Today we shine our spotlight on Mr David Hill, an upstanding Englishman at the cutting-edge of workplace Cross Application, otherwise known as crap. Workplace crap involves taking the practices and techniques of one vocation and transposing them onto an entirely different activity. Mr Hill's specialty is applying step-by-step helicopter maintenance instructions to hairdressing.
"I’m still only in the early phases of hairdressing with helicopter maintenance manuals," Mr Hill says. "It’s really quite a new thing, you know. Not many distinguished gentlemen are doing it yet, consequently, there isn’t too much information out there to draw on.
Giving Pilots Relief
Mr Hill claims to be a highly qualified helicopter maintenance engineer. He plies his trade in Lagos, Nigeria. With a beer in hand and a joint between his lips, he's well liked around the hanger for his casual demeanour. Mr Hill is particularly popular among pilots for his sympathetic words of encouragement. He’ll often alleviate the doubts of nervous Flight Crew with comforting remarks such as, "I think it should be fine…how about you give it go and we’ll see...I mean it really should be fine...at least that’s what I think."
An Expert in Crap
The Super Puma: an early attempt at personal grooming using the EC225 Maintenance Manual. "The Sikorsky is a superior helicopter for barbering,” Mr Hill says.
Mr Hills breakthrough moment in crap came only a few years ago.
"I was installing a swatch plate," he explained. "It’s a sort of dome or disk kind of thing jammed into rotor head assembly, where the blades are wired in. It mostly just sits there and spins about. I was re-drilling an old one we had lying around. One off a ditched S-76. I was trying to get it to fit into a Super Puma rotor head when it suddenly dawned me, and I thought, ‘Hey! This really isn’t that much different to hairdressing!'"
“After much trial and error, I found the Sikorsky S-92 Maintenance Manual to be most applicable to hairdressing. I tried the Super Puma Manual, but with limited success.” - Mr David Hill
Main rotor of an ill-fated Super Puma. “Is this really the sort Helicopter you want risk your hair on?” asks Mr. Hill .
Following a tragic Super Puma accident in Norway, Mr Hill backed away from anything to do with haircare according to the Puma manual. "There sees to be some sort of inherent fault within the Puma gearbox design," Mr Hill explained. "Technical stuff. I don’t really understand, but apparently, they did some investigations and came out with an Airworthiness Directive or something. But even so, who am I to work around that? Not worth the risk. Not when my mullet is at stake…no thank you!" Mr Hill says transposing helicopter maintenance manual instructions to his scalp was a challenge at first.
"But with enough grease I finally got it to work," he grinned.
"I still need to ease off a little with the torque wrench, especially on my moustache, but with a bit more tinkering I hope to get up to the recommended tensions." Of course I'm still legally required to have my haircuts double-checked by a Licensed colleague before the Chief Engineer can sign-off on them. But all-in-all, most people at work seems quite chuffed with the added performance I’ve managed to achieve."
"I’ve been able to decrease running costs and extend the time between shampooing. I've even reduced the need for scheduled phase inspections on my sideburns," Mr Hill says. "I've been reviewing performane charts over a range of operating conditions, and I'm preparing to test my haircut at higher altitudes. I believe I'll be able to hover in much cooler temperatures, before my nostril hairs ice-up."
"You could say I’m a bit of a trail-blazer. Admittedly my barbering has exposed me to some ridicule back in the UK, but you can see from the results it’s been well worth it." Mr Hill is optimistic about the future of his techniques despite facing some opposition. "Aviation experts have raised concerns over the potential danger of grooming with a pneumatic rivet-gun. But I’ve had our Quality & Safety division run a risk assessment and it all seems to be fine, at least for the most part. As a trained professional, it’s always safety first," Mr Hill said earnestly. "Aviation bodies like the FAA, EASA and ICAO are still somewhat hesitant, but I’m confident in time my techniques will be adopted as standard practice for both the helicopter and hairdressing industries."
Mr Hill believes helicopter maintenance is applicable to human biological needs beyond basic haircare. "The next step will be to install a Chip Detector in my head assembly," he said with disturbing enthusiasm. "This will provide me with an early warning system, should any metal fillings end-up floating about in my cerebral fluids. That can cause a lot of damage, you know."
The S-29, a solid platform for haircare, skincare, toenail clipping, and prostate inspections, according to Mr Hill.
"Working on my crap in Nigeria has been a blessing," Mr Hill said. "Nigerians aren’t as uptight as we Englishmen tend to me. They’re far more open-minded. Remember the Afro? I’m not so sure my helicopter hairdressing techniques would be as well received in England compared to here in Lagos. They call this city, The Center of Excellence, and that’s what I’m aiming for here; excellence."
Promoting his Crap
Mr Hill is planning to hold a series of workshops in Lagos, entitled, Advanced Helicopter Maintenance Grooming Techniques for Distinguished Gentlemen. He is currently seeking volunteers, with a full head of hair, and preferably flowing beards, for his grooming demonstrations.