Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians

Description

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Includes helicopter and aircraft engine specialists.

Tasks

  • Read and interpret maintenance manuals, service bulletins, and other specifications to determine the feasibility and method of repairing or replacing malfunctioning or damaged components.
  • Inspect completed work to certify that maintenance meets standards and that aircraft are ready for operation.
  • Maintain repair logs, documenting all preventive and corrective aircraft maintenance.
  • Conduct routine and special inspections as required by regulations.
  • Examine and inspect aircraft components, including landing gear, hydraulic systems, and deicers to locate cracks, breaks, leaks, or other problems.
  • Inspect airframes for wear or other defects.
  • Maintain, repair, and rebuild aircraft structures, functional components, and parts such as wings and fuselage, rigging, hydraulic units, oxygen systems, fuel systems, electrical systems, gaskets, and seals.
  • Measure the tension of control cables.
  • Replace or repair worn, defective, or damaged components, using hand tools, gauges, and testing equipment.
  • Measure parts for wear, using precision instruments.
  • Assemble and install electrical, plumbing, mechanical, hydraulic, and structural components and accessories, using hand or power tools.
  • Test operation of engines and other systems, using test equipment such as ignition analyzers, compression checkers, distributor timers, and ammeters.
  • Obtain fuel and oil samples and check them for contamination.
  • Reassemble engines following repair or inspection and reinstall engines in aircraft.
  • Read and interpret pilots' descriptions of problems to diagnose causes.
  • Modify aircraft structures, space vehicles, systems, or components, following drawings, schematics, charts, engineering orders, and technical publications.
  • Install and align repaired or replacement parts for subsequent riveting or welding, using clamps and wrenches.
  • Locate and mark dimensions and reference lines on defective or replacement parts, using templates, scribes, compasses, and steel rules.
  • Clean, strip, prime, and sand structural surfaces and materials to prepare them for bonding.
  • Service and maintain aircraft and related apparatus by performing activities such as flushing crankcases, cleaning screens, and lubricating moving parts.
  • Examine engines through specially designed openings while working from ladders or scaffolds, or use hoists or lifts to remove the entire engine from an aircraft.
  • Remove or install aircraft engines, using hoists or forklift trucks.
  • Inventory and requisition or order supplies, parts, materials, and equipment.
  • Fabricate defective sections or parts, using metal fabricating machines, saws, brakes, shears, and grinders.
  • Remove or cut out defective parts or drill holes to gain access to internal defects or damage, using drills and punches.
  • Clean, refuel, and change oil in line service aircraft.
  • Communicate with other workers to coordinate fitting and alignment of heavy parts, or to facilitate processing of repair parts.
  • Trim and shape replacement body sections to specified sizes and fits and secure sections in place, using adhesives, hand tools, and power tools.
  • Clean engines, sediment bulk and screens, and carburetors, adjusting carburetor float levels.
  • Prepare and paint aircraft surfaces.
  • Spread plastic film over areas to be repaired to prevent damage to surrounding areas.
  • Check for corrosion, distortion, and invisible cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail, using x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment.
  • Disassemble engines and inspect parts, such as turbine blades and cylinders, for corrosion, wear, warping, cracks, and leaks, using precision measuring instruments, x-rays, and magnetic inspection equipment.
  • Determine repair limits for engine hot section parts.
  • Cure bonded structures, using portable or stationary curing equipment.
  • Listen to operating engines to detect and diagnose malfunctions such as sticking or burned valves.
  • Accompany aircraft on flights to make in-flight adjustments and corrections.
  • Remove, inspect, repair, and install in-flight refueling stores and external fuel tanks.

Skills

Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Aircraft Accessories Mechanic
Aircraft Air Conditioning Mechanic
Aircraft Body and Bonded Structure Repairer
Aircraft Cylinder Mechanic
Aircraft Engine Mechanic
Aircraft Engine Specialist
Aircraft Engine Technician
Aircraft Magneto Mechanic
Aircraft Maintenance Director
Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor
Aircraft Maintenance Technician
Aircraft Mechanic
Aircraft Motor Mechanic
Aircraft Restorer
Aircraft Rigging and Controls Mechanic
Aircraft Steel Fabricator
Aircraft Structure Mechanic
Aircraft Technician
Aircraft Worker
Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic (A and P Mechanic)
Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic Apprentice
Airframe Mechanic
Airframe Technician
Airline Mechanic
Airplane Mechanic
Airplane Mechanic Apprentice
Airplane Rigger
Airplane Technician
Airplane Tester
Aviation Maintenance Technician
Aviation Mechanic
Aviation Support Equipment Repairer
Burnisher and Bumper
Carburetor Expert
Carburetor Specialist
Dinkey Engine Mechanic
Engine Installer
Engineman
Experimental Aircraft Mechanic
Experimental Rocketsled Mechanic
Flight Test Mechanic
Flight Test Shop Mechanic
Fuel System Maintenance Worker
Heat and Vent Aircraft Mechanic
Helicopter Mechanic
Hydraulic Mechanic
Ignition Mechanic
Jet Aircraft Servicer
Jet Engine Mechanic
Jet Mechanic
Landing Gear Mechanic
Launching Pad Mechanic
Magneto Electrician
Mechanical Developer Prover
Metal Fabricator
Missile Mechanic
Pneudraulic Systems Mechanic
Power Plant Installer
Preflight Mechanic
Propeller Mechanic
Rocket Engine Component Mechanic
Rocket Engine Mechanic
Rotor Blade Installer
Supercharger Mechanic
Trouble Shooter
Vacuum System Tester
X Ray Examiner of Aircraft

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$26.55 hourly, $55,210 annual.
Employment (2008):
119,160 employees