Friday, July 22, 2011

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The airline industry is an ever-changing field. There are many types of aircraft being used today, including freight, commercial passenger and private passenger planes. Each plane has to be built, maintained and fixed when something goes wrong. The field of airplane mechanics is a growing and always changing area of job exploration. Skills as an aircraft mechanic can be utilized in the commercial airline field or at an airfield with private aircraft. They can also be used to work where airplanes are sold and brought in for maintenance and repair. It is a field that promises to continue expanding and as the world continues to globalize the opportunities will continue to increase.

Maintenance mechanics in the aviation industry are responsible for the safety of airplanes. As an important member of the maintenance team, an aviation mechanic will repair, service, and overhaul aircraft systems. These mechanics work with many different parts of an airplane, such as the propeller, engine, aircraft instrumentation and the electrical and hydraulic systems. The aviation industry has seen dramatic changes in the recent past due to the changes in structural materials, computer technology and solid-state electronics. Aviation mechanics service various aircraft systems. Each mechanic is assigned a specific responsibility for a different section of the aircraft. Aircraft mechanics are responsible for the inspection and repair of airplane engines and systems in accordance with specifications stated in technical publications.

Mechanics in the aviation industry will be required to comply with difficult maintenance schedules. Maintenance schedules are often interrupted by unexpected aircraft repairs that cannot be postponed. An aircraft mechanics may work long shifts that often include weekends, holidays and nights. Most of their time will be spent outdoors where most aircrafts are repaired and maintained. In addition, aviation mechanics will often find themselves surrounded by very loud noises, as much of their work is done in and next to loud aircraft engines.

The working life of an aircraft mechanic can be extremely varied. Aircraft maintenance is a hands-on job, so you’ll need to be practical and dedicated to unusual hours to excel in this job. Adjust, align, and calibrate aircraft systems using hand tools, gauges, and test equipment. Aircraft Mechanics are required to have their own hand tools. An aircraft mechanic job duties and responsibilities are innumerable but very crucial. This is because if not well done it could result in plane crashes and loss of lives. The duties include:

1. Carry out engineers, Lead Technicians and Technicians orders.

2. Test engine and system operations using test equipment.

3. Use tools such as ignition analyzers, compression checkers, distributor timers and ammeters.

4. Take apart and inspect parts for wear, warping or other defects.

5. Maintain aircraft systems by flushing crankcases, cleaning screens, greasing moving parts, and checking brakes.

6. Assemble and install electrical, plumbing, mechanical, hydraulic, structural, parts and accessories.

7. Use hand tools and power tools.

8. Remove or install engine.

9. Read, understand and work from aircraft maintenance manuals and specifications.

10. Modify aircraft parts or components.

11. Responsible for the general service and repair of an aircraft.

12. Resolves engine and hydraulic faults.

13. Inspects and repairs radar and communications equipment.

14. Line maintenance at airports.

15. Works on carrying out minor and major defects.

16. Makes spot-checks on security and safety issues.

17. Adjusting, aligning and calibrating of engine systems.

18. Repair the systems for any faults.

19. Inspect the engines.

20. Determine the tools and all the equipment required to perform a certain job.

21. Find problem areas and solve them.

22. Install all electrical and plumbing equipment.

23. Doing all the servicing and maintenance duties.

24. Performing inspections.

25. Controlling operations.

26. Watching of gauges and dials to ensure that everything is running, as it should.

27. Recognize any problems that may arise.

28. Examine and inspect engines or other components for cracks, breaks, or leaks.

Skills and Specifications:

To become an aircraft mechanic the skills and specifications required include:

1. Good written and oral communication skills.

2. Be able to work under pressure.

3. Possess technical and functional skills.

4. Be agile.

5. Have good hearing and eyesight.

6. Able to pay attention to detail.

Important skills, knowledge and abilities for Aircraft Mechanics include:

Installation - Correctly installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs.

Equipment Selection - Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.

Repairing – Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Problem Identification - Identifying the nature of problems.

Troubleshooting - Determining what is causing an operating error and deciding what to do about it.

Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

Product Inspection - Inspecting and evaluating the quality of products.

Testing - Conducting tests to decide whether equipment, software, or procedures are working as expected.

Good in problems solving.

Aircraft Mechanic Jobs – Required Skills:

• Good team player •Hands-on, practical approach to work

• Flexible in terms of working hours

• A fast learner and good attitude.

• Close attention to detail •An investigative mind

• Patience and dedication

Work Environment:

Aviation mechanics must be prepared for a working environment that can be stressful at times, having to work to tight deadlines and flight schedules. They also have the responsibility of maintaining strict safety standards. They often suffer from work-related injuries from having to lift heavy objects and put themselves into awkward positions. The hangars and repair stations mechanics work in can be very noisy, and mechanics need to wear ear protection

Working Conditions:

Mechanics usually work in hangars or in other indoor areas. When hangars are full or when repairs must be made quickly, they can work outdoors, sometimes in unpleasant weather. Mechanics often work under time pressure to maintain flight schedules or in general aviation, to keep from inconveniencing customers. At the same time, mechanics have a tremendous responsibility to maintain safety standards, and this can cause the job to be stressful.

Frequently, mechanics must lift or pull objects weighing more than 70 pounds. They often stand, lie, or kneel in awkward positions and occasionally must work in precarious positions, such as on scaffolds or ladders. Noise and vibration are common when engines are being tested, so ear protection is necessary.

Nature of the Work:

Some Mechanics work out on the airfield on "flight lines" where aircraft park in order to make emergency repairs. Conditions can be hot day or rainy day, depending on the weather. Others work inside hangars and in repair shops that afford good lighting, heat, and air conditioning. A major discomfort of the job is caused by the noise from power tools and from aircraft in the process of testing, taking off and landing. Minor scratches and skinned knuckles from tool slippage are the most frequent injuries in this work. Burns from welding equipment and hot engine surfaces, and falls from ladders or scaffolds are less common.

Flight line jobs at airports can be physically demanding. Work often requires climbing on ladders or scaffolds, crawling under wings, or fitting into tight spaces. Work must often be performed under time pressure to maintain airline flight schedules. At the same time, Aircraft Mechanics cannot sacrifice high work standards to speed up the job.

As an aircraft mechanic you should take everything seriously because of the RESPONSIBILITY you have in making sure that an airplane is airworthy and that repairs are done to specification.Good Luck.

NOTE: Taken from E&M Portal