What’s that you’re doing, Mr. Bausch? 

What's that you're doing, Mr. Bausch?
© Jürgen Mai/LH Technik

Thomas Bausch, 26,

wheel mechanic

has been with Lufthansa Technik in Frankfurt for five years


“I’m mounting the wheel of an Airbus A319 that my coworkers in the wheel workshop have just overhauled. This means taking it apart completely, cleaning the components carefully and inspecting each one visually as well as with a sensor or a probe. The tire treads are checked daily by the pilots, so they’re usually in good shape. Once all the components have been cleaned and inspected and, if necessary, replaced, it’s my turn. I put the wheel back together by inserting the tire between the two halves of the rim, which can weigh up to 33 kilos on a small A319 but as much as 100 kilos on bigger aircraft. The wheel can only be lifted with the help of the device in the photo. I secure the rim halves with 18 finger-thick bolts and nuts and then I’m ready for the next wheel. My coworkers and I manage 20 per shift and 26 000 a year.”