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Aircraft and aviation equipment mechanics and service technicians

December 13,2010 by: Dallas Browne

For an airplane to function safely there are certain tasks that must be performed accordingly by well-trained staff. The service technicians and aircraft/avionic equipment mechanics are important part of the work force to make certain that the aircraft is in a good operating condition.

Aircraft/avionic equipment mechanic can specialize into different major areas of the job. First is preventive maintenance. This is a task that must be accomplished by strictly following schedule. The mechanic should be able to inspect landing gears, aircraft engines, pressurized sections, instruments, brakes, pumps, air-conditioning system and other parts of the plane. All the observations during the inspection are recorded. If repair is needed they have to fix the problem immediately and then test the equipment to see if the problem was solved or not.

Repairing is another specialization a mechanic in the field of aviation can perform. The main goal is to fix any problems encountered and described by the pilot.

Other mechanics specialize in specific parts of the aircraft, for instance, airframe mechanics are authorized to work and repair any other part of the aircraft aside from power plants, instruments and propellers. To fix problems in power plants someone who specializes in this field called power plant mechanic has to be called in. A power plant mechanic can also work on propellers. There is also a mechanic who specializes in the power plant and the airframe, known as the A & P mechanic. An A & P mechanic can work at any part of the aircraft aside from the flying instruments.

Avionic system is another important part of the aircraft that has to be maintained accordingly. This system includes components for radio communications and aircraft navigation plus other instruments controlling engine and other main functions. To specifically take care of these concerns employers hire avionic technicians. The Federal Aviation Administration can provide people with skills necessary to be a qualified and certified mechanic. FAA just requires their mechanic-trainees to be 18 years old and above with at least a high school diploma and are fluent in the English language. There are also schools offering aviation technician courses however out of 170, only one is certified by the FAA. According to FAA, for a school to be certified, it has to offer at least 1,900 class hours.  A strong background in electronics and computers is also significant for one to be able to be successful aviation mechanic. In addition to this, courses in physics, mathematics, mechanical drawing and chemistry will be helpful.

Half of all the service technicians and avionic and aircraft equipment mechanics work in public air transportation while 15% are employed in the Federal Government and 21%  are with the aerospace parts and products manufacturing.

It is projected that job opportunities for aviation mechanics and service technicians will grow in the following years given that regional and commuter airlines is a the fastest growing sector in the industry of air transportation. Competition among applicants occurs mainly with large airlines since they are the ones offering high pay and good benefits.

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