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Flight Technicians And Others: Strange Questions?  
User currently offlineprizeframe From France, joined Nov 2012, 8 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 5 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 7102 times:

I just wrote another thread about preventing airline equipment failures, as I'm a student doing research on making flight maintanence more fun, productive and profitable. It showed I was on the wrong track, and found out thanks to Starlionblue and tdscanuck here on the forum. But now I'm gonna find some new interesting subjects, and hope you can be of any help.

It doesn't have to be Flight technicians (can be other professions within the airline industry as well.) But that's what I'm going to focus on right now.

As a flight technician (or insert what you are here) what are the biggest problems you face on a day-to-day basis?

● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?
● What takes up most of your time?
● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?
● What tasks are you doing that you believe can be made easier or less tedious?
● What are some of the repetitive tasks you have to do on a daily basis?

I would just like to learn about the pain points you experience in your profession.

I would love to hear back from you, even if it is only one sentence!

Thanks! Looking forward to start an interesting discussion.

[Edited 2012-11-16 08:04:53]

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 3930 posts, RR: 34
Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7117 times:

I work on the ramp on line maintenance. The aircraft come from, and return to their main base.
I have been doing this job for a long time now and the biggest problem is boredom!
Aircraft are becoming so reliable that we don't have much to do. An A320 can fly all day, say five
flights and arrive at my station for a night stop with Nil defects. I look in the maintenance computor and there is nothing there either. I check the display in the flight deck and the oils and tyre pressures are all OK. All that is left is to walk around the aircraft checking for damage, and repairing some defects caused by passengers. This is normal. Because aircraft are so expensive when they are not flying, it pays my company to pay me to sit here so that once in a while I can make some repair and get the aircraft away. But nowadays most of those repairs are computor related.

I can look at the display from Airman. I log into Airbus web site and see my airlines page. We have 110 A320 series aircraft. They are all displayed on the screen with the most broken one at the top. There is one in red, it is in the hangar at main base. There are four in yellow. They have defects that might affect their next departure. There are 105 with NIL defects. It is becoming a problem on the line to keep proficiency. We read about other peolples problems, because we don't have enough of our own!

30 years ago I worked on the line at the main base for a fleet of Tristar aircraft. We were busy! There was always something to do. Times have changed. Aircraft are much more reliable than before.

The main thing that would make my life better is for the aircraft to tell us when it is going to break down 2 hrs in advance. Then we could sit at home, and come in when required!


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7114 times:

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
As a flight technician (or insert what you are here) what are the biggest problems you face on a day-to-day basis?

I used to be a service engineer (guy at an OEM who helps airlines when the manuals they have don't cover the issue) and have also worked in an airline's engineering department. So what I saw was only what annoyed the mechanics enough for them to elevate it to engineering, but for whatever it's worth:

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?

Finding part interchangeability. When something is dead and and you don't have an exact replacement but you've got a similar part, is it legal to go on the airplane? You would think this is an easy question but, thanks to age, AD's, and upgrades, it's usually not.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What takes up most of your time?

Paperwork. Rule of thumb was documentation took 2x the time to do the actual work.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?

Wading through manuals looking for the information I actually need.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What tasks are you doing that you believe can be made easier or less tedious?

Wading through manuals looking for the information I actually need. The latest iSpec 2200 manuals help a lot but the interfaces still aren't great.

Tom.


User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 5 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7107 times:

● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?
As a Aircraft Inspector, I have not had too much day to day painful task.

● What takes up most of your time?
Paperwork, Looking up Serial Numbers and Part Numbers and IPC refs. to make sure the parts are not restricted and can be used on the type of acft the mechanics are working on. Logging in all the steps in the work you are overseeing. Don't get me wrong, That is a Inspectors job, and I love it.

● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?
The only thing that drives me nuts at work, is using the Airbus A330 SRM for repairs. The manual is very hard to follow, and even if you get the Weight Version right, and tail number correct, it can lead you down a path that is not correct for that series of A330. The A320 SRM is ok, and I think its because the A330 has many WV. Don't get me wrong I like the other Airbus Manuals, and think Air Nav is great.

● What tasks are you doing that you believe can be made easier or less tedious?
Looking up RII (required Inspection Items) On overnight work packages, could be coded better, and looking up EAs, ERAs could have a better search system.

● What are some of the repetitive tasks you have to do on a daily basis?
I come in and Check all the Workpackages for anything that might require a Inspector to sign off at My station, and stations in my region, and plot my work for the night. I then check the out of service acft in my region to see if a Inspector can help, and set up a road trip if needed. That's about the only thing I do everyday that is the same. The rest of the night changes everyday   So again, I am not complaining, I LOVE my Job, and enjoy every day I go to work  

Its amazing in my short 25 years working on aircraft, I am lucky to have worked on soo many types of Airliners, and enjoy learning something everyday.


User currently offlinelegs From Australia, joined Jun 2006, 230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7107 times:

Just for comparison's sake, I dont work in the airline industry, rather I maintain fighters for my country's air force, swinging between the workshop and the flightline as needed.

● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?

The most frustrating job we have is a couple of the item servicings we are on the hook to do. A couple are 15-20 mins to do, but double that for the paperwork. Rinse and repeat 10 times a day, it gets pretty tedious.

● What takes up most of your time?

Paperwork. Because we are civilians contracted to the military, for a lot of our work all our certifications are done in triplicate, in three different formats, on three different computer systems.

● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?

Parts availability. We are at the very end of a incredibly long logistics train, and as such we get the lowest priority (or so it seems sometimes). Things like ITAR restrictions, security clearances and sole source contracts make things very painful.

● What tasks are you doing that you believe can be made easier or less tedious?

Streamlining things is one of our big focal points. We've made a lot of little changes, as well ordering or making specialised equipment and tools to make our jobs easier. And we keep pushing management to try and overcome some of the other problems that we cant control directly, but thats a much harder proposition

● What are some of the repetitive tasks you have to do on a daily basis?

Like I mentioned before, we have to service a few different items very regularly. One in particular has to be tested every 30 calendar days, so testing those is takes 2 to 3 days a week for two people. Also, a few of our test benches require daily before-use servicings, which gets very tedious as well.


Hopefully that gives you a slightly different data point to all the line guys here.


User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7106 times:

I ride a desk. My job is to monitor and assign folks to research chronic problems on aircraft. Then they are to develop a plan to correct and sometimes execute the plan they develop. I have to approve any plan developed. I also approve moving a chronic problem into watch status after the plan has been executed.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?


Going through my open work tasks and seeing a chronic problem return after executing the plan.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What takes up most of your time?


Doing my task audit for CAT and ETOPS chronics.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?


Really? Not much. I guess its frustrating when you have a problem you can't get a handle on, but that's the job...at least in this office.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What are some of the repetitive tasks you have to do on a daily basis?


I look at every open task, everyday, to ensure that a plan, that makes sense, is in place and the proper tools, parts and materials are orsered for the aircraft in question. I also review every delay taken in the last 24 hours and check the problem against the database and see if a trend is developing at the aircraft level. There is a whole other department that looks at the same stuff at the fleet level.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away. Never leave your cave without your club.
User currently offlineprizeframe From France, joined Nov 2012, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7106 times:

Thanks for all the answers. Very interesting! I'm gonna dig deeper in all the info you've provided.

User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3388 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (1 year 5 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 7106 times:

Aircraft maintenance engineer here, mostly working on the turboprop fleet but also partake in some 737 work.


● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?
Hangar doors. I've submitted multiple safety reports and had a wcb claim with our hangar doors.

● What takes up most of your time?
In the winter, keeping us and airplanes warm. In the summer, probably paperwork (I don't mind paperwork though, means I get to sit in a comfy chair in a warm office instead of rolling in a puddle of grease out in the yard)

● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?
Babysitting other departments is an on-going frustration for our department. Our airline has this culture where everyone sees maintenance as the responsible ones and thus expects us to check for and fix things that other departments do wrong. Ramp forgets the engine covers, we have to go do them. Grooming forgets something often we get the first phone call. It frustrates the heck out of most of us.

● What tasks are you doing that you believe can be made easier or less tedious?
Probably a bigger hangar. It would solve much of our heat and hangar door issues, as well as making it a much more pleasant work place, not to mention noticeably increase production.

● What are some of the repetitive tasks you have to do on a daily basis?
Moving airplanes in and out of the hangar, deep cycling batteries, daily inspections, a checks, reconfiguring (the majority of our fleet are operated as combis). Though most of that work I don't mind, it's nice to have some simple and easy parts to the day.



Overall I'd say really the only painful part of our job is lack of facilities, and most frustrating is being expected to babysit other departments. Other than those two points I quite enjoy my job. It isn't perfect, but the benefits are nice, the people are great, the work is generally pretty rewarding, and it seems there is always something new and exciting happening. In 5 years I don't think I've ever been bored.



What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offline737tdi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 642 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7105 times:
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Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
As a flight technician (or insert what you are here) what are the biggest problems you face on a day-to-day basis?

I used to be a service engineer (guy at an OEM who helps airlines when the manuals they have don't cover the issue) and have also worked in an airline's engineering department. So what I saw was only what annoyed the mechanics enough for them to elevate it to engineering, but for whatever it's worth:

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?

Finding part interchangeability. When something is dead and and you don't have an exact replacement but you've got a similar part, is it legal to go on the airplane? You would think this is an easy question but, thanks to age, AD's, and upgrades, it's usually not.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What takes up most of your time?

Paperwork. Rule of thumb was documentation took 2x the time to do the actual work.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?

Wading through manuals looking for the information I actually need.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What tasks are you doing that you believe can be made easier or less tedious?

Wading through manuals looking for the information I actually need. The latest iSpec 2200 manuals help a lot but the interfaces still aren't great.

Tom.




Tom, You hit it right on the nose.

My biggest frustration is paperwork. It just keeps changing, changing and guess what? Changing. We have been through 3 logbook changes in the last 4 years. That may not seem like a big deal but the last 2 have been in the last 2 years.

They are minor changes, but major problems. Date format, station info., when caused, UTC v local time, oil servicing, tire servicing, sign off data. It goes on and on and on.

Conditional inspection references??? I have to research the exact reference to sign off a bird strike, overspeed, ramp rash, etc. etc.. It is really getting to the point of aircraft delays are built in now.

Actual aircraft maintenance takes i.e. 1 hour, paperwork takes .5 hours. Wow, things sure have changed over the last 30+ years. Hell, we now have to call for parts compatibility, on things like coffee makers??? They are compatible with all of out aircraft but we still have to call. Ridiculous.

To answer the OPs original question. It is paperwork that causes the biggest headache for Mechanics/Techs/Engineers. It is not the work. We experienced guys know how to replace parts and troubleshoot. We just have to figure out the sign off to be correct. Again, ridiculous. Take all of this in stride, it still is not terribly difficult.


User currently offline320tech From Turks and Caicos Islands, joined May 2004, 491 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 23 hours ago) and read 7106 times:

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
As a flight technician (or insert what you are here) what are the biggest problems you face on a day-to-day basis?

● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?
● What takes up most of your time?
● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?
● What tasks are you doing that you believe can be made easier or less tedious?
● What are some of the repetitive tasks you have to do on a daily basis?

I am an aircraft maintenance engineer, working for a major airline in a small station. The answer to all of these questions is the same: aircraft maintenance software is absolute crap. Outside of work, the software I use is amazing. Every year, it gets better, faster, easier to use, and incorporates features I would never have thought of. At work, the software gets less intuitive, more demanding, more time consuming, and less useful.

I am currently using TRAX to enter snags. It is garbage. No one would use this software by choice. I hope the accountants are getting a benefit from it, because we do not. Their website looks like a failed community college assignment. http://www.trax.aero/index_main.htm

And yet, TRAX is not the worst system I have to use.

The only other real issue I face is lack of parts. But I'm used to that now.  



The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 10, posted (1 year 5 months 19 hours ago) and read 7106 times:

Quoting Tristarsteve (Reply 1):
the biggest problem is boredom!
Aircraft are becoming so reliable that we don't have much to do

Your post was just so true.......

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?

Night shift fatigue esp between 0300hrs to 0500hrs can get tough.Finding a snack can be tougher due lack of free time.
Paperwork would def count as the least best.....

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What takes up most of your time?

Again Paperwork, it takes almost 50% of the time, to get the documents in place,go thru them, complete the job & fill in the paperwork.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?

Night shifts on the same Type of Aircraft.But I try to study about other types too,keeps me busy.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
● What tasks are you doing that you believe can be made easier or less tedious?

A Reduction of paperwork & incorporation of more technology would def help out.

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
What are some of the repetitive tasks you have to do on a daily basis?

a Transit check Inspection is the most common in Line Maintenance...

Quoting prizeframe (Thread starter):
I would just like to learn about the pain points you experience in your profession.

Would love to work alongside passionate Aviators,that enjoy the job.....Not to many left around these days .....Sadly.......



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 11, posted (1 year 5 months 15 hours ago) and read 7106 times:

Quoting 320tech (Reply 9):
The answer to all of these questions is the same: aircraft maintenance software is absolute crap.

Although I agree with you in general, I worked with AMOS at one airline and absolutely loved it.
http://www.swiss-as.com/main.do

Which just makes some of the other offerings that much more painful...the industry knows how to do it better, we just usually choose not to.

Tom.


User currently offlinem1m2 From Canada, joined Dec 2011, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 5 months 12 hours ago) and read 7105 times:

To 320Tech, I have used TRAX and agree that it is not a very user-friendly program. There is a lot of potential there once you get used to it, but I still don't like it.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7062 times:

Yeah....we used to use ARMS, now its TRAX......


Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3460 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6927 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 11):

From the publication side I work with AMOS and find the program the module under developed in all many areas. At my airline we still use paper and hard copies (CD, etc) distribution so in order to manage and track who has received a document I still need to send out paper sheets to get signed. AMOS cannot be set to print a simple acknowledgement form with only the copy number and corresponding location changed. Instead its acknowledgement form lists ALL copies and ALL locations. Therefore I need to resort to our old form which we must manually fill out by hand. Another huge issue I find with the publications module is the lack of ability to bulk any changes to a set of documents. IE. we send 50 documents to a station that operates for 4-5 months. When the documents are returned I must MANUALLY go to each document's entry and remove it's copy from the location it was in. Why not just allow me to delete the location and all copies of documents at it?! Sure, I have some likes about AMOS but I still feel more comfortable at this point with our manual way of tracking that documents are received and previous revisions distroyed.

Hopefully the rest of the airline will come onboard with AMOS, mainly the AMEs as right now only office staff, stores, and accounting are using it....

[Edited 2012-11-22 11:04:57]


Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 15, posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6874 times:

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 14):
From the publication side I work with AMOS and find the program the module under developed in all many areas.

I never touched the pubs side of it; I have no reason to think your experience is unusual (I have yet to hear of a really great publication module from anyone). I worked almost exclusively with the job card, spares, and AD modules. I found those great.

Tom.


User currently offlinetwincommander From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 6459 times:

● What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?
knowing that i may not get a call...

● What takes up most of your time?
Paperwork. no reason to screw this up. you can get in more trouble for not writing correctly, than you could with doing an improper task...

● What are you currently doing that frustrates you?
some of the MOC controllers i deal with dont exactly know the aircraft they are having me fix...

● What tasks are you doing that you believe can be made easier or less tedious?
theres always tasks that i feel that i can do faster, better, ect :p

● What are some of the repetitive tasks you have to do on a daily basis?
Gate tows, jump starting our vans, more gate tows, and MD-80 call outs.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 17, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6361 times:

Quoting twincommander (Reply 16):
What’s the most painful task you have day-to-day?
knowing that i may not get a call...

what call are you reffering to.....



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinetwincommander From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6340 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 17):
what call are you reffering to.....

a call to come fix or defer a mtx problem.


User currently offlinecharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1113 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6119 times:

I'm a Maintenance Controller..the things I cannot stand are mechanics who call me up and ask "what do you want me to do?"...I want you to fix the airplane! Ask your lead ask your foreman do not ast me what to do..you will not like the answer I give you..you will be shoulders deep in the airplane! Now this does not apply to the FBO mechanics, just the guys at our own stations,

Now I will tell you besides this issue I love this job, after 20+ years as a tech this is the place to be and I would not trade it for anything!


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 20, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5965 times:

Quoting twincommander (Reply 18):

a call to come fix or defer a mtx problem.

Still dont get it...Maybe its the language.....Are you saying the AME on the allocated aircraft developing the same does not attend it, or is underqualified.

Quoting charlienorth (Reply 19):
I'm a Maintenance Controller..the things I cannot stand are mechanics who call me up and ask "what do you want me to do?"..

True....As a Qualified person,he should take the responsibility as per action needed,unless the actions were more than one & a decision at a higher level needed to be taken.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinem1m2 From Canada, joined Dec 2011, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5954 times:

I think twincommander is saying if he doesn't get a call, it's a long day. He wants to be working on an aircraft. Did I get it right?

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 22, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5953 times:

Quoting m1m2 (Reply 21):
I think twincommander is saying if he doesn't get a call, it's a long day. He wants to be working on an aircraft. Did I get it right?

Get a call......Is it getting a Call to attend a snag at work from home.......



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinem1m2 From Canada, joined Dec 2011, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5917 times:

Hmm, you're thinking he may be "on-call". That's possible although I was thinking he's in a maintenance office at the airport.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 24, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5820 times:

Quoting m1m2 (Reply 23):

Hmm, you're thinking he may be "on-call". That's possible although I was thinking he's in a maintenance office at the airport.

If a person is getting a call,it means the original people on that Aircraft are not qualified or unsucessfull in doing the job.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13800 posts, RR: 63
Reply 25, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5888 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 20):
Quoting charlienorth (Reply 19):
I'm a Maintenance Controller..the things I cannot stand are mechanics who call me up and ask "what do you want me to do?"..

True....As a Qualified person,he should take the responsibility as per action needed,unless the actions were more than one & a decision at a higher level needed to be taken.

IMO, tech services / maintenance control are the last resort if you have done everything in the books and still get no result. They are not an excuse for laziness on behalf of the tech on the ramp, who can´t be bothered to read the manuals.
Sometimes though you have exhausted every troubleshooting procedure the manual describes and all of you experience and knowledge and still can´t find the fault. Then it is time to call maintrol, backed up with full documentation of what you have done, and let him sort out the problem in cooperation with the aircraft manufactuer´s rep.
Sometimes you also discover that you can´t progress due to lack of special equipment or parts, which´s shipping to you will have to be organised by maintenance control. But again, you should have done YOUR work and be able to provide a complete documentation.

Maintrol is not supposed to support lazy techs.

Jan


User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 12
Reply 26, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5848 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
IMO, tech services / maintenance control are the last resort if you have done everything in the books and still get no result. They are not an excuse for laziness on behalf of the tech on the ramp, who can´t be bothered to read the manuals.

I wish everyone had that mindset. Then my folks could get on with their actual job, which is to deal with chronic problems.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 20):
Still dont get it...Maybe its the language.....Are you saying the AME on the allocated aircraft developing the same does not attend it, or is underqualified

Mel, I believe what he's saying is that the hardest part of his job is waiting. Just sitting around waiting for a line call from the flight crew. And, then, since it's a line environment, just deferring the item (if he can) instead of actually fixing it.

The boredom of a line mechanic.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away. Never leave your cave without your club.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 27, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5870 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 26):
Mel, I believe what he's saying is that the hardest part of his job is waiting. Just sitting around waiting for a line call from the flight crew. And, then, since it's a line environment, just deferring the item (if he can) instead of actually fixing it.

The boredom of a line mechanic.

Its true.....The Line guy needs to get the Aircraft departed on time with minimum delay as possible.....So if deffering a snag is an option, then thats priority.....if one can rectify the snag with paperwork & have no elay then thats ideal.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinetwincommander From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 5633 times:

i work for a company who provides contract maintenance to airlines who flight into and out of PDX, we have several stations through the US. im currently part of the "on-call" team. when im on shift, i do our scheduled stuff like gate tows, and the scheduled morning standby for one airlines critical departure. after that i sit at the office and wait for the phone to ring. in regards to Mel asking if i come out to a call after someone else cant fix it, well, thats kinda true as well, as my offical title is seinor technician.

we also provide other services for other airlines who need more than just someone hovering over the phone all day. Our scheduled maintenance guys do just that, transit, line, and time items for a couple of airlines. Im probably going to be doing both at the begining of the year for a new contract that we got.

i guess one of the things i should have said regarding the OPs questions was this - Getting multiple calls at once with just me on duty, is one of the thrills of my job, and i actually look forward to those days.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 27):
Its true.....The Line guy needs to get the Aircraft departed on time with minimum delay as possible.....So if deffering a snag is an option, then thats priority.....if one can rectify the snag with paperwork & have no elay then thats ideal.

Deferred maintenance is preferred maintenance. :P

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
IMO, tech services / maintenance control are the last resort if you have done everything in the books and still get no result. They are not an excuse for laziness on behalf of the tech on the ramp, who can´t be bothered to read the manuals.

unfortunately, alot of our contracts state we contact maintenance control first, and do as they say. its also set that they provide up to date manuals for their aircraft. i would much rather have, or have access to the documentation i need to get the job done, however, the airlines dictate how they want us to proceed. we also dont manualy enter defects or log entries into their respective computer systems, so calls to maint. control are required for them to issue authorization numbers.

to counter point on controllers (dont hate me), i dont like controllers who dont know what they are talking about, or who i cant understand without me asking them to repeat themselves over, and over, and over...


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13800 posts, RR: 63
Reply 29, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5604 times:

Quoting twincommander (Reply 28):
unfortunately, alot of our contracts state we contact maintenance control first, and do as they say. its also set that they provide up to date manuals for their aircraft. i would much rather have, or have access to the documentation i need to get the job done, however, the airlines dictate how they want us to proceed. we also dont manualy enter defects or log entries into their respective computer systems, so calls to maint. control are required for them to issue authorization numbers.

The European system gives the tech a bit more authority. He doesn´t have to ask anybody if he can defer something or what action he is going to take, as long as it is legal, but he has the full responsibility.

What I don´t like is bosses who don´t understand the difference between ad hoc line maintenance and planned and scheduled base maintenance, which is like factory work.
They don´t like us sitting in our office if there are no problems (but somehow they always happen to visit our office if there is no work, but they never come over when we are up to our neck in AOGs), so they try to dump additional work on us to do when there is no aircraft to fix. They don´t see that we don´t take scheduled breaks if there is a broken plane and often work 12 hours straight without break or do overtime to get a plane back into the air, but they see us sitting in the office when there is no work and consider us to be lazy.
A few months ago I had to change an APU on a 747 with a mixed crew from the base and my line team. We were in the middle of the work when suddenly the break chime rang in the hangar we were working in. Quick as lightning all the base guys were gone for break, only us linies continued because we knew that we had to get the plane ready for departure ASAP. Similarly most (though not all!) of the base guys close their toolboxes 15-30 minutes before shift end. Very few of them see the need to stay on to get the work finished. Most have the attitude "the next shift can do the job".

Jan


User currently offlineDarkSnowyNight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1281 posts, RR: 3
Reply 30, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5567 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 29):
Very few of them see the need to stay on to get the work finished. Most have the attitude "the next shift can do the job".

Is it really attitude, or company policy? Part of what I like about my job now is that there's no practical limit to overtime, as long as it's billable. But when I worked in a hanger at one of the majors here, we had a pretty strictly enforced pass-down policy regarding open work at the end of shifts. The airline was watching OT like a hawk, and these people (base mx, that is) could actually get themselves in trouble staying late w/out authorization. Of course, yes, this leads to closing up boxes and signoffs before the next shift. Could that have been the situation for your company too?

I do agree that breaks should have been better managed though.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 31, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5533 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 29):
when suddenly the break chime rang in the hangar we were working in. Quick as lightning all the base guys were gone for break

Amazing....that never happens out here..........In the midst of a job....our break is ALWAYS delayed....no one quits without permission and def not in between a task that cannot be left halfway.....



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User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 12
Reply 32, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5506 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 29):
The European system gives the tech a bit more authority. He doesn´t have to ask anybody if he can defer something or what action he is going to take, as long as it is legal, but he has the full responsibility

Jan, I don't think that's a difference between the European system and the American system. I worked for 2 carriers that allowed the AMT to defer items on his own, excepting items with flight restrictions (he needed concurrence from Flight Control). He owned all the responsibility of ensuring that the aircraft was in compliance. The other 2 carriers I work(ed) with required Maintenance Control contact.

It's a difference between carrier SOP.

At least it was several years ago.



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User currently offlinetwincommander From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5476 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 29):
The European system gives the tech a bit more authority. He doesn´t have to ask anybody if he can defer something or what action he is going to take, as long as it is legal, but he has the full responsibility.

an airline i just got AWR for does NOT want us calling them for MEL's. this is awesome in my eyes. they gave us access to their tech pubs. so unless its an item that cant be deferred, i have no need to make a phone call. just notify that captain of the a/c status and send him on his merry way.

When i was in 747 school, i met an engineer from the EU. this guy was brilliant. he explained to me how he could only have 5 ratings on his license, and if wanted to work on something else he would have to remove one of his ratings. is this how it is with all EU type maintenance ratings?


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13800 posts, RR: 63
Reply 34, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks ago) and read 5465 times:

Quoting twincommander (Reply 33):
When i was in 747 school, i met an engineer from the EU. this guy was brilliant. he explained to me how he could only have 5 ratings on his license, and if wanted to work on something else he would have to remove one of his ratings. is this how it is with all EU type maintenance ratings?

I don´t know. I currently have six type ratings on my licence (each version of the 747-400 with different engines counts as a seperate type) and a seventh being in process, and have no problem with this. I just have to prove that I´m current on the respective type I´m working on, but, at least for the German LBA one sign off within 6 months is enough. E.g. I didn´t work on the MD-11 since about six years (since I went to another company / airline, which doesn´t operate this type), so I either need a refresher type course or I have to work for a while under supervision if I suddenly had to work on an MD-11 again.

Jan


User currently offlinetwincommander From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5309 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 34):
I don´t know. I currently have six type ratings on my licence (each version of the 747-400 with different engines counts as a seperate type)

there isnt much different between them, except for indication and TR operation.

i find it funny how much different things are when you cross a border...


User currently offlineDarkSnowyNight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1281 posts, RR: 3
Reply 36, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5297 times:

Quoting twincommander (Reply 35):
there isnt much different between them, except for indication and TR operation.

You mean not much different about 744 powerplants? There's a lot different about them. Maybe not a lot you'll see on a Transit Check, or what you see on an EICAS, but take apart a RB211 and a PW4062 sometime and you won't confuse them, that's for damned sure.

There's not too much extra we need to know if we're just ever seeing them off at the gate, or locking out HPSOVs or like that. But for all we know, perhaps what MD11Engineer's company has him doing is more along the lines of an Engine B-check, or heavier, in which case, yeah, I would think they need the maximum level of systems training and specialization available.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlinetwincommander From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 37, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5131 times:

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 36):
You mean not much different about 744 powerplants?

they suck and blow, right?

im well aware of what the differences are. the chances of me working in an engine shop, however, are very significantly slim. im also aware that each engine has different design philosophies.

we could discuss ad-nausem what the differences are to a T, but in reality, if i have a serious on-wing issue with a power plant, most likely, im going to be asking the airline to send me tooling, and lots of it.


User currently offline737tdi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 642 posts, RR: 1
Reply 38, posted (1 year 4 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4794 times:
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Quoting charlienorth (Reply 19):
I'm a Maintenance Controller..the things I cannot stand are mechanics who call me up and ask "what do you want me to do?"...I want you to fix the airplane! Ask your lead ask your foreman do not ast me what to do..you will not like the answer I give you..you will be shoulders deep in the airplane! Now this does not apply to the FBO mechanics, just the guys at our own stations,





I partially agree with you here. The one thing at my airline is that when we are downline for an OTS aircraft, maintenance control is our supervision, parts getter and lead. We are required to maintain contact and advise them of our conclusions for the repair. They can and do override our decisions, say we have a discrepancy with a history of failures, they will attempt to troubleshoot from their desks and have us change other parts even though we think the problem is repaired.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 39, posted (1 year 4 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4773 times:

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 38):
They can and do override our decisions

The Ame certifying same needs to be convinced of maintrol decision too.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13800 posts, RR: 63
Reply 40, posted (1 year 4 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4720 times:

Quoting twincommander (Reply 37):

they suck and blow, right?

im well aware of what the differences are. the chances of me working in an engine shop, however, are very significantly slim. im also aware that each engine has different design philosophies.

we could discuss ad-nausem what the differences are to a T, but in reality, if i have a serious on-wing issue with a power plant, most likely, im going to be asking the airline to send me tooling, and lots of it.

First, it is not only the engines, which are different, but in most cases the airframe / engine interface as well. So the differences will affect at least chapters 21, 24, 26, 30, 36 and possibly 22 and 45 as well.
E.g. the PW2000 on the 757 is a purely FADEC controlled engine, while the RB211 on the same aircraft still uses mechanical control systems.

Secondly, we are doing about everything in the AMM (our company does line maintenance as well as base maintenance up to C-checks). I personally do a lot of boroscope inspections on the various engines I have entered in my license.
I´m prinarely working in line maintenance (as a shiftleader and supervisor), but occasionally I have to help out in the hangar during C-checks and bigger maintenance tasks, like landing gear changes etc..
Jan

[Edited 2012-12-16 07:35:35]

User currently offlinecharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1113 posts, RR: 5
Reply 41, posted (1 year 4 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4475 times:

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 38):
The one thing at my airline is that when we are downline for an OTS aircraft, maintenance control is our supervision, parts getter and lead.

That I don't have a problem with..it's policy, FBO's too...I just have a problem with tech's at our own hubs asking very basic questions that should stay at the gate.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 20):

True....As a Qualified person,he should take the responsibility as per action needed,unless the actions were more than one & a decision at a higher level needed to be taken.

  

AMT's are highly skilled people paid to make decisions as well as for their mechanical skills and it's kind of embarassing to hear some of the things we're asked.


User currently offline737tdi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 642 posts, RR: 1
Reply 42, posted (1 year 4 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4389 times:
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Quoting charlienorth (Reply 41):
AMT's are highly skilled people paid to make decisions as well as for their mechanical skills and it's kind of embarassing to hear some of the things we're asked.



The only time I call MC at home is to clear MELs or MX notes or if I face a dilemma that I have not seen. Realize that you guys deal with all in service aircraft problems and may have seen something that we as mechs haven't. I'm talking very rare occasions but it does happen. I have been doing this aircraft maintenance thing for 30 years and I still get problems that I haven't seen, I learn something almost everyday. You just have to say "What the hell".

Example: I had a gate call (this one is odd), when the FO adjusted the temp. control from manual to normal on the air conditioning temp. control the #1 fuel tank quantity indicator would fluctuate. Weird huh? I called my lead out and he was boggled. We took the aircraft out of service thinking an electrical short in a wire bundle or something similar. Ended up the mix valve was pulling excessive current to operate and this was inducing current into the FQIS. Come to find out the wiring runs in the same bundle. Replaced the mix valve and all was good.

We are all one team in maintenance and if you can help keep an aircraft in service that is why you are in the position you are in. I understand your point, we should be able to repair most problems but every once in a while we may need assistance. Thanks for what you have to deal with, I know its got to be a tough job.


User currently offlinecharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1113 posts, RR: 5
Reply 43, posted (1 year 4 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4365 times:

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 42):
We are all one team in maintenance and if you can help keep an aircraft in service that is why you are in the position you are in. I understand your point, we should be able to repair most problems but every once in a while we may need assistance. Thanks for what you have to deal with, I know its got to be a tough job.

  

Thanks! and we learn a lot from you guys in the trenches, it's cool when a tech calls back after one of those unusual items and tells us what he's (she's) found..believe me it goes in the notes we keep


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 44, posted (1 year 4 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4343 times:

Quoting charlienorth (Reply 43):
it goes in the notes we keep

True.....its very common that a snag on one type can occur on another aircraft of the same type at a later date & so similiar too.



Think of the brighter side!
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