Airplane inspectors play a key role in ensuring the safety of passengers, pilots, and crews who travel on aircraft by performing careful scheduled and periodic inspections of planes and recording any anomalies and resulting recommendations for the plane to remain operational. Typically, these inspectors are highly specialized aircraft technicians who are employed primarily by airlines, airports, and companies which provide relevant mechanical and technical services.
Most commercial aircraft, especially those in commercial passenger service, are inspected after a flight and also again before the next flight. Inspectors typically work through checklists to examine the plane's mechanical, hydraulic, and electronic processes, as well as exterior and body aspects. Larger passenger planes must maintain certain key systems within passenger cabins, which are also subject to inspection. Inspectors also check with flight crews and pilots, as these personnel are required to disclose any warning lights and other irregularities encountered during flight. The inspector uses this feedback to isolate the causes of ongoing problems.
Another important aspect of the inspector's job is the careful and thorough logging of any anomalies and recommended or implemented corrective actions. These inspection logs must be kept and submitted whenever the plane is to be given regular clearance for safe operation by national flight authorities.
Aspiring airplane inspectors should graduate from a vocational or technical school in aviation mechanics, and most will also need extensive practical experience within the field, as this is not considered an entry-level position. Airplane inspectors typically work during regular business hours at an airport, airfield, or service hangar.
Airplane Inspector Tasks
Inspect aircraft and aviation equipment for airworthiness and adherence to standards.
Communicate with the aviation industry, government agencies, officials, and the general public.
Prepare various reports and briefings, including findings and recommendations.
Evaluate programs, policies, and regulations for adequacy and develop improvements.
Examine maintenance and inspection documentation for compliance with safety regulations.