Aircraft Mechanics Are Different

They understand aircraft maintenance is a nonstop learning experience

Most importantly, the aircraft mechanic understands his/her responsibilities and develops a working personality that embraces that responsibility. Instead of using the terms “maybe” or “I think I can shore that up,” we use terms like, “No. It’s illegal and I cannot let you fly it like that.” “I won’t sign it off in that condition because it’s not safe.” And so it goes.

An example

To illustrate, I’ll relate an experience of mine.

It’s been 18 years since I decided to build my own house, a large four-level split. Why? It was a challenge and I wanted to take advantage of my own “sweat equity.” While some things I simply didn’t have time to do, I found wiring the house pretty straightforward and ended up getting my work inspected by the city electrical inspector, who knew I’d legally accomplished my own work. “Where did you learn how to run electrical wiring?” he asked.

“I’m an airplane mechanic.”

He responded, “That’s about the most thought-out wiring job I’ve ever seen … it’s not common to find wire run in an attic where it won’t get stepped on.” At which point I asked him if he could show me the proper way to install a circuit breaker.

Aircraft mechanics are different.

Clint Lowe holds an FAA A&P certificate with Inspection Authorization and a commercial pilot certificate with instrument and multi engine ratings. He has spent most of his aviation career with the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard in a variety of roles including maintenance, safety, training, oversight, and accident investigation. He currently is a QA inspector/QA representative with the North Dakota Air National Guard in Fargo, ND.

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