Jordy van den Hark as Engineering Officer Amphibious Flight NH90


In 2018, Jordy graduated from the Flight Operations Engineering specialisation. Jordy works as a Engineering Officer Amphibious Flight NH90 at 860 Squadron, Royal Netherlands Air Force. He will tell us something about his experiences after graduation and his outlook on the future.

Especially on exercises we can easily work more than 14 hours per day. Therefore we have the saying ‘Work Hard, Play hard’, so when the work quiets down, we have a lot of fun with the technicians, pilots and all supporting personnel together.

Jordy van den Hark - Graduated in 2018 from the Flight Operations Engineering specialisation.

When did you graduate and which track did you graduate in/did you do?

I graduated in 2018 after completing the Flight Operations Engineering specialisation and completing my graduate internship at the Royal Netherlands Army.

If this isn’t your first job since graduation: what were your other jobs and at which companies?

I graduated at the Royal Netherlands Army designing an Unmanned Aerial System ground control station. After my thesis I could join the army as a specialist officer involved in army Unmanned Aerial Systems. In 2020 I joined the Royal Netherlands Navy after which the training to become a navy engineering officer started.

How did you end up in your current job?

I applied for the job of engineering officer at the Royal Netherlands Navy via the website After selection I went through my military training to become a navy officer, after which I worked as engineering officer on board the Ocean- Going Patrol Vessels for almost a year. After my time at sea I applied for my current job at the NH90 squadron.

What are your daily operations?

My job can be split into two different parts, work at our main Naval Air Station De Kooy and work when on exercise or deployment.

When I am at de Kooy my job consists of preparing for the next exercise or deployment. This means getting to know the intention of the exercise or deployment, making sure we have enough maintenance personnel and getting the helicopters and the spare parts and tooling packages ready and operational. The other work at de Kooy is keeping track and providing user input for helicopter modifications like radios, weapons and other systems.

When we are on exercise or deployment we will first arrange everything so we are able to receive, handle and maintain the helicopters. This can be both on an airfield, on a base in the field or on board a ship. This means setting up the maintenance area, the work areas and sleeping quarters. As soon as the helicopters arrive I will coordinate with operations on what the planning is and what the helicopters technically can and cannot deliver. On top of that I need to make sure my maintenance team has everything they require to work, which often requires me to coordinate with logistics, the airfield or the ship to get these things done. This is also the most operational and interesting part of the job, as no day is the same and things can change in a second due to the military operation.

What do you like most at your job?

Working with a small team on maintaining and enabling the helicopters to fly is very challenging. Especially if you count in the dynamic military operational environment. The coordinating with both operations and engineering in all sorts of scenarios makes it an interesting puzzle which needs to be solved quickly. Also the puzzle changes whilst trying to solve it making it even more complex sometimes. This challenge is something I really like about the job.

Especially on exercises we can easily work more than 14 hours per day. Therefore we have the saying ‘Work Hard, Play hard’, so when the work quiets down, we have a lot of fun with the technicians, pilots and all supporting personnel together. A very important and nice thing to have, especially when being away from home for a long time!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

The nice thing about being in the military is the ability to switch job every couple of years. So currently I am in the operator/Part-145 side of the aircraft. However it is also possible to get into the flight test, Part-M or Part-21 side. Within the air force there are also a lot of supporting jobs like organising training for flight crew or working on the Electronic Warfare side of the helicopter.

What did you like most in your education that helps you out nowadays in your work?

The biggest thing I learned at the AUAS is how to think ‘aviation’. There is a certain culture around everything related to aviation and this way of thinking and acting still helps me a lot. The main culture factor is that everyone involved will push that extra bit harder in order to get it all working, as without it the helicopters simply would not fly or the mission would fail.

Regarding the theory; the lessons in avionics, aircraft structure and aircraft systems still help me today in understanding relations between different systems and the effect these systems have on the availability and capability of the aircraft.

My internships were also of great value, getting to grips with the practical side of aviation.

Are you still connected to the Aviation Academy?

Not a lot to be honest. I receive the emails sent to the Alumni, but nothing more. I do however still have a lot of contact with people I met whilst studying.

Have you been a member of the SVAAA?

Yes, Since my first day in 2013 I was a member of SVAAA. Shortly after I joined the Activity Commission and after a year went on to become head of the Activity Commission. When I entered my third year I created the Senior Student Committee to enhance the interaction between the junior and senior years which took some time to grow, but payed off for sure.

I had a very good, fun and educational time at the SVAAA.