Aviation is a science that emerged between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century and there are some discussions around who would be its true creator. Although, like good Brazilians, we know that Santos Dumont is the father of aviation, discussions aside, did you know that around the same time cinema was born?
Well then. Like any good subject, proximity did not take long to make aviation become the backdrop for many stories projected onto screens. And if aviation and cinema have so many stories together, Helisul, which is a reference in air services (and it’s not silly or anything), also guaranteed its star of the arts. In 2014, he arrived. Believe it or not, Michael Douglas.
Jokes aside, he is our very Brazilian Michael Douglas Hannig de Souza, ramp operational manager. His name, however, was not inspired by the award-winning American actor and producer Michael Kirk Douglas, protagonist of the classic Basic Instinct, as many believe.
In fact, each of the names of the Helisul collaborator was inspired by two actors that his father was a big fan of: Michael Keaton (who is returning as Batman in the Batgirl movie) and Kirk Douglas, father of actor Michael Douglas.
“Many call me that. But let Michael speak and that’s great”, jokes Michael Douglas, ours.
One of Michael’s brothers also couldn’t escape their father’s homage and was named after a French pianist: Jean Michel. The other two brothers of Michael and Jean have common names: Marcela and Cauã.
Michael from Paraná will complete eight years at Helisul in September, already full of real life memories. As is the case with dramaturgy, Michael has lived scripts that are sometimes more dramatic and sad, sometimes more comic and happy throughout the period he has been with the company. All of them deserve a lot of thanks, as the ramp’s operational manager reveals.
Shortly after being hired by Helisul, Michael was already faced with a very delicate situation in his private life. He says, however, that he found full support from the company, even though he was still a beginner.
After five months with the company, the then ramp assistant found himself with his wife admitted to a hospital and a two-month-old baby at home, who depended solely and exclusively on him at that time. “My wife had a gallbladder problem. A cyst grew and she had to operate. I had to take the baby to the hospital to be fed and come back. So I stayed away for several times,” he reveals.
In this back-and-forth journey from the hospital with the baby and also alongside his wife in consultations and follow-up exams, Michael never forgets all the support he received from Helisul and never tires of thanking him. “I wanted to participate and the company provided me with this. I was absent, but then I put the hours back together. The team sent a message saying: ‘Take care of her’.”
A year passed and, when Michael least expected it, the world in front of him came crashing down again. This time, not with his wife, but with his daughter. And, again, the company was on the side of Michael and his family, in a situation that was doomed to an unhappy ending, as he remembers.
“To this day the doctor says he doesn’t understand. The problem she had is what causes microcephaly. It was a miracle from God. Could have motor problems.”
Today, his wife, Jucimara, and little Beatriz, 7 years old, are in very good health. “She IS a beautiful girl, a blessing”, melts the father. The child undergoes examinations once a year and has periodic follow-up appointments.
Operation + management
Michael joined Helisul as a ramp assistant. Afterwards, he became ramp foreman, ramp coordinator and base coordinator, until he reached the position of ramp operational manager. Born in São José dos Pinhais, in the metropolitan region of Curitiba, he has a background in aircraft maintenance.
Currently, the Helisul employee is taking a distance course in Air Transport Management at the AEROTD Faculdade de Tecnologia, in Florianópolis (SC), where he takes the final exams twice a year. The idea is to combine academic training with a graduate degree in airport structures.
At 36 years of age, Michael recognizes his interest in aviation since he was very young. He didn’t come to have a family influence, like many in this area. “I always wanted to work with aviation, but I always liked the operational area”, he says.
The manager enjoys stepping in and handling the equipment hands-on. Before fulfilling his desire to be in the aviation area, he worked at a French car assembler, with a body shop, as a press operator and also a welder.
But then, in the management area, he discovered new skills and interests, and a new passion was born within the work. Today, Michael likes to bring the two areas together.
In management, I had the opportunity to grow a lot, travel, learn about other bases, provide training. I like both parts, dealing with people, giving them opportunities and being in the operational environment, solving problems, helping”, he says.
Michael’s manager at the time was one of the biggest influencers in his career, according to him. “Barbosa was a person who adopted me, put me on Helisul, taught me a lot. He was my manager and today I’m in his place. I still keep in touch today, he was responsible for giving me that push in aviation and whenever I need him he is with me”.
At the time, the team had eight people. Since then, it has grown, as well as the number of hangars and movement. Currently, the team managed by Michael has 15 employees, to be proud of. “It was just learning, I was able to absorb very good things that today helped me to be here and have this opportunity. It is a sector that has embodied and I am very happy for that ”, he celebrates.