Rethink Convention

July 1, 2016

Multifaceted job keeps facilities lead on the move

David Currier wears many hats in his dual role as Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) coordinator and Facilities Department lead at Embraer Executive Jets in Melbourne.

Among his wide-ranging EHS duties are overseeing environmental management, safety audits, maintenance of aircraft-assembly tooling equipment and forklift training. David has gained expertise in many areas since joining Embraer Executive Jets in early 2011, keeping his knowledge and skills up to date through annual recertification courses.

His many responsibilities as a facilities lead include serving as the focal point for ordering all of the supplies needed to maintain equipment and buildings, managing aspects of security, health, and the well-being of workers.

David’s tasks and expertise have increased as Melbourne’s aircraft assembly facilities have grown. The job is challenging, he said, but the pace and variety suit him. “I’m not one that can sit in one place for long. I don’t like doing the same thing every day.”

His path to Embraer began while he was working as an electrical superintendent for the company that constructed Melbourne’s production/administration building. David said he was hired after his extensive knowledge caught the eye of an Embraer manager, who told him he knew the building better than anyone, including everything in the ground, walls and ceiling.

David’s passion, dedication and work ethic were recognized in 2012, when he was named one of Embraer’s two most valued employees in Melbourne, earning a six-day trip to Brazil with award winners from other Embraer sites.

Although he doesn’t build aircraft, David and his team are critical to keeping all of the facilities and equipment running smoothly on Embraer’s sprawling Melbourne campus and other nearby sites. “I like seeing the growth. I like the direction we’re going.”

David said he loves his job and the family atmosphere at Embraer Executive Jets. It’s just a great organization. Everyone is friendly, and it’s been that way since day one.  They take care of their people. They think safety first; they stress that.”

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June 24, 2016

Dynamic quality lead inspector thrives amid aircraft

Tremain Williams is capable of working as a quality inspector in every station of Embraer Executive Jets’ Phenom assembly facility in Melbourne. That’s because he has worked as an inspector throughout the assembly line, as well as in flight preparation and delivery, since joining Embraer when the facility opened in early 2011. 

Last year, Tremain was promoted to quality lead inspector, supervising 14 workers in production, flight preparation and the delivery center. 


 “I’m kind of the floater between every station … I make sure we have the manpower where needed. I’m kind of everywhere, not any one station.”

It’s an ideal role for Tremain, who has 16 years of diverse aviation experience and has been passionate about airplanes since childhood. “I love building airplanes, I love inspecting airplanes … I really just like being around aircraft.”

Before joining Embraer, Tremain worked at Piper Aircraft in Vero Beach for 11½ years in such jobs as assembly technician, fabrication inspector and lead assembly inspector. That broad experience made him a valuable addition to Embraer Executive Jets’ new production team.  “Embraer was looking for people with a heavy aviation background so they could help train others when the company opened. We trained on the airplanes in Brazil since we didn’t have them here yet. I did well there, so I helped train other guys who are still here now.”

Tremain said the assembly-line processes at Embraer ensure the business jets meet the highest safety and quality standards. “I see aircraft take the first flight and come back with minimal discrepancies, so that’s a testament itself to the quality we put inside the aircraft.”

He is thrilled to be part of the dedicated production team that is rethinking convention at Embraer. “I’m very proud to work here with a company that can create, produce and design aircraft, moreso than anyone in the industry. It’s great to be part of something of this magnitude.” 

Tremain is excited about the future as Embraer’s Melbourne campus continues to grow. “To see a company build as fast as we are is a wonderful thing to be a part of. Plus, giving me the opportunity to excel within the company is a good thing because one of Embraer’s core values is ‘Our people are what make us fly.’  I’m glad I’m part of that.”

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June 17, 2016

Seasoned jet-builder supervises second-shift team

When Jay Colon was hired as a team leader at Embraer Executive Jets in Melbourne in early 2011, he arrived to a huge empty production building.

Fast forward five-plus years, and every station of the Phenom 100/300 assembly line is bustling with activity and production is underway in the new Legacy 450/500 manufacturing facility.

Joining Embraer “was a perfect opportunity because building aircraft was what I was doing for 24 years before coming here,” Jay said.  He spent most of those years in Boeing’s  C-17 program in Long Beach, California, in such positions as an aviation mechanic, manufacturing analyst and supervisor.

After working as a team leader with Embraer for about a year, Jay was promoted to production supervisor, leading the newly created second shift.  Another second-shift supervisor was added last year, and together the two now oversee about 125 workers.  “For second shift, I’m their voice pretty much. The guys know what they’re doing … My functionality is to help them get what they need to build these aircraft.”

The production-line processes at Embraer ensure every jet is built correctly to the highest standards, Jay said. “We have electronic capabilities to access the work orders – all electronic, no paper. In there, they can also access their technical standards. They take laptops in the plane and they build per print.  If an issue arises, a line worker reports it to their lead and then to their manufacturing engineer  “and we make sure we’re building it properly.”
Jay doesn’t hesitate to declare why Embraer is a fantastic place to work. “The people, the culture. Our people are what make us fly.  We have a great group of people.” 

Helping to lead the team building the Phenom 300, the world’s most-delivered business jet for three straight years, is “awesome,” he said. And Jay is thrilled the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 –  products of Embraer’s commitment to rethink convention – also will be assembled in Melbourne. “The sky’s the limit for those planes … Whatever they need from me, I’m there.”

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April 26, 2016

Engineer has ‘umbrella perspective’ of operations

Steve Anderson never forgets how privileged he is to have a hand in building innovative aircraft at Embraer Executive Jets.

“It’s easy to get caught up in all of the technical details and daily tasks that are part of any manufacturing facility, so I think it’s important to remember how lucky we are to do what we do,”  said Steve, a manufacturing engineer who joined Embraer when the Phenom assembly plant opened in early 2011. “Whenever I get the chance to see an Embraer aircraft in flight, I take that moment to enjoy the sense of accomplishment and pride, and remember that, ‘Hey, that’s pretty cool.’ ”

Steve, who has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering,  is in charge of Embraer’s MES (manufacturing execution system), a paperless system that controls and documents the production process.  “I have interaction with almost every department that we have. I have an umbrella perspective to see how everything needs to work together, how the whole operation ends up producing an aircraft for our customer.”

Before an Embraer business aircraft is delivered to a customer, every aspect of that jet has been checked and rechecked, he said.  “There are many final documentation checks and balances that I hadn’t seen at other companies, making sure that the delivered aircraft meets all of the design requirements, it is built as it was designed and has all the essential equipment installed.”

Steve’s diverse background working at two start-up general aviation companies, including helping to design production facilities, prepared him well for his position at Embraer Executive Jets. “I got to see the entire process of a startup aircraft manufacturing company, going from the design into prototyping, into obtaining the type certificate and production certificate to produce aircraft. That was a big, wonderful learning experience.”

Today, Steve said he’s proud to tell people he builds business jets for Embraer, a company that has provided him with a wealth of technical, cultural and travel experiences “beyond anything I could have imagined 10 years ago.” And it keeps getting better as the Melbourne campus continues to grow.

“It’s very exciting to be part of an organization that is growing like ours is. It’s probably unheard of, growth of this magnitude in this short period of time.” 

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March 7, 2016

Fighter jet experience primed technician for faster pace

​Embraer Executive Jets assembly technician Eric Sneed became proficient at maintaining high standards while working under tight deadlines when he performed avionic maintenance on fighter jets during the Iraq War.

“I was a shop supervisor during Operation Iraqi Freedom, so basically every aircraft had to fly as much as possible,” said Eric, who spent eight years in the Navy as an aviation electronics technician in Virginia Beach. 

Eric said repairing wires and cables on F-14B and F/A-18 jets as efficiently as possible provided him the expertise to adapt to the ramped-up assembly-line pace at Embraer, where he installs electrical harnesses and antenna cabling on Phenom 100s and 300s. Since joining Embraer in January 2012, demand has continued to grow, especially for the Phenom 300, which was the world’s most-delivered business jet in 2013, 2014, and 2015.   

Eric always remains focused on building the best and safest executive jets possible, ever mindful of the customers who will fly in them. “I understand that 20 years from now, people are going to be in this aircraft. So I have to do my job to the best of my ability at the highest quality.”

He is proud to be a member of a knowledgeable aircraft-building team that continually rethinks convention, including fellow technicians and manufacturing engineers who have worked on military jets and the space shuttle.
One especially gratifying aspect of building Embraer aircraft is occasionally spotting one of the executive jets he helped to build. “If I’m not at work, I’m always pointing out Embraer planes and say, ‘I think I built that.’ Any time I pass by an executive airport, I’m always looking to see if there’s one parked there.”

Given the many years he has spent working on military jets and the Phenoms, Eric said he would love the opportunity to use his experience to assemble Embraer’s larger, technologically advanced business jet aircraft – the Legacy 450 and 500 – after production begins in Melbourne in 2016.  With the expansion expected to add 600 U.S. jobs over the next few years, he sees a bright future with Embraer.

“I hope and expect to be here for many years. They take care of their people and they have really good benefits. It’s just a great place to work.”

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February 26, 2016

Aviation veteran finds niche at Embraer

Carlos Roque has the ideal job for a lifelong airplane enthusiast who challenges the status quo and happens to be a perfectionist.

“I have a streak of perfectionism in me that is often considered a liability,” said Carlos, who has worked as an assembly technician for Embraer Executive Jets since March 2012. “But here, I have a very constructive outlet that allows me to practice perfectionism in my job. I can’t imagine doing anything less than the best when it comes to airplanes.”

Carlos began studying airplanes as a young child and later earned two associate degrees in aviation-related subjects, along with a private pilot license, a commercial pilot license and an airframe and powerplant (A&P) license.  Before joining Embraer, he pursued his passion in wide-ranging commercial and general aviation jobs, ranging from an airline mechanic to piloting a small plane doing traffic surveillance for a radio station.

 “I wouldn’t really want to do anything other than aviation,” he said. “I was always a hands-on person, always wanting to know how things worked and then how to operate them. I always looked up to aircraft as the epitome of machines.”

At Embraer Executive Jets, Carlos prepares smaller components and the main electronics rack for installation on Phenom 100s and Phenoms 300s.  To ensure the business jets meet Embraer’s highest standards of excellence, quality assurance inspectors monitor assembly processes daily and FAA inspectors pay visits to the facility, he said.  “I have to be able to explain to a quality inspector or an FAA inspector exactly what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. I have to have my references – blueprints, parts lists – right at hand. I have to be able to demonstrate competence over all our processes.”

Carlos said he is amazed at Embraer’s uncanny ability to rethink convention and consistently develop innovative business jet designs that appeal to customers.  

“Somehow, Embraer sees exactly what the market needs and designs an airplane to meet those needs. Even if the market didn’t know they needed it before, once that airplane is available, they’re buying it. It’s all very exciting."

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February 19, 2016

Former shuttle engineer right at home with Embraer

​As an engineer, Megan Leggett works in a field typically dominated by men, yet she feels more than at home working at Embraer Executive Jets. In fact, the manufacturing engineer cites her hardworking team members in the Phenom assembly facility as one of the best parts of her job.

“The guys are all great.  They’re so knowledgeable and dedicated,” said Megan, who joined Embraer in April 2012, after eight years as a mechanical engineer with United Space Alliance (USA) at the Kennedy Space Center, where she worked on the space shuttle’s solid-rocket boosters.

Megan, who has bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and civil engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, said her shuttle experience made for a smooth transition at Embraer, because of the similarities between the two jobs. At Embraer, she writes work instructions that technicians follow to assemble the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300, making sure production issues are promptly addressed to ensure the affordable executive jets are built to the highest standards of excellence.
“I learned quite a bit at United Space Alliance as far as the manufacturing process, so a lot of it just rolled right into this job,” said Megan, who works second shift in the assembly plant. “It’s pretty much doing the same thing.  All the rules and requirements are different, but the tasks that you do day in and day out are the same.”

Megan said she’s excited the Legacy 450 and 500 production facilities will open in Melbourne in 2016, and given her experience, she’s sure she will eventually work on the two aircraft featuring full fly-by-wire technology. But for now, the former space shuttle engineer is happy working on the Phenom and with her career at Embraer Executive Jets, which treats its employees well and offers “fantastic” benefits.

With Embraer Executive Jets’ rapid growth and success during its first 10 years, Megan is optimistic about the business aviation company’s future: “The sky’s the limit. I’m definitely proud to say I work at Embraer.”

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February 12, 2016

Brazil native relishes ‘cool’ job

When Pedro Holanda relocated to Florida from his native Brazil to work in aviation 15 years ago, he had no idea he eventually would work for a global executive jet maker with a Brazilian heritage. 

Pedro is thrilled his career path led to Embraer Executive Jets in Melbourne, brimming with enthusiasm as he talks about the company and his work as an avionics technician in the Phenom assembly plant.  


 “Embraer is something that makes us really proud to be Brazilian,” said Pedro, who joined Embraer in April 2012. “Being an avionics technician is something really cool. I like my job. I am proud to work for Embraer. The environment is great.”

Most of Pedro’s work takes place in the cockpit, where he performs exhaustive operational checks and avionics tests to ensure that all of the innovative electrical systems are functioning correctly.   “We go through every knob, every single little button in the cockpit to make sure everything works properly. It’s really fun to sit down in the cockpit and get to understand how every single system works on the aircraft.”

Manufacturing engineers lend their technical knowledge to rethink convention “because we really have to get into the guts of the electrical side of the aircraft,” Pedro explained.  Quality assurance inspectors also work closely with technicians, monitoring processes and completing documentation showing the work complies with the FAA’s and Embraer’s  highest standards. 

Pedro sharpened his skills while working as an avionics technician with a local aircraft manufacturer, and later as an electrical mechanic on the technologically advanced Boeing 787 Dreamliner at a final assembly plant in South Carolina.  When production of the Legacy 450 and 500 begins in Melbourne, Pedro said he would welcome the opportunity to learn a more sophisticated and complex system. 

The Brazil native is effusive in his praise for Embraer Executive Jets, which continues to grow in a competitive market, offering customers the broadest portfolio in the business jet market.

“It’s so exciting to see the company growing. Not every company out there is doing so great like Embraer. Embraer is so strong. It’s a massive corporation that’s not going anywhere. They’re here to stay.”

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February 12, 2016

Redefining what’s possible

When you are looking for a new business jet, you will likely interact regularly with our team members on the front line. But you probably won’t have the opportunity to meet the people who build Embraer’s executive aircraft. Day in and day out, each of these talented professionals plays an integral role in challenging the status quo and building our brilliantly engineered airplanes – one wire and one bolt at a time.

We at Embraer are launching a new series of profiles to highlight a handful of the highly skilled technicians and manufacturing engineers who work in our assembly facilities. Through these profiles, you will see how much dedication, expertise and care is devoted to each phase of every single aircraft we build.  

Our teams in Melbourne and Brazil include people who spent years working on the most advanced projects in the world, from NASA’s space shuttle to highly respected military and commercial programs, before joining Embraer.  In addition to their expertise, each of these employees exudes unbridled enthusiasm when describing his or her role in building our jets.

As you get to know our employees, you will understand that at Embraer Executive Jets, our mission is to continually redefine what’s possible and our commitment to excellence and serving you is paramount in everything we do.

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