WestJetForLife
Topic Author
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Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:34 am

Hi there, folks. Nik here again.

I understand many of you boys (and hopefully girls) are mechanics and/or aircraft technicians.

I need some advice: I cannot become a commercial pilot because of my eyesight, so I am thinking of becoming a mechanic.

What should I do in preparation for this career? What should be the best course of action? What airlines/companies should I look at for starting positions?

Thanks,
Nik
I need a drink.
 
cdfmxtech
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:27 pm

You're probably better requesting the assistance from someone who works in Canada (since thats where it says you hail from). You'll probably get a more accurate picture of what to expect. Things differ dramatically from country to country.
 
zvocio79
Posts: 165
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:32 pm

How about becoming a teacher at a middle school somewhere.
You can only become a mechanic if it is your vocation, if it is in you.......if you do it as a second choice, you may not think that's what you want for living.
1st. love what you do.
2nd do what you love.

you'll understand one day when is like 3 degrees out there and you gotta change a fuel control unit or something on the ramp.
 
WestJetForLife
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:40 pm

Quoting Zvocio79 (Reply 2):

I understand what you're trying to say here, Zvocio. However, I feel that even if I'm changing a fuel pump at -25C here in Calgary or wherever in Canada, I am going to try and enjoy it, even at -25.

I have enjoyed planes ever since I was a young child. However, since I cannot fly them for a living, I have decided that fixing them would be just as good and satisfying.

I hope I did not uh, try and confuse you there sir, and if I did, numerous apologies.
I need a drink.
 
mohavewolfpup
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:46 pm

I know a plane (especially a jet engine powered plane) is different then cars, but experience on cars is pretty good imho. teaches you spacial skills, problem solving (like how the f'#@!#! do I get the last spark plug on a ford 3.0 V6 on the passengers side near the a/c unit) and much more.

do you have any experience related to having a engine bolted in something?

oh yeah, while I think of it. try to figure out a way in this stupid post 9/11 zomg terrorism around every corner world to meet up with some plane mechanics. when I was canada it seemed a hell of alot nicer there, well when you got away from the retarded american TSA zones in the airport.

it may sound cool right now unbolting and bolting a new jet engine into a 737 or A380, but that's on the surface. are you prepared for tight schedules, demands, lack of tools/support, and alot more?

i've gone to repair something on a car, and had issues flare up like with a ford 4.0 V6 "oh this thermostat will be 20 minutes at the most" well, a day later..... the thermostat housing is held on by 3 bolts, the last bolt being on the bottom and a pain to reach (ended up hacksawing the end off a wrench to just make it specially fit, then bending it at a weird angle) only to have the bolt strip out. crappy aluminum block.

off comes the clutch fan, out comes the radiator, etc etc so the broken off bolt can be drilled/tapped out and then repaired :p

i'm sure a CFM series engine or a rolls royce or anything with a turbine or prop bolted in/to it has some hellish aspects to it. case in point:

Quote:
"Though the Wright R-3350 would later become a trustworthy workhorse in large piston-engined aircraft, early models were beset with dangerous reliability problems, many caused by demands that the B-29 be put in operation as soon as possible. It had an impressive power-to-weight ratio, but this came at a heavy cost to durability. Worse, the cowling Boeing designed for the engine was too close (out of a desire for improved aerodynamics), and the early cowl flaps caused problematic flutter and vibration when open in most of the flight envelope. The 18 radial cylinders, compactly arranged in front and rear rows, overheated because of insufficient flow of cooling air, which in turn caused exhaust valves to unseat.

These weaknesses combined to make an engine that would overheat regularly at combat weights, particularly during climbs after takeoff. Unseated valves released fuel-air mixtures during engine combustion that acted as a blowtorch against the valve stems. When these burned through the engines disintegrated and caught fire. A fire that was not immediately contained in the forward part of the engine by fire extinguishers became impossible to put out. An accessory housing manufactured of magnesium alloy in the back of the engine would often catch fire and produced heat so intense it burned through the firewall to the main wing spar in no more than 90 seconds, resulting in catastrophic failure of the wing.

This problem would not be fully cured until the aircraft was re-engined with the more powerful Pratt & Whitney R-4360 'Wasp Major' in the B-29D/B-50 program, which arrived too late for World War II. Interim measures included cuffs placed on propeller blades to divert a greater flow of cooling air into the intakes, which had baffles installed to direct a stream of air onto the exhaust valves. Oil flow to the valves was also increased, asbestos baffles installed around rubber push rod fittings to prevent oil loss, thorough pre-flight inspections made to detect unseated valves, and frequent replacement of the uppermost 5 cylinders (every 25 hours of engine time) and engines (75 hours).

Pilots, including the present-day pilots of the Commemorative Air Force’s Fifi, describe flight after takeoff as being an urgent struggle for airspeed; generally, flight after takeoff should consist of striving for altitude. Radial engines need that airflow to keep cool, and failure to get up to speed as soon as possible could result in an engine failure and risk of fire. One helpful technique was doing a rolling start, rather than a braked start, and checking the magnetoes while already in motion."

even though that is a very ancient example (radial engines in a B29) I bet some actual jet engine mechanics or even piston fired mechanics could chime in with some interesting similar stories.

think for a moment using the above as a example. you hire in at a company that has boeing B29's. can you see yourself in 6 months, 2 years, 5 years, 20 years, 30 years replacing 5 cylinders in the engines every 25 hours of flight time and whole new engines every 75 hours?

suppose it's a busy company, and those times are reached very quickly, and you are on a team to do that all week all the time. we aren't talking about say reaching those flight times in 3 months, it's measured in days, not months or years.

if after reading this, you are ready to pickup a tool chest and run to the nearest B29, stop. that's good, but not too many are around anymore  

if you think you would be "ugh, good heavens. i don't want to do that in -24 weather, in 20 degree weather" (trying to give it to you in canadian terms of measurement, even though I snickered when the radio dj I heard on a toronto station said it's 14 outside and I'm thinking it's damn warm for being 14 degrees (about 80 degrees over this side of the border) on high stress demand schedules, etc then it may not be the job for you.

I'm not a mechanic myself on airplanes, but I do imagine there is a turnaround time for alot of planes as they are money and saying "screw this, i'll figure out the oil leak in 2 weeks" isn't good enough when that can cost a airlines thousands a day,hour,minute, whatever.

i'm not trying to scare you, just give you some facts that might be true of the industry.

reach for the sky if it's your goal and you can picture yourself with dirty fingernails and soaked in jet fuel, hydraulic fluid, and whatever fun fluids are flowing around in thousands of aircraft as we speak flying over our heads!

[Edited 2007-01-05 11:12:21]

[Edited 2007-01-05 11:18:15]
 
MX757
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:35 pm

Quoting WestJetForLife (Thread starter):
What should I do in preparation for this career?

Are you prepared for working midnight shift and having the middle of the week off? And working holidays for the next few years?

Do you have a tool kit? If not you might want to start purchasing tools now.

Quoting WestJetForLife (Thread starter):
What should be the best course of action?

Find an aircraft technician/engineer school near you and enroll asap.

Quoting WestJetForLife (Thread starter):
What airlines/companies should I look at for starting positions?

Judging by your username I think maybe West Jet??? Smile

If West Jet won't hire you due to lack of experience there is a large aircraft overhaul facility at YXX called Cascade Aerospace. You use it as a stepping stone to get to bigger and better paying jobs.
Is it broke...? Yeah I'll fix it.
 
greasespot
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:08 pm

Go talk to the instructors at S.A.I.T. It is where I went. I no longer fix airplanes but I do not regret it.

At the same time i do not miss it. In Canada, expecially working for 7F in the Arctic it can be a brutal job. You may enjoy changing the fuel pump at -25 when you are new.

In Canada all airlines will hire people as long as you have gone to an approved Transport Canada School. Some, if you get in the door in another dept may accept the correspondence program. I do not agree with it though.

I will say this. Think carefully. I wanted to fly as well and when that was not possible i figured i may as well fix them. They are NOT the same and one is not a great replacement for the other. While i liked my job i was not passionate about it. You need to be pasionate about it if you are going to do it for a career.

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:26 pm

Quoting WestJetForLife (Thread starter):
I cannot become a commercial pilot because of my eyesight, so I am thinking of becoming a mechanic.

If you Love the Field.
If you are ok working long hours in the open in Bad weather.
If you are ok to get calls anytime of the night.
If you are ok Studying till you retire.

Then its a field for you.
I can tell you the DGCA regulations if you need.Pls tell me,as you seem to be from Canada.it would differ.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
WrenchBender
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:04 am

Nik,
In and around YYC there are a lot of aviation related companies. Outside of the airlines AC, WS, CMA etc there are companies like Field Aviation, Eagle Copters, Borek, all doing heavy maintenance activities. Springbank has several companies doing heavy maint and component work, also Helitrades at Airdrie does helicopter component work. There are lots of opportunities out there but you need the schooling. SAIT has a great program I work with 2 guys that went there. Contact me by email (thru my profile) if you want to meet or need more info.

WrenchBender
Silly Pilot, Tricks are for kids.......
 
Dougloid
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:00 am

Yes....and always have something important that you have not attended to in the hopper so that when the crew chief gets that far away, misty eyed look and asks you if you want to go to tank school you can say sorry boss, I'm getting married this weekend. This may mean you have to say that your mother died...but this is an excuse you can use only 2 or 3 times a year.


It also helps to grow a mustache so you don't have to get respirator qualified.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:43 am

Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 4):
I know a plane (especially a jet engine powered plane) is different then cars, but experience on cars is pretty good imho. teaches you spacial skills, problem solving (like how the f'#@!#! do I get the last spark plug on a ford 3.0 V6 on the passengers side near the a/c unit) and much more.

Back when I was in A&P school, we were told that car mechanics made some of the worst plane mechanics at first. Lots of bad habits that they need to get rid of. Such as using adjustable wrenches and stuff.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 9):
This may mean you have to say that your mother died...but this is an excuse you can use only 2 or 3 times a year.

One of my college professors had a "max one dead grandmother per semester" rule.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
WestJetForLife
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:58 am

Gentlemen, I appreciate your input in this situation.

I understand the points of becoming a mechanic (midnight and holiday shifts, having the middle of the week off, having to change an engine or fuel plug at -25 in a blizzard, etc), but what job doesn't have its challenges?

I rarely, if ever, look at the negative side of a career, and even if I do, I find a way to get around it.

Yes, I have been getting in touch with the instructors at SAIT, and I will most likely be going to SAIT for my AME certification (since I heard SAIT's program was the best in Alberta).

Anyways, I appreciate all of the above statements; they've given me something to look on.

Cheers,
Nik
I need a drink.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 5:15 am

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 10):
Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 4):
I know a plane (especially a jet engine powered plane) is different then cars, but experience on cars is pretty good imho. teaches you spacial skills, problem solving (like how the f'#@!#! do I get the last spark plug on a ford 3.0 V6 on the passengers side near the a/c unit) and much more.

Back when I was in A&P school, we were told that car mechanics made some of the worst plane mechanics at first. Lots of bad habits that they need to get rid of. Such as using adjustable wrenches and stuff.

i think the main difference is a mentality think. Many car mechanics turned aircraft mechanics can't get it into their heads that a plane can not just get off the road if something breaks down. Don't mind adjyustable spanners if you know how to use them properly (many aircraft hydraulics mechanics I know have one in their pocket).
It is mostly a quality thing.

Also, are you willing to carry the full responsibility for everything you are doing? This literally means going to jail if you make a mistake and or having human lifes on you conscience.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
WestJetForLife
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 5:21 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 12):
Also, are you willing to carry the full responsibility for everything you are doing? This literally means going to jail if you make a mistake and or having human lives on you conscience

I understand that is a major burden on mechanics, and therefore I have done my homework on this topic extensively.

I know (both through reading these forums and talking to an actual AME) about all of the aspects of becoming a mechanic, and even though I am still in high school, I am ready for them when the time comes.
I need a drink.
 
ex52tech
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:05 am

Well, the industry has changed alot over the past 5 years. I walked away because the airline I worked for (17yrs) decided they wanted us to work for the money we were making back in 1992, and work rule, and benefit changes too.
It was hard having management telling us that an outsorce facility did better work than we did, but having to work on an airplane, that had just returned from an outsorce vender, for a week or so to get it ready for revenue service was really hard to take.....in other words they lied.

So plan on being poor, and all the bad things you have heard here associated with working on airplanes. The hours, and weather were not really a problem for me, because I loved airplanes, the satisfaction of knowing that I fixed the problem was the drug for me, yes there were others that could have fixed it, but it was the personal satisfaction knowing that I put "that" airplane up there this time, was what made the bad stuff insignifigant. When I realized that I neded a second job just to try and stay at my past income levels, and the fact that I won't cross a picket line, made the decision to walk away easy.

I miss airplanes, but not the stress that went with a hostile management team of "yes men", that had no respect of your knowledge, because they had no consept of what you knew.

So as you embark on this career, remember that many in your management team will try to force you to do as little as possible, then tell their bosses that they begged you not to do it that way when something goes wrong.
"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
 
Dougloid
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:19 am

Quoting Ex52tech (Reply 14):
I miss airplanes, but not the stress that went with a hostile management team of "yes men", that had no respect of your knowledge, because they had no consept of what you knew.

So as you embark on this career, remember that many in your management team will try to force you to do as little as possible, then tell their bosses that they begged you not to do it that way when something goes wrong.

Yessuh, you got a witness! Tell 'em preacher!

Any mechanic worth his salt has to know exactly when it is time to to down tools and tell the boss "I'm not doing that because I don't get paid to pencil whip bad stuff. I'm going home. Call me tomorrow and we can talk." If you puss out...just once...you'll never live it down.

A very wise man-a policeman-told me once: "Suck one c**k-just one little teensy weensy c**k just once, and to all the world you're a c**ksucker. Is that what you want to be?"

Remember that always. Let somebody else be that person.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
greasespot
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:01 am

Also becoming an AME because you love airplanes is not good enough reason. It takes way more than that. That neatness wears off fast. You had better have had a past of mechanical work so you know. See thing is about airplanes, Jets that is, most of the job is just replacing parts. Ideally if you want to be the most challenged work on small aircraft, but then the money there is big time crap.

I can still change a wheel in my sleep on the B737 or go out with all the tools to do a B727 engine change and not have to climb down until the engine is on the ground, and I spent the last 3 years as a QA inspector and did not touch airplanes. It is very very repetative working in an airline environment.

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
mohavewolfpup
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:16 am

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 10):
Back when I was in A&P school, we were told that car mechanics made some of the worst plane mechanics at first. Lots of bad habits that they need to get rid of. Such as using adjustable wrenches and stuff.

I never use those for every little thing on the car, it's retarded. there are alot of bolts on cars that are in aluminum heads or seized in cast iron blocks that require more control then a sloppy adjustable wrench provides. easier to round the bolt, break it off, damage other components when you lose a grip, etc.

break out a socket set or anything else but a adjustable wrench (crescent wrench) is always my rule. you get the job done quicker with a socket set then a stupid crescent wrench anyday.
 
WestJetForLife
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:34 am

Quoting Greasespot (Reply 16):

I understand where you're coming from, greasespot.

However, as I may have mentioned above, I don't look at the negative sides of jobs. I always think positive, even when the task at hand is grim.
I need a drink.
 
mohavewolfpup
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:44 am

Quoting WestJetForLife (Reply 18):
I understand where you're coming from, greasespot.

However, as I may have mentioned above, I don't look at the negative sides of jobs. I always think positive, even when the task at hand is grim

that's a good ethic to have  Smile I think most of us here are just worried you have stars in your eyes, and the luster will be lost when you get dumped off in front of a DC10, 737, or 767 to fix the problem of the engines not turning over.

my brother was starry eyed about being a fireman, but it wore off quickly.

reach for the sky and may all your dreams come true!
 
WestJetForLife
Topic Author
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:04 am

Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 19):

Haha, yes. Don't worry, folks. I don't have "Stars in my eyes". After I get my first aviation job, the lustre will still be there.

As long as I don't get sucked into a turbine, crushed by gear bay doors or have a wing, tailplane or an engine fall on me, I'll be the happiest mechanic on the job.
I need a drink.
 
aogdesk
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:41 am

Go for it. Go in with your eyes wide open, be willing to put up with some shit, and learn as much as you possibly can from anyone and anything. Even if turning wrenches doesn't turn your crank, you'll have a head full of knowledge and opportunities in the industry. With a little luck, you'll catch the eye of someone that appreciates your ambition and willingness to work, and who knows where it might go. Good luck!
 
greasespot
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:47 am

It is not that i am discouraging you. Just trying to let you know it is not a replacement for flying......The two jobs are different....

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
ex52tech
Posts: 553
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:30 am

Look, I laid out that little rant of mine because there are alot of people in positions of authority that will abuse it. I never compromised my skills or good judgement for the sake of the company, or some managers false impression that we might be buddies.

I just wanted to warn you that what I was telling you happens more than you might think. I worked for two major airlines (U.S. carriers) and did 4yrs in the USAF, so after 24+ years and two airlines I have seen the industry transition into something very different than it was.

If you have fabrication in your blood, then heavy structures work will be your utopia, those guys always impressed the hell out of me, making something out of nothing.

If you are good with your tools and are somewhat of a motor-head, you will probably do good with engines and systems. Troubleshooting sick engines was always my favorite. Doing an EVC, or EV-BC trim, and Fuel Control trim on a JT-9 was always really satisfying, the CF-6s were pretty cool too.

If instruments and electronics are your thing, you will like being a conehead......er....ah....I mean an R&E.

But whatever you do, don't let anybody tell you can't do something, if you want it go for it. I moved away from the industry because I wanted to be my own boss. Always remember, pilots fly airplanes, mechanics make them fly!!
"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:56 am

Quoting WestJetForLife (Reply 20):
As long as I don't get sucked into a turbine, crushed by gear bay doors or have a wing, tailplane or an engine fall on me, I'll be the happiest mechanic on the job.

Wait until you'll have to do the first blue (brown) water juobs.
Getting stuck in an A320 section 18 ripping out the sh#t tank, lying on the frames and stringers, almost suffocating under the face mask, with sh#t dripping on you from the disconnected pipes.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
MrFord
Posts: 136
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:25 pm

Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 4):
i've gone to repair something on a car, and had issues flare up like with a ford 4.0 V6 "oh this thermostat will be 20 minutes at the most" well, a day later..... the thermostat housing is held on by 3 bolts, the last bolt being on the bottom and a pain to reach (ended up hacksawing the end off a wrench to just make it specially fit, then bending it at a weird angle) only to have the bolt strip out. crappy aluminum block.

off comes the clutch fan, out comes the radiator, etc etc so the broken off bolt can be drilled/tapped out and then repaired :p

I read you loud and clear over that one... had to change my A/C compressor on my 3.0, said to myself "must not be that hard, plus, I can see it from the top down"... 5 hours later, as it should it barely cleared the rad and the fender, after removing and loosing about everything around it !
But the spark plug change on a 3.0 Vulcan is not that bad at all, you should try on a 2.8 GM  Wink

Back on the subject, back when I was dispatch, when I had to call the mechanics in the middle of a winter night, for a snagged airplane jammed outside in a storm, or when they had to go up north for a stuck airplane in some pleasing places e.g. Kuujjuuak, Chisasibi, Waskaganish... was I the happy one who got to stay warn in my house ! The pager was less cruel than that, but ours mechanics seemed to enjoy doing this !
"For radar identification throw your jumpseat rider out the window."
 
greasespot
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:47 pm

Yeah nothing like spending 23 hours on the open ramp in Iqaluit chaning a B727 inboard flap assembly and sheet metal repair plus cables.........When it is -30C and the wind is starting in Siberia and not stopping until it hit us....Yeah the glamorous side for sure.  wink 

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
WestJetForLife
Topic Author
Posts: 704
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:04 pm

Quoting Greasespot (Reply 22):



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 24):

I understand that this job isn't as "glamourous" as becoming a pilot, nor is it a major substitute, but who cares?

Being a mechanic, whether you're freezing to death trying to fix an RR Trent core on the ramp at 0400 in blizzard conditions with nothing but a wimpy coat, or in a hangar cleaning blue juice out of the lavatory of a 737, coming out reeking to high heaven, has its ups and downs.

Not trying to sound cocky or anything, but I am prepared for those ups and downs. Everyone in every job does. Even the most experienced AME or pilot has them.

I just feel that this is a better way, that it's a lot more easier for my (future) family to cope with me wanting to work in the aviation industry.

If anyone agrees or disagrees, that's ok. I'm really understanding.

Cheers,
Nik
I need a drink.
 
zvocio79
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:33 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:08 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 7):
If you Love the Field.
If you are ok working long hours in the open in Bad weather.
If you are ok to get calls anytime of the night.
If you are ok Studying till you retire.

how about working holydays, X-mas, New Years, etc etc etc
once i worked on Dec 31st from 7am to 12am evalution flight included.
 
zvocio79
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RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:20 pm

ok WestJet....read this:
it aint gonna be busy, you have to put up with a bounch of people from different groups and they all want to get their job done, their jobs is more important than yours and your more important than theirs.......so there will be a constant fight between all this people:

MAINT CONTROL (trying to tell you how do your job)
FLIGHT CREWS (writing up shit when they dont wanna flight, this is real)
FUELERS(get on your way when you need engine run ups and O2 servicng)
DISPATCH(messing with the gates, moving planes around, etc etc etc)
CATERING(bringing all their crap and getting on ur way when u need to rush)
BAGAGE (moving crap around when u need to service something or mispplacing all you parts and tools)
LAV SERVICE (when the dump mechanism wont work andu gotta stcik your hand on the toilet.
FAA (they snick behind you and wanna see documentations and paper work)
GATE AGENT (trying to board the plane when all you need is 5 minutes)
PASSENGERS (taking pictures and stading on the isle when u need to bring the log book back inside or do work.
SUPERVISOR (he cris like a bitch when there is a 1 minute maint delay)
RAMP AGENTS (they think they are the orchesta directors)
MECHANICS (from other airline that uses your equipement and never bring them back when u need them the most)
PORT AUTORITHY (with their safety rules and retraining every year)
DE-ICERS (spraying that sticky nasty glicol all over)
MAINT CONTROL (again, when is time to go home and you got a road trip 500 miles away)
TRAVEL DEPT. (when u need to get home after a road trip and they wont even get you the jump seat when the plane is full)

etc etc etc daily basis, there is a lot more, but you know something.....the satisfaction of getting the job done right and safe is higher than all this crap together that we have to put up with everyday of our lives.
 
mohavewolfpup
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:52 pm

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:53 pm

Quoting MrFord (Reply 25):
But the spark plug change on a 3.0 Vulcan is not that bad at all, you should try on a 2.8 GM

now I can change it in my sleep, that was when I was 12. aren't the 2.8's the ones in camaros? I heard of a engine GM made that is such a pain in the ass it's easier just to rip it out and throw onto your picnic table to change the spark plugs (and a guy I read did exactly that with the gm engine)
 
WestJetForLife
Topic Author
Posts: 704
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 3:37 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 5:08 pm

Quoting Zvocio79 (Reply 29):
but you know something.....the satisfaction of getting the job done right and safe is higher than all this crap together that we have to put up with everyday of our lives.

Well, sir. I appreciate that very much. You gave me an insight that is probably going to be the most useful in my future career.

Getting the job done is the number one priority we all have. Even if it means 10-400+ people screaming at you to do it.
I need a drink.
 
greasespot
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:48 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:41 pm

Quoting WestJetForLife (Reply 27):
understand that this job isn't as "glamourous" as becoming a pilot, nor is it a major substitute, but who cares?

You do. You are basically calling it a substitute....See your below starting question. I

Quoting WestJetForLife (Thread starter):
I need some advice: I cannot become a commercial pilot because of my eyesight, so I am thinking of becoming a mechanic.

I can only answer on what is asked and the information given. I am telling you frm my experience. If you would rather i blow a little sunshine up your ass and tell you it is the best job in the world I can do that but you need to ask for that. You have asked for opinions and we have given them. Yes, they may not be what you asked for but they are our opinions and are based on actually working in the job for many years.

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
777wt
Posts: 828
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:45 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:51 pm

Quoting Zvocio79 (Reply 29):
MAINT CONTROL (trying to tell you how do your job)

They can only advise...if they tell you to sign it off so the plane can be dispatched, you tell them "no" and they have to abide by it. Because it's your license and second, don't sign off any writeup without fixing it or MEL'ing it.

Quote:

FLIGHT CREWS (writing up shit when they dont wanna flight, this is real)

This is true, sometimes they write up some real BS wasting our time. Like this one about a small loss of elevator control on approach to the airport. A hanger visit and a checkup of all the control cables showed no defect. A test flight by another crew went well and nothing was noticed in the flight.

Sometimes they write up for a missing walk around checklist, I write this in "NOT REQUIRED FOR DISPATCH"

Quote:

FUELERS(get on your way when you need engine run ups and O2 servicng)

This is true, it's like a race who gets there first.

Quote:

DISPATCH(messing with the gates, moving planes around, etc etc etc)

this too and then they call us and ask to move the plane from the gate to the remote parking so it can be used by another flight...sometimes we're busy that their pirorty is the lowest...even lower than a bathroom visit or another line call!

Quote:

CATERING(bringing all their crap and getting on ur way when u need to rush)

You tell them "there's a service door on the other side of the plane and it's there for a reason"

Quote:

BAGAGE (moving crap around when u need to service something or mispplacing all you parts and tools)

not only just this, but for a few of them asking if the plane is out of service or if it's going now... I tell them "I don't know how long it will take, when it's ready..it's ready...asking me over and over will take longer"

Quote:

FAA (they snick behind you and wanna see documentations and paper work)

true dat

Quote:

GATE AGENT (trying to board the plane when all you need is 5 minutes)

This is also true, sometimes they don't even check if the plane is ready...

Quote:

PASSENGERS (taking pictures and stading on the isle when u need to bring the log book back inside or do work.

I go to the pilots side window and knock on the plane, they will open it and take the logbook...as for pax boarding, it's also the gate agent's problem for letting them board at this moment.

Quote:

SUPERVISOR (he cris like a bitch when there is a 1 minute maint delay)

too bad we don't have enough man power at certain times of the day, hire more and delays are always gonna be around due to lack of parts or time to do the work...

Quote:

MECHANICS (from other airline that uses your equipement and never bring them back when u need them the most)

You need to keep a eye on this...

Quote:

PORT AUTORITHY (with their safety rules and retraining every year)

yeah and they don't tackle those annoying fuel tankers pickup trucks (delivers notes or fuel cards to the tankers) and they run everywhere like rats! clearly in violation of the ramp speed limit in double to triple the limit!

Quote:

DE-ICERS (spraying that sticky nasty glicol all over)

that stuff is slippery too...

Quote:

MAINT CONTROL (again, when is time to go home and you got a road trip 500 miles away)

I don't answer the phone 15-30 mins before my time is up...it's cleanup time.
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:13 am

Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 19):
that's a good ethic to have I think most of us here are just worried you have stars in your eyes, and the luster will be lost when you get dumped off in front of a DC10, 737, or 767 to fix the problem of the engines not turning over.

Where Exactly Is That?
a play in one act
This actually happened. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.


The scene is a small farmhouse on a back road in southern Michigan. It is 5:30 in the afternoon on a winter Friday. It's been snowing off and on for a week. Joe Doaks, A&P mechanic and TPE331 mechanic deluxe has just returned home from work. He sits down in the Lazy Boy chair with the stuffing coming out of the arms where the cat has clawed it and flips the remote. The evening news is starting when the phone rings.
Doaks knows he shouldn't answer the phone but for some strange reason he picks it up.

Doaks: Uhhhhhh, hello?
Voice: Joe, this is Kenny.
Doaks: What's up Kenny?
Voice: We've got a Metroliner that did a gearup in Fort Wayne. Gary and the guys are fixing the structure for ferry flight but you need to get there and fix the engines. We left the back door to the hangar open for you, the stockroom's open, and there's gas in the pickup. Stop by Larry's house and pick him up on your way out of town.
Doaks: Any idea what I'll find when I get there?
Voice: No, we're not sure. Take whatever parts you need from the stockroom and the engine shop and grab the engine hoist. There's a Merlin in the hangar you can borrow the props from, and you have a couple engines in the shop you can steal a couple fuel controls off of. And one other thing.
Doaks: What's that?
Voice: Don't either of you fuckin' guys come back until it's flyable.

Doaks: OK. (hangs up phone) (sotto voce): Aw, shit. Fuckin A, man, why me, for Chrissakes?
Doaks: Donna? I've got to take a little ride here tonight, and I might not be back for a while.
Donna: Where you off to, honey?
Doaks: The garden spot of the midwest, where else? Lemme have some of the lasagna.

fade to black....
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
WestJetForLife
Topic Author
Posts: 704
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 3:37 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:37 pm

Thank you all for your insight. It was all greatly appreciated. I still want to become a mechanic, and I will strive hard to become one, all because I want to, not because I have no choice.

Cheers,
Nik
I need a drink.
 
turbonytro
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:10 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:10 pm

Westjet this is lengthy but read it! I'm 35. I got into sales out of high school. My childhood was nothing but airplanes since I had 2 uncles with airplanes (1 Mooney and 1 C195). They both became heavy caiptains. I was big into RC models but I screwed off in high school. When I was about 28 I had been a commodity broker for a couple years (GOOD $$$). I wasn't happy. The high rise I worked in offered me the chance to eat my lunch everyday on the roof, by myself, directly in line with the runway of a busy gen av airport 1/2 mile away. One day I said screw it...I quit and started doing line service for $8/hr fueling Cessnas and Lears. I worked that FBO for 3 years...got a better offer at a 135 charter operation, and got my ticket while working for them. I spent long hours learning Lears (both at work and at home with books). I went on to a lead position at a much nicer 135 operation and I'm now about to move on to a dream job. When I was in A&P school 5 years ago the techs would ask why the hell I was doing it...they made me want to throw in the towel but I had to finish what I started. Now things have turned. The corporate jet world is growing big time. Just wait for VLJ's! I see that all you guys are airline and It SUCKS that so many of you got screwed. I've seen alot of airline guys get into 135 and 145 with light and medium jets. If you want it just do it.

[Edited 2007-01-07 05:24:25]
 
zvocio79
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:33 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:28 pm

Quoting Turbonytro (Reply 36):
SUCKS that so many of you got screwed. I've seen alot of airline guys get into 135 and 145 with light and medium jets

Just like you, people do what they like and like what they do.........despite the difference in work conditions I like airlines better, not to get screw it, but because of the exitments.......if you preform maintenance on JFK in front of terminal 4 btween 2pm and 9pm you would understand.
 
turbonytro
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:10 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:44 pm

Zvocio79 That kind of work must be AWSOME! I feel what you're saying. The pure electricity and power that you feel on a ramp like that has to be incredible! The closest taste I've experienced was at Van Nuys, the busiest gen av airport, when I got to work there for the month of October last year. My main concern is to convey to JetWest that things are turning around and I was amazed at how happy I was going from 95K/yr (32 hrs/week) to $8/hr working weekends too. It was the biggest life lesson I've ever learned. I was so proud to put that uniform on and go bust my ass for peanuts because I suddenly felt that I was where I belong. My mistake was not getting that $8/hr line service job out of (or while still in) high school...but then again I wouldn't have passed the drug test back then!!!
 
WestJetForLife
Topic Author
Posts: 704
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 3:37 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:49 pm

I know people have their preferences, but really? Is there really any good paying jobs as pilots or mechanics out there that didn't get where they were without having to learn some things the hard way? No.

Even if some disagree with my choice of becoming an airline/aircraft mechanic, I really have no problem with it.

I know it isn't going to be the easiest, but it won't be the hardest either.

I'm still a teenager, and I still am looking at other doors into my future.
I need a drink.
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 29867
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:54 pm

Quoting WestJetForLife (Reply 39):
I'm still a teenager, and I still am looking at other doors into my future.

Take some time.Ponder over what your positives are.It'll help you make a good choice.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
MrFord
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2001 9:03 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:34 am

Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 30):
I heard of a engine GM made that is such a pain in the ass it's easier just to rip it out and throw onto your picnic table to change the spark plugs (and a guy I read did exactly that with the gm engine)

Yeah, the (or one of the, in the early 80's) base engine of the Camaro, but also Cavalier, 6000's, FWD Grand Prix, name them.
Not that bad to work on on a RWD application, but for the FWD type (e.g. Grand Prix), you have to unbolt the motor mounts and flip the engine toward the front to get access to the back 3 plugs. Yeehaww.

I'd pull it off from the car to work on it, but it's a GM engine, there's good chance it's going to be blown anyway, just throw it away  Wink
"For radar identification throw your jumpseat rider out the window."
 
zvocio79
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:33 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:27 am

Do it for love, people that work in aviation do it becuase the love the art of it....seen the 5:30am flight leaving on time is great satisfaction, so is the ramp at JFK and LGA, not only maint. but all the people that work on this field. Just keep in your mind that if you are not a Captain or a senior manager most likely you gonna be a working class average middle class person for good. unless you hit the lotto.
people that work in aviation understands like that, but they still do it for only one reason that you now know what it is.
 
WestJetForLife
Topic Author
Posts: 704
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 3:37 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Mon Jan 08, 2007 1:09 pm

Quoting Zvocio79 (Reply 42):

I really don't care for money when it comes to work.

As long as the bills are paid, there's food on the table and a roof over our head, I'm happy. Sure, I'd like some extra cash here and there, but as long as the essentials are kept up to date, I'm a happy mechanic.
I need a drink.
 
nonfirm
Posts: 426
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:04 pm

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:39 pm

I would say just do it.The industry is in a down state now but when it gets good it is a great job to have.As far as they money and the hours they will change with seniority just do the best you can to protect yourself if the job goes away.I'am in my 15 th year now with the same airline (lucky) and i will not give up this job until they tell me i can not have it anymore.Good luck.  airplane 
 
WestJetForLife
Topic Author
Posts: 704
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 3:37 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:26 am

I am going to do it, and I am going to be successful.

No matter what everyone else says, I can and will be a good mechanic.

Maybe one of these days, I may see one of you guys/girls on the ramp.

I appreciate all of your insight, as it has helped me strengthened my interest and aspiration to becoming a mechanic.

Cheers to all,
Nik
I need a drink.
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:42 am

Quoting WestJetForLife (Reply 45):
I am going to do it, and I am going to be successful.

No matter what everyone else says, I can and will be a good mechanic.

Maybe one of these days, I may see one of you guys/girls on the ramp.

I appreciate all of your insight, as it has helped me strengthened my interest and aspiration to becoming a mechanic.

Cheers to all,
Nik

Well, it's a different world than being a pilot...which is OK. I've never been a pilot but I've known a lot of them, they're a mixed bag. A lot of them do not have the slightest idea what we as techs do. They will, however, take every opportunity to tell us how to do our jobs...

As much as everyone pisses and moans about how tough it is being a wrench, it put a lot of food on my table and made a lot of child support payments. In addition, I learned a hell of a lot, not the least of which was it taught me how to think systematically.

At the end, you'll have a carnal knowledge of airplanes of a sort that no cork sniffing effete snob of an airplane driver will ever have.....
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
CanadianNorth
Posts: 3133
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2002 11:41 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:44 pm

http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/maintenance/AARPB/AME/MRating.htm

If you love airplanes and this list doesn't scare you away, I'd say have at er. I just started at Air North two afternoons a week hanging out with the maintenance people, and I'm already sold on the idea of becoming an AME.

From what I can tell sofar, it's basically one of those jobs where you either really love it or you don't. If you do, then it can be a great option and you can give er all you want. If you don't, then you're just wasting your time and money.


CanadianNorth
What could possibly go wrong?
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 29867
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:58 pm

Quoting WestJetForLife (Reply 45):
I am going to do it, and I am going to be successful.

Strong words.......Remember them when the going gets tough.
Best of Luck. Smile
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
BAE146QT
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:58 am

RE: Tips For An Aspiring Mechanic

Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:44 pm

Quoting RichardPrice:
Dont let one [A 747-400] park on your foot.


Forgive the repost - I just feel it's important.

[Edited 2007-01-09 12:45:15]
Todos mis dominós son totalmente pegajosos

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