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LAET Thomas Burns receiving his Green endorsement from HRH The Duke of York

Green endorsement for Air Engineer

Published: 10 Dec 2013

A Leading Air Engineering Technician (LAET) from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has been recognised and rewarded by His Royal Highness The Duke of York, for his diligence and professionalism in identifying a serious fault in a technical instruction. 

 LAET Thomas Burns of 829 Naval Air Squadron has been awarded a prestigious ‘Green Endorsement ‘, usually reserved for aircrew who carry out a extra ordinary deeds of flight safety.

He had noticed that a technical instruction involving the fitting of a modified fuel feed hose would be put under undue pressure and exceeded the bend radius for that type of hose. Immediately alerting his superiors, his comprehensive report suggested a solution which was subsequently endorsed by the Merlin Engineering Authority and incorporated into a subsequent Technical Instruction. 

“When I was tasked to change a fuel hose on a Merlin helicopter,” said Thomas, at the time the mechanical trade supervisor on the Sqn. “I noticed that the procedure put stress on the new hose and could have led to a serious flight safety issue. If someone in the Royal Navy identifies a problem we are in a good culture to allow challenges to wrong procedures” 

If it had been left unreported, it would have undoubtedly caused a rupture in the pipe and lead to a risk to life. For his diligence and integrity in checking a specific direction given in the associated technician instruction and his proactive attitude to providing a swift solution to a problem, Thomas ensuring that a flight safety issue was rectified and awareness raised. This was across the aircraft fleet, including Merlin MK 3’s on operations inAfghanistan. 

From the Green Endorsement Citation

“LAET Burns actions are far beyond those expected of a Leading Hand and he is commended for his conduct and truly deserving of official recognition, LAET Burns becomes only the first Air Engineer to ever be awarded a Green Endorsement.”


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