When it comes to mechanics, we only hire the most qualified crew to work on our fleet.
Depending on their area of specialization, mechanics perform inspections, maintenance, structural repairs, and alterations on a variety of different aviation articles. The primary specialties are airframe, powerplant (engines), and avionics.
Airframe mechanics perform maintenance on airframe components, including the wings, fuselage, tail section, and landing gear. They are not allowed to work on engines unless they are being supervised by a certficated and properly rated person.
Powerplant mechanics have the authority to service and maintain aircraft engines but are not allowed to work on airframe components unless they are being supervised by a certificated and properly rated person.
Most mechanics in the U.S. are certified for both airframe and powerplant. Their approval is in the form of a mechanics certificate with an airframe and powerplant rating (A&P).
Avionics technicians require specialized training to peform maintenance on aircraft radios, instruments and computer systems, including radar, radio communications, and autopilot systems.
They are usually employed by certificated repair stations who are authorized to perform maintenance on aircraft avionics. The demand for skilled avionics technicians is rising as aircraft are increasingly being fitted with state of the art instrumentation, computers and navigation equipment.
Aircraft mechanics work in hangars operated by airlines, flight schools, corporations, repair stations or maintenance repair and overhaul facilities (MRO), and often times on the ramp where airplanes are parked.
Typically, schedules consist of 40-hour work weeks and 8-hour work days. Because planes need constant servicing, mechanics can work night and weekend shifts as well as overtime hours.
Mechanics need to work fast and efficiently, in order to adhere to high safety standards and meet demanding flight schedules. They can be subject to high noise levels and strenuous physical work.
Human factors in aircraft maintenance has become a much talked about issue. We will have more information on that topic in another section of this website.
Read more about certification and training here.