What’s that you’re doing, Mr. Reed?

What's that you're doing, Mr. Reed?
© Sonja Brüggemann/Lufthansa Technik

Andreas Reed, 36,

Tool mechanic

has been with Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg for 20 years


“Behind the cabin panels of an A380, there are over eight kilometers of tubing for oxygen, fuel and waste water, as well as pipes. When individual sections become worn, my colleagues and I produce a replacement. Right now, a new section of pipe is required for the sanitary system of an Airbus A321, which is already in the maintenance hangar, waiting to take off again very soon, so it’s a priority job. A coworker has already cut the necessary two-inch-thick titanium pipe to the correct length and I now have to bend it to precisely the right angle at precisely the right point. Muscle power won’t do for this job, so we use a bending machine that can be programmed to bend pipes to angles of one to 140 degrees – in the present case, we need an angle of 90 degrees. I finish by checking for cracks and folds, but all is well: there are no defects. Just three hours after receiving the assignment, we can send the replacement pipe back to the mechanics in the hangar.”