AirbusAlabama.com interviewed Wes Alberts four years ago, when he was settling into his job on the Flight Light at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile. Recently, we caught up with Wes to see what has changed in the intervening four years.
“I still remain with the flight test group, however I’ve been promoted to the role of Ground Test Engineer. In this new role, I have a more hands-on role with the aircraft and testing, from the time it leaves the FAL all the way through to delivery,” Wes said.
Wes said the job is one that offers the prospect of even further career growth. “This job is a dream opportunity that will allow future knowledge and career growth to many levels. I still believe this is the best company in aviation to work for, and I’m grateful every day to be part of such an amazing team,” he said.
Another major development in Wes’ life: after a family vacation, his daughter is now entering the second grade.
“She is very excited to return to school, even though it is still not one hundred percent back to normal. We recently took a trip back home to Tennessee, where we were able to visit Chattanooga and Pigeon Forge. It was nice to break away from the office for a week in our first vacation in almost two years since COVID started,” Wes said.
Wes reports his team has been fortunate thus far during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Within our team we have been lucky, as we have not had any COVID scares. Through personal responsibility and the Airbus guidelines, we have all been successful in limiting our exposure and maintaining operations as normal through the height of the pandemic. I appreciate Airbus’ personal responsibility guidelines allowing employees to use common sense to maintain their health and safety as cases begin to rise again,” Wes said.
An avid boater, Wes said the pandemic has even made it more difficult to enjoy the marine lifestyle so many in Mobile and on the Eastern Shore enjoy.
“One downside of the pandemic is everyone now wants to be outdoors and bought a boat, meaning less availability at the local boat launch. I’ve taken up riding my motorcycles more often than not these days,” he said.
Since the day (at the age of six or seven) when Wes’ interest in aviation first took hold at an airshow featuring the Blue Angels, he enjoys seeing the Pensacola-based group perform.
“We did recently take the boat to the Pensacola Beach Airshow, in mid-July. It was an amazing experience to spend the day on the water and watch airplanes. It was especially nice to see the Blue Angels again after a year-long hiatus. During that time, they upgraded to the latest F-18s, which are slightly larger and much louder according to my family! Hopefully, we can catch the homecoming show in November. If not, I work at an airport. Every day is an airshow,” Wes said.
Wes Alberts in 2017, before his promotion to Ground Test Engineer