Aviation Maintenance Technician Duties And Responsibilities
As doctors are to the human body, aviation maintenance technicians are to aircraft. This is something to appreciate each time you land safely on the airport runway from an out-or-state or international flight. In addition to the pilots’ work of maneuvering a plane into the air, through the atmosphere and back to land again, aviation maintenance technicians play a pivotal role in facilitating the flight. Below is a list of just what they do.
1) Perform Inspections: Perhaps the most crucial of duties, inspections must be completed after an aircraft lands and before it can take off again. If the inspection is done for a commercial airplane or other heavily used aircraft, this can leave aviation maintenance technicians with little time before the next scheduled flight. An absolutely thorough check of parts, fluids, structure, and diagnostic equipment must be performed before takeoff is possible.
2) Complete Scheduled Maintenance Operations: Routine maintenance of things such as fluid levels, cockpit gauges, and meters must be done to keep an aircraft performing in peak condition. A worker will check for any computer sensor error messages as well as perform cleaning and replacement of worn break parts, valves, or other mechanical parts.
3) Repair Damaged or Worn Equipment: Depending on whether the position is at a commercial airline, air force base, naval aircraft carrier or repair station, a technician will perform repairs either in a hangar or, in the case of those based on Navy aircraft carriers, in the open air. Most aviation maintenance technicians must wear noise cancelling headphones due to the deafening sounds associated with running aircraft engines.
4) Fueling/Defueling: Fueling and defueling aircraft can be a difficult and dangerous operation. Whether the fuel source is a fuel tanker or hydrant system, proper measures must be taken to avoid accidentally igniting fuel vapor during the process and causing a life-threatening fire. This can happen as a result of improper coupling during pressurized fueling or from the presence of static within the fuel itself.
5) De-Icing Aircraft: The de-icing procedure for aircraft is a two part process involving first removing frozen liquid from critical areas on the outer portions of a plane or other aircraft. After this, measures must be taken to prevent ice accumulation on the same parts before the aircraft must again become airborne. Depending on weather conditions, the application of an anti-icing substance may or may not be necessary once ice is removed.
6) Record Keeping: Detailed records must be kept of all inspections, maintenance and repair work done on an aircraft. This ensures that no important operations are missed or go undone and that there is documentation of not only the complete status of the machine, but starting-point information for future maintenance work.
7) Supervise: If an aviation maintenance technician has a certain amount of work experience, usually a minimum of three to five years, that person may be called on to perform supervisory duties or be hired directly into a managerial position. This position will include an ability to perform the duties discussed above as well as to manage aircraft maintenance schedules and subordinate technician duties.
From managing the regular upkeep of aircraft parts to troubleshooting and repairing complex electrical components, an aviation maintenance technician must possess both a level head and steady hands to perform safely and effectively under extreme deadlines. With the continued use and development of air travel, aviation maintenance will continue to be much needed and ever evolving.