International Women in Engineering Day: Crawley apprentice ‘blazing a trail for more women’ to enter aerospace trades

Crawley skilled technician takes flight with Boeing.
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Reema Limbachia, 24 from Crawley, is blazing a trail for more women to pursue aerospace trades as a flight simulator technician at Boeing’s Apache Academy in Middle Wallop.

Reema has honed her technical skills over a two-year apprenticeship with Boeing, working on some of the UK’s leading defence and commercial platforms in Gatwick, Scotland, and now closer to home in Hampshire at the Army Air Corps training base.

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“It’s my job to make sure the flight simulators are ready for training British Army pilots who will go on to fly and operate the new Apache E-model variant,” she said. “My team is responsible for maintenance, ensuring each simulator is calibrated to the highest training standards and available for all the necessary courses we offer.”

Reema Limbachia, 24. Picture: BoeingReema Limbachia, 24. Picture: Boeing
Reema Limbachia, 24. Picture: Boeing

After completing her apprenticeship at Boeing’s Gatwick site, she moved to Royal Air Force Lossiemouth in Scotland to support the UK’s fleet of P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

After gaining experience on defence aircraft, Reema decided to move closer to home and support the introduction of the British Army’s new fleet of 50 AH-64E Apache helicopters.

“At Middle Wallop, we have two high-fidelity Apache Longbow Crew Trainers for pilot training and a part-task trainer that focuses on the more mechanical side of operations, where ground operators can practise loading, unloading and maintenance before they work on the live aircraft.”

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Last year, Boeing and the Ministry of Defence signed a £287 million Long Term Training and Support Services (LTTSS) contract for Boeing to work with the British Army and provide maintenance and engineering support, supply chain and logistics management at Wattisham and deliver aircrew and maintainer training from its advanced facility at Middle Wallop.

“Boeing is known worldwide for our training services and standards, while also recruiting the country’s best to work in our centres. I’m privileged to work alongside and learn from them every day,” she said.

“This is still a male-dominated industry and women need more recognition in engineering trades. I want to inspire other women like me to take the leap. Yes, it might be hard, but it’s not impossible and people are here to support you throughout your journey.”

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