Home / Meet Mike Tyley-Plank

Meet Mike Tyley-Plank

Dubai, I Am Jet, Maintenance, Middle East, RBI Hawker, Rotary Wing

I Am Mike

Mike Tyley-Plank works for RBI Hawker, which was acquired by Jet Aviation as part of the Hawker Pacific acquisition in 2018.


Based in Dubai, RBI Hawker provides rotor blade repairs for Bell and Leonardo helicopters to both local and global customers. The facility is the only Leonardo AW139 leading edge abrasion strip certified facility outside of the manufacturer. 

Mike has worked for RBI Hawker for ten years, where he serves as Production Manager. Prior to joining the company, he worked for another company in the UK that was part of the Rotor Blades Inc. group that included RBI Hawker. When the opportunity arose to join RBI Hawker and move to Dubai, Mike figured it would be ‘slightly more exciting’ than a small town in South West England.

Mike, can you briefly describe your job?

As Production Manager I oversee the day to day operation of Bell and Leonardo helicopter rotor blade repairs. I ensure the staff have all relevant parts, materials and manpower to support all our customers, both in the Middle East and globally.

“I work for RBI Hawker in Dubai, overseeing the repair of rotor blades for Bell and Leonardo helicopters. I have worked on helicopter blades for 13 years, and it has been fascinating to see how the technology and construction has evolved”

What is a typical day?

Typically, we receive, repair and release helicopter blades. We see all manners of damage, including erosion and general wear and tear. As a repair facility, we have our usual customers, of course, but we also have customers that send us blades from all over the world. The varying climates have different effects on blade erosion.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The blade repairs and the technical aspect of their construction. Having worked on Helicopters for 10 years and blades for an additional 13 years, I have learned that the blades are very durable and ever-evolving.

And what do you enjoy about working for RBI Hawker?

One of the best parts of working for RBI Hawker has always been the staff and our location here in Dubai. We have an amazing work ethic that enables us to support all our customers while also enjoying a social life with our family and friends.

What are the main challenges you face in your role?

My main challenges are the turnaround times. We have a standard turnaround time and an AOG turnaround time. As blades all have varying damages, we have to prioritize repairs to ensure we have the correct parts, materials and manpower.

How have the measures around COVID-19 affected your day to day work and changed the way you work with colleagues (and customers if relevant)?

RBI Hawker was proactive and implemented precautionary procedures early, ensuring we follow both Jet and the local government policies here in Dubai with regards to COVID-19. In line with these policies, we had to reduce our manpower to accommodate social distancing rules while working in the facility. This obviously had an impact on our work environment, but like so many other companies, we had to adapt to the situation and overcome the challenges. We are a relatively small work force, so the social distancing flexibility didn’t impact our production, but it certainly had an impact on our interaction with one another. We all wear face masks, gloves, sanitize our hands regularly and will continue refraining from handshakes for a while longer!

What else are you doing to keep yourself occupied (e.g. hobbies)?

During the lock-down here in Dubai, my three children were home schooling and I became a bit of a teacher! Not a very good one, to be honest, but I tried. My wife works at their school, so she is far more accustomed to teaching. I also enjoy sports, especially F1 and Moto GP. While live events are trickier at the moment, I have improved my Netflix and Amazon Prime watching skills!


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