able Seaman Rowe’s parents Cheryl and Terry still live in Palm Beach on the Gold Coast where he grew up.

Navy has a contingent of 40 personnel at Avalon this year and will be displaying the Taipan, the MH-60R Seahawk Romeo maritime combat helicopter and the AS350BA Squirrel helicopter from squadrons based at the Fleet Air Arm in Nowra.