Aircraft mechanics/service technicians are responsible for all aspects of the care and maintenance of aircraft. They provide both urgent maintenance to address specific issues and continued general care to ensure aircraft remain in good condition.
Aircraft mechanics inspect planes for proper function, including checking hydraulics, electronics, exhaust systems, and landing gear. They ensure proper de-icing before flight, as well as install ancillary equipment such as extra fuel tanks or towing gear. When a plane experiences difficulties, they troubleshoot problems and use standard mechanic tools to determine the issue and make necessary repairs, if possible. In some cases, specialists may be needed to repair more delicate or specialized aircraft components. For general maintenance, aircraft mechanics ensure periodic standard maintenance and corrosion prevention occurs. They monitor fluid levels, as well as test fuel for contamination and proper mix proportions. Aircraft mechanics must maintain proper records of all maintenance activities to ensure all procedures occur as scheduled.
Aircraft mechanics work in a repair shop environment, generally at an airport. They use hand tools as well as some heavy equipment, and they may work with a team to troubleshoot aircraft issues in a timely manner. They work with some dangerous equipment and chemicals in a busy environment with moving equipment, people, and aircraft.
Aircraft mechanics typically are required to have some experience in repair work and with using hand tools. There is wide latitude in responsibilities and amount of supervision in the field, with higher level aircraft mechanics requiring years of experience in some cases. Some aircraft mechanics may be required to hold specific Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifications to perform specialized work on airframes or power plant systems.
Aircraft Mechanic / Service Technician Tasks
- Maintain, repair, and rebuild aircraft structures, functional components, and parts.
- Maintain repair logs, documenting all preventive and corrective aircraft maintenance.
- Perform preflight, thru-flight, and post-flight maintenance inspections.
- Examine and inspect aircraft components to locate problems.
- Read and interpret maintenance manuals, service bulletins, technical data, engineering data, and other specifications.