Show Your SkillsA&P license

If you want to get a leg up on your competition when applying for an aircraft mechanic position, one unlikely way to do it is by highlighting your computer skills.  Yes, you read that right, your computer skills. You probably thought I was going to tell you that you should highlight some advanced skills you have acquired working on or troubleshooting aircraft.  While all those advanced skills also look good on a resume or application, the fact is that the biggest challenges dealing with new hires are teaching them the computer systems that the company utilizes.

Larger employers are increasingly turning to software to aid in everything from tracking aircraft maintenance to ordering parts. These systems make it convenient to order, track and inventory available spares.  Some of these systems can even be used to keep track of maintenance including AAIP inspections, service bulletin/AD compliance. Using software to generate a “Maintenance Due List” is becoming more common with some of the larger operators. This is a much more efficient way to keep track of maintenance coming due and also reduces the amount of over-flown inspections.

In some cases, this can amount to using an electronic log book, or using a paper log book  and also entering the maintenance items into the software tracking system.

Other Computer Tasks

There are also plenty of tasks outside of the maintenance tracking software that also end up soaking up valuable time from the aircraft mechanic. Tasks such as updating GPS memory

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cards,  scanning log pages, researching ADs, service bulletins, ordering parts/special tools, computer based training and the list goes on and on. Many companies are also doing away with paper maintenance manuals and going with all computer based.  This is an easier way to keep track of revision updates which the FAA just loves.  My manuals are all online and updated at a central point, it is also important to note that even though the manuals are updated and maintained off site somewhere in cyber space, it is still my responsibility to ensure I am using the most current revision.  When the FAA visits me, they want to see how I can prove my manuals are the most current versions. This means being able to log into the manufactures websites to check on the revision status of the manuals.

Nowadays, as a EMS helicopter mechanic, I spend at least 80% of my time on the computer. Of course this may number is probably a lot higher than other industries only because I wear many hats. I am my own parts dept,tools dept, hangar facilities dept, …. you get the point.

No Excuses

Being computer literate is not an asset any more, it is a must . The days of not being computer savvy and getting away with it are slowly slipping away.  The old-timer mechanics that were so great at troubleshooting and repairing aircraft are not stuck struggling with these new computer systems that companies seem to love “shove down their throats”. Not only is it difficult to learn these systems, the constant updates and changes to the software make it even more difficult to grasp. It is a reminder to us all, that being an aircraft mechanic means adapting and continuing the learning process.

Adding your computer skills on your resume, application or talking up your strengths during an interview can help round you out. Honestly, working on the aircraft is the easy part.  Following the companies policies (GMM) and learning the ever-updating newer-and-better software systems still remain to be the biggest challenges facing new aircraft mechanics.  After being hired, embracing these challenges head-on and not only learning them, but mastering them will solidify your place in the organization.

 

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