Helicopter people are a different breed. Just ask John Sanner, Honeywell’s Field Service Engineer (FSE) and Technical Core Team Leader for helicopter engines and military mechanical systems.
“The commercial helicopter community is smaller than the business jet community,” Sanner said. “I was reminded of that during this year’s Heli-Expo event, which I attended with a new team member. As we walked the exhibit floor, I stopped to greet literally dozens of customers and industry friends. My teammate asked, ‘Do you know everybody?’ And the answer was, ‘Yeah, pretty much!’”
Sanner’s familiarity with the helicopter industry is exceeded only by his knowledge of rotorcraft and the engines that power them. He started his aviation career as a U.S. Army flight engineer in 1983 and logged 1,000 hours in the CH-47 Chinook. He left the Army and went to work for Summit Aviation in Middletown, Delaware, where he earned his airframe and power plant license. Then he joined Boeing as a field service engineer, working closely with the Army, Marine Corps and other operators of the CH-47 and CH-46. He joined Honeywell in 2004.
From North Carolina, Sanner leads a team of nine Honeywell field service engineers positioned in key locations throughout the world. “The sun never sets on Honeywell’s Aerospace Technical Support network. We’re always available to answer questions and help our customers keep their helicopters operational,” Sanner said.
He supports customers operating Honeywell’s full line of powerful, reliable helicopter engines, including the T53, T55, LTS101 and HTS900, along with APUs and other mechanical products. Sanner works hard to stay current on every aspect of helicopter equipment to serve as a key resource for customers and other Honeywell employees.
While many issues can be addressed over the phone or online these days, Sanner thrives on customer contact and has been known to fly and drive many hours to visit customers at remote locations across North America. “Meeting face-to-face with customers is one of the most fulfilling parts of this job,” he said. “Building relationships and trust with customers is essential to providing the kind of technical support our customers want and need.”
Recently, Sanner was able to leverage his relationship with one customer to benefit all operators of Honeywell’s LTS101 engine. The operator was only too happy to help Sanner perform a topping test on the customer’s helicopter, which provided data that could be shared with the global community of LTS101 operators.
Supporting customers is job one for Sanner, who strives to achieve first-contact resolution of customers’ problems. “You never know who’s on the other end of the phone when it rings or what they’ll need,” he said. “So you have to be ready for anything.”