Ok, so it might not be super secret, but it is under utilized big time, it is the all-important letter of recommendation. I know this is nothing really new, letter of recommendations have been around ever since interviews themselves, But do you have one?
Most aircraft mechanics heard the term MEL (pronounced em-ee-el) before. If you are new to aviation maintenance, you may be a little confused about what it exactly is. This is a general guide to help aircraft mechanics use the MEL to their advantage.
The MEL, or minimum equipment list, is an approved document from the FAA. Companies operating under a part 121, 135 or even 91 use an MEL list. This is a list that allows the aircraft to be operated with something broken. Of course we are not talking someone major here, but perhaps a flight instrument back-lighting. The MEL list each component that CAN be MELed. Obvious items such as the wing and rudder cannot be MELed.
I recently has to spring for a new torque wrench due to my old one failing calibration. Probably the falls off the aircraft did the poor thing in. Oh well, it’s a great excuse to buy a new toy, although aircraft mechanics rarely need an excuse to buy tools.
I choice the Matco brand only because of my good luck with my 1/4drive version I have used for years. It’s a solid built tool and has given me good results.
Here are a few of my favorite websites to hang out at. They are a great resource for any A&P mechanics. There really is a limited number of quality sites for aircraft maintenance folks. Stop by and pay them a visit, I’m sure you will find them interesting unless of course your a weirdo.
Best Aircraft Mechanic Websites
http://aircraftmaintenanceandtools.blogspot.com/ – Great blog by another aircraft mechanic. He works for SWA and his name is Goat. Gives you a look into the world of the airlines. Do you think you have what it takes to work for one of big airlines? Find out and read the blog!
Being an aircraft mechanic, or any kind of mechanic for that matter, can take a toll physically on our bodies. It’s no secret that we work hard at what we do to make aircraft safe to fly. Sure, nowadays large portion of the job is sitting at a computer entering maintenance tasks into a computer log book or using maintenance manuals, but the hard, dirty work of aircraft maintenance remains the same.
If you have your A and P license and you haven’t used it in 24 months, your certificates technically are not current. That means you cannot exercise the privilege (use your license), until you meet the requirements of FAR 65.83 ;
A certificated mechanic may not exercise the privileges of his certificate and rating unless, within the preceding 24 months—
(a) The Administrator has found that he is able to do that work; or
(b) He has, for at least 6 months—
(1) Served as a mechanic under his certificate and rating;
(2) Technically supervised other mechanics;
(3) Supervised, in an executive capacity, the maintenance or alteration of aircraft; or
(4) Been engaged in any combination of paragraph (b) (1), (2), or (3) of this section.
Becoming an aircraft mechanic can be a daunting task. You may have questions as to what to expect on the actual job when you finally get your A&P license. You are not alone in your concern about your new job. Most aircraft mechanics were in the same boat when they started out. The good thing is that most employers will teach you what you need to know for the most part. All you need to bring is some common sense and your mechanical abilities. Oh, and maybe your tools too.
Enjoying your job is something that you cannot put a price tag on. Sure, you can always calculate how much you will be compensated monetarily, but factoring the level of workplace enjoyment may be much more difficult.
In my opinion, It seems that most aircraft mechanics that I have run into actually enjoy their jobs. This is generally speaking of course because we all have those rough days that we wish we had studied something other than aviation maintenance in school.