Helicopter mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing these airborne vehicles to ensure the safety of operators and passengers alike. They typically respond to any issues raised by pilots after a flight to troubleshoot potential problems, and they also perform routine inspections and document all findings whether or not problems were discovered. Any repairs and preventive maintenance must also be fully documented by the mechanic for inspection when licensing and ensuring the flight-worthiness of the craft throughout its lifespan.
Helicopter mechanics usually work as part of pre-flight and post-flight inspections of aircraft, and may receive reports from pilots which require attention or simply follow rules and procedures established by local jurisdictions or the companies which own the aircraft. The inspection process typically involves careful examination of the engine and components, and also external components such as rotor blades, exhaust carriers, and even the body of the helicopter itself, and all faults and potential faults are noted for repair.
These mechanics also perform repair work on helicopters, which includes physical repairs to systems as well as replacement of worn or faulty components. Most helicopters also have preventive maintenance schedules for wear-and-tear elements, and these items are typically kept in a database on a computer at the helicopter's home port so the mechanic can resolve them as they arise. Whether performing necessary repairs or simply maintaining the condition of the aircraft, the helicopter mechanic documents all work thoroughly so that routine inspections by flight certification authorities can easily determine that the helicopter has been well-maintained.
Aspiring helicopter mechanics should receive education in the field from specialized technical schools which provide instruction in the mechanical and avionics systems necessary to work on helicopters and certify them as safe for air travel. They are typically hired by airports with helicopter service, as well as hospitals, police forces, and other entities which have their own helicopters.
Helicopter Mechanic Tasks
- Perform preventative, regularly scheduled, and unexpected maintenance on aircraft.
- Service aircraft according to all FAA regulations.
- Document inspection and test results and maintain a repair log.
- Inspect aircraft integrity and perform post-maintenance tests.