Volume 46
November 12, 2018

A Weekly Aviation Career
Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.

A Weekly Aviation Career Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.
 
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A Weekly Aviation Career Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.
Aircraft Maintenance Technicians

Aircraft Maintenance Techs keep aircraft in peak operating condition

While AvjobsWeekly will soon cover specific aspects of aircraft maintenance, we wanted to provide you with an overview of a career as an aircraft maintenance technician. To keep aircraft in peak operating condition, aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and service technicians perform scheduled maintenance; make repairs, and complete inspections required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Some mechanics work on one or many different types of aircraft, such as jets, propeller-driven airplanes, and helicopters. Others specialize in one section of a particular type of aircraft, such as the engine, hydraulics, or electrical system. Airframe mechanics are authorized to work on any part of the aircraft except the instruments, power plants, and propellers. Powerplant mechanics are authorized to work on engines and do limited work on propellers. Combination airframe-and-powerplant mechanics Called A&P mechanics Work on all parts of the plane except the instruments. Most mechanics working on civilian aircraft today are A&P mechanics. In small, independent repair shops, mechanics usually inspect and repair many different types of aircraft.

Avionics technicians repair and maintain components used for aircraft navigation and radio communications, weather radar systems, and other instruments and computers that control flight, engine, and other primary functions. These duties may require additional licenses, such as a radiotelephone license issued by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Because of the increasing use of technology, more time is spent repairing electronic systems, such as computerized controls.

Many aircraft mechanics specialize in preventive maintenance. They inspect aircraft engines, landing gear, instruments, pressurized sections, accessories and other parts of the aircraft. They do the necessary maintenance and replacement of parts. Technicians also maintain records related to the maintenance performed on the aircraft. Mechanics and technicians conduct inspections following a schedule based on the number of hours the aircraft has flown, calendar days since the last inspection, cycles of operation, or a combination of these factors.

Finding Solutions
In large, sophisticated planes equipped with aircraft monitoring systems, mechanics can gather valuable diagnostic information from onboard computers that monitor the aircraft's basic operations. Aircraft mechanics also examine engines by working through specially designed openings while standing on ladders or scaffolds or by using hoists or lifts to remove the entire engine from the craft. After taking an engine apart, mechanics use precision instruments to measure parts for wear and use x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment to check for invisible cracks. They repair or replace worn or defective parts. Mechanics also may repair sheet metal or composite surfaces; measure the tension of control cables; and check for corrosion, distortion, and cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail. After completing all repairs, they must test the equipment to ensure that it works properly.

Mechanics specializing in repair work rely on the pilot's description of a problem to find and fix faulty equipment. For example, during a preflight check, a pilot may discover that the aircraft's fuel gauge does not work. To solve the problem, mechanics may troubleshoot the electrical system, using electrical test equipment to make sure that no wires are broken or shorted out, and replace any defective electrical or electronic components. Mechanics work as fast as safety permits so that the aircraft can be put back into service quickly.

Work Conditions/Training
The work requires constant exposure to outdoor conditions and loud jet engines, resulting in high turnover. Most work is performed outside in all types of weather, and ear plugs are usually necessary because of aircraft engine noise. Those aspiring to be an Aircraft Maintenance Technician need to complete rigorous technical training in Airframe and Powerplant technologies or at least 30 months of experience. Once the training is completed, the trainee then takes and passes an FAA oral and written exam. Upon successful completion of the FAA exams, the recipient is awards a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate.

A Day In The Life
Cargo flights also need ground handling and our video partner provides us with a video look at technicians in action at an aircraft maintenance facility that caters to small to medium sized commercial jets. Watch the team in action on a Boeing 737. Read more about Aircraft Maintenance Technicians at www.avjobs.com

 


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