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Metwrench
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What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Aug 29, 2001 12:55 pm

What is the Philosophical difference between Pilots and Mechanics?

I've been in Aviation for 20 years as a licensed A&P Mechanic and an IA. I've been a Line Mechanic, Heavy Maintenance, Maintenance Supervisor at regional level and am currently a Director of Maintenance at a very diverse Air Service.

The biggest problem I've seen in this carreer is the animosity between Flight Op's. and Maintenance. I run out of fingers and toes when trying to count the pilots that I like, admire, and respect. Unfortunatly, I'd have to be a centipede to count the rest.

Times have changed, I'll aknowledge that, yes I'm getting old and crotchety.

So, let's get to the original question here, what's the differance? After TEN replys, I'll tell you!!! And I'll suggest a way to change matters.

It's not bad, or derogatory, I think I know how to help matters.

I'd like to hear from both Flight Op's and MX.
 
Buff
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Aug 29, 2001 1:41 pm

Simple: Pilots are much better than engineers.

Except for fixing things that they break, maintaining regular times on the home front, drinking beer, chasing women who are not flight attendants, living in one place for more than a couple of years, drinking beer, and a plethora of other things.

And some of my best friends are engineers...

Or "were" after reading this tongue-in-cheek post.

It really, really is supposed to be funny...

Buff
 
Metwrench
Topic Author
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Aug 29, 2001 2:50 pm

Buff, WRONG!!!!!

Nine to go!


But it sounds like we could get together and tip a beer or two!!!

Have been a pax on Canada 3000, good job!
 
Buff
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Aug 29, 2001 10:36 pm

Seriously Metwrench, I think one of the most significant differences in "thinking" between pilots and AME's is the route travelled to get to the position one currently holds. There is unbelievable competition and oft times backbiting for most civilian trained pilots in their efforts to get that better job. I know this to be true from first hand experience in nearly 25 years of "participation".

Many of my AME friends, and in fact I have many, have gone to school and then gone to work for one company and stayed there. This has not affected their career expectations.

When you mix the competitive nature of The Pilot with the pragmatic approach of most from your profession, it can be like a battle of Titans - the unmovable object vs the irresistable force (I'm not gonna say who's who!).

Couple with this tidbit of human nature the pressures exerted separately yet strongly on both groups by aircraft owners to "get that plane flying", conflicts naturally and sometimes spectacularly arise between pilots who want to fly and AME's who want to fix things that are broke.

In my experience, one of the things that I've deemed to separate good maintenance from better maintenance practices is the company's overall philosophy towards maintenance. If the company is proactive towards maintenance (fix it before it breaks, preventative programs, non-reliance on MEL relief, etc) rather than reactive - (fix it only when it's broke, and ONLY IF it's going to ground the airplane), then it makes the communication between pilot and AME much easier to accomplish.

That was one of the very strong attractions that made me choose C-3 as a place to work. There is a very good and non-traditional relationship between Flt Ops and Mtce here strictly because that's the way our owners wanted the airline to develop. And it is paying off in our safety record and on the line.

So that's my take on the situation in a real sense. I was only joking about the "beer". I have yet to meet an AME who can hold his drink.

Your turn!

Buff
 
Metwrench
Topic Author
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 2:26 pm

Buff,

You still haven't come up with the fundamental difference between maintenance personnel and pilot training and practices.

I'll conceed that you can probably hold your beer better, after all, you only have to work 11 days a month. Lot's of practice time!!!
 
gt1
Posts: 124
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sun Sep 02, 2001 5:55 am

Could it be that people who become pilots are more goal oriented, as well as being more accepting of "the system" in order to reach their goals?

Meanwhile those that choose the AMT route weren't quite as sure where they wanted to go in life, but did know they didn't care for putting up with too much of "the system". (I describe myself)

As for the animosity between the groups, AMT's percieve pilots as being of the "sh_t doesn't stink" type, while secretly harboring some jealously that they are not pilots themselves. (Again, some personal reflection).

A couple of side notes:
I have a very close friend that is a DC-8 captain.

A captain I flew with one time while jumpseating on an MD80, told me he wished pilots and mechs got along better. We're not that different, most of us.

gt1










 
Guest

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sun Sep 02, 2001 12:11 pm

Mechanics think that pilots are overpaid, whiney, ham-handed cretons hell-bent on destroying their fragile equipment. Pilots can't understand why mechanics misunderstand them so, after all, aren't we all brothers in arms?  Innocent

Actually, I think that the best way to summarize how pilots feel about their mechanics is with this letter to Dear Abby which appeared a while back...

Dear Abby:
I'm faced with a major dilema. I'm engaged to be married soon and I haven't been totally up-front with my fiance. I come from a highly dysfunctional family - my father is on death row for killing a priest during a robbery attempt. My mother is a crack addicted prostitute. My older brother is in prison on drug and child pornography charges and my sister is in a mental hospital after attempting to kill her family. Finally, my younger brother is an aircraft mechanic. My question to you is should I tell my fiance about my brother the mechanic?

Hey guys, only kidding!  Acting devilish
 
Buff
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sun Sep 02, 2001 12:57 pm

The Ian Gillan Band does a great tune Ted The Mechanic.

If he only knew...

Buff
 
242
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sun Sep 02, 2001 3:02 pm

Pilots are in love with the flying experence.

Mechs are in love with the machine that makes it all possible.

 
Metwrench
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Mon Sep 03, 2001 9:08 pm

242,

Yes, I do love my machines, some more than than others, and yes I agree with you somewhat with the pilot "flying experience". But, you need to expand a little.

Some of the commercial pilots I know own and fly their own aircraft. Why? so they can have that "flying experience", otherwise, in their daily life they just go to work flying airways. The rest of the flyboys are in love with the perception that they are emulating the roles of WWII bomber/fighter pilots where every mission might be their their last. They've got everbody, "except mechanics" that what they do is death defying, and because of this they deserve much pay and much time off.

The following is a transcription of a pilot/ mechanic debrief after a two day flight on a Merlin III B ANC/ BOI. 6.7 Flight hours down, and 6.4 flight hours back. (The baddest turbo-prop ever built)!!! (It is bigger, faster, and uses less fuel than than the PT-6 powered counterparts), and overhaul costs on the TPE-331's are half compared to to the PT-6. Anyhow, back to the story.

Pilot: Boy, this puppy is tired, put a blanket on it!

Mech: Wow, what's up?

Pilot: Well, the DME digi
ts are starting to fade.

Mech: Okay, removed for repair and deferred.

Pilot: Once the Auto-Pilot disconnected!!!!

Mech: What happened???

Pilot: Well, when it disconnected it went into a right roll!!!

Mech: What did you do?

Pilot: Well, we manually trimmed the A/C staight and level and re-engaged the Auto-Pilot.

Mech: Then what?

Pilot: It worked perfectly. How should I write that up???

Mech: If you insist, just like that.

Pilot: How are you going to sign that off?

Mech: "Op's check normal" per pilot description.

Pilot: Okay, when ever we attempted a battery start on the left engine first, we experieced erratic engine indications and had to abort!

Mech: How about when you started the #2 first?

Pilot: Normal.

Mech: That's how the AFM say's to do a battery start, I know "WHY" do you?????

I'm going to break from here, this is an example of the the phylisophical differance betwen pilots and mechanics, we know "WHY", and pilots know "What".
 
airplay
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Tue Sep 04, 2001 12:21 am

I think this can all be answered using the "Nintendo" analogy.

The Engineer Designs the Nintendo.

The Skilled Production People Build the Nintendo.

The Maintenance People Maintain the Nintendo.

The dispatcher picks the game.

The Pilot Plays the Nintendo.

The Flight Attendant is there for customer service and to help out if the Pilot loses the game.

Unfortunatly for the pilot, he/she can't win extra lives when operating the "Nintendo". They can't just turn it off and go play outside when they're not winning.

The pilot is the end user of aviation, not to be mistaken with the evolutionary product of aviation. We all do it for the pilot. Some pilots/engineers/mechanics believe that they need to be intimate with all aspects of aviation. This is a hold-over from the glory days of aviation when the aviator did everything. It's a romantic notion that just isn't possible with the present technology. This is the major agitating force between all of the aviation related trades. Nobody wants to just be satisfied doing what they know best.

I for one like it that way. The tension keeps me on my toes and it makes for a much more interesting existence.

 
prebennorholm
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Tue Sep 04, 2001 7:05 am

A friend of mine was flying Gloster Meteor NF-11 and F-86D in the Royal Danish Air Force some 40-50 years ago. In addition to that he was drawing all cartoons for the base magazine.

During fifteen years he made ten thousand drawings of mechanics in different situations, but none of them had hands. They all had their hands deeply buried in their pockets.

When my friend was the only jockie in the club, then he always had to pay himself for his own beer...  Big thumbs up

That was the days when the mechanic was next to God. He decided if the pilot was going to have fun, or sit on the flight line watching his colleagues have fun.

rgds, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
Buzz
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Sep 05, 2001 2:15 am

Hi All, Buzz here. I've been busy and haven't looked here very much.
I see a lot of the responses i'd use to describe the differences between pilots and mechanics.
Maybe the biggest is that when something is wrong with the airplane a pilot says "uh-oh, wonder what we'll do next?" where as the mechanic says "where can i get the parts and time to fix that?". At UAL we often ground planes that won't make the early morning trip for "stuff" we found during the routine checks. Pilots and managers are puzzled, or irritated because "it was working OK when it got here". Sure. but after the airplane dies we'll be here, easy targets for the FAA. So we practice good workmanship.
Pilots are in love with the flying experience - mechanics liek to know how it works. Some pilots defy death every few flights - mechanics make sure those flights are few indeed.
Our society looks up to pilots - even private pilots. People tend to look down on mechanics until you need a fast thinking mind and a couple good hands when you're stuck. THen we're a hero - for about the time it takes a cup of coffee to to be drank after the airplane takes off.
I must have multiple personalities: i fix airliners at night for a living - by choice. For fun i fly taildraggers. And for grins i Crew Chief a DC-3 at a flying club. Having the private ticket in my wallet and a BS degree gives me some insight into doing a few other jobs. I coulld fly for a living, but i don't like living out of a suitcase. Maybe i could be an engineer adn design things, but it's not as satisfying as making something broken work right again. Maybe i could run a company, but it's just money.
So i think that mechanics and pilots have similar tastes, but different ways to reach their goal. And as in many things it's the path you take that makes the difference.
g'day
 
Buff
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Sep 05, 2001 5:08 am

People tend to look down on mechanics until...

Good to see you back Buzz! I for one have never looked down on an engineer. Unless she was...uh, never mind...

Buff
 
boeingmd82
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Mechanics, Pilot's Best Friend

Wed Sep 05, 2001 5:15 am

I don't know about other pilots, but I really like to have intimate knowledge of what I fly. I once stood around and watched these guys do an overhaul on a JT8D and was totally facinated for days.

I always treat mechanics as peers and love to watch them take apart the ships and do their magic. I kind of feel dopey, standing there with my hands in MY pockets, but most have been great friends to me.

Just my 2c

BMD82
 
Metwrench
Topic Author
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Sep 05, 2001 12:21 pm

Boeingmd82,

That's not true!!!

Only one hand is in the pocket, the other is holding a cup of coffee!!!


 
Notar520AC
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Sep 05, 2001 12:54 pm

From my experience sitting in the cockpit of a KC-10, the flight engineer doesn't know what DC BUS ISOLATION is, and the pilot does.
BMW - The Ultimate Driving Machine
 
Twotterwrench
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Sep 05, 2001 2:41 pm

Alright notar.. that's enough. When I first read your post about daddy letting you fly his Notar, I figured you were probably full of shit. Now I know for sure. There is not a pilot out there that could explain to his FE how any of the systems on his aircraft work any better than the FE could himself. Don't spout about things you don't understand. Sitting in a KC-10 at an airshow hardly qualifies you to answer questions like this. Get some REAL experience under your belt and then come back here and act like a know it all...
 
avionic
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Sep 05, 2001 5:46 pm

This is kinda of an old story. I am a mech and avionic technician and it all comes down to individuals. Some pilots are assholes in the cockpitt as well as outside it and some mechs are assholes on the job and off the job. I respect a pilot because I know he does his job the best way possible and is qualified to do it. I do my job as best i can, and we help each other. We have to rely on the pilots observations in the air, and they have to rely on what we do. The real issue here is probably salary. I work for a big airline and pilots get 3 to 5 times more then we do. We have a 5 year formation, they have a 2 year formation. I believe the problem lies there. And when u go into a cockpitt and a green f/o with 3 tons of mousse in the hair starts to talk down to you and plays god, it is hard to keep your head cool. I have flown a bit to, and from my experience, our pilots are always more then thrilled to have a mech in the jumpseat, caus when the lights begin to flash, they don´t have to consult their manual, they can just turn their heads back and smile.....we´ll reassure them. They pull the stick and lnow the plane will turn, thats what they do....we pull the stick and know there is a multitude of things happening all the way down the airplane....and thats what we are payed to do. But only they can tell us if it is a bit rough or not normal....so it is a cooperation.....so let´s stop talking about who is the idiot and just cooperate.....
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Sep 05, 2001 8:12 pm

I guess we have the dumb asses in both places,as well as the experts in both places too.

To me in maintenance I enjoy a great friendship with most pilots & We spend time [when ever there is some available] discussing Aviation related stuff.

Its sad when we stand in the pouring rain awaiting clearence for Pushback & watch our pilots sipping away on a hot cup of coffee in a dry flight deck,& knowing well we'll still be in the rain for the next 8 hrs.

Work differs.Mechanics work at odd hours & in difficult climatic conditions, covered with Oil & grease,having Skydrol occasionally dropped over our face.[Any mechanic would know how Skydrol feels like].
Yet when it comes to perks the Pilots enjoy 3-5 times.

They are the white colloured guys/gals.They take the risk of flying,but we make sure their risk is minimised.

Its really gets me pissed off when some fresher F/O,reads some book & thinks he knows the entire Aircraft.Of course we soon get him down to earth real fast.

The Mechanic knows the Entire Aircraft,Most pilots know whats in front of them.
A pilot sees an Amber light flashing,he knows what to do from his point of view.A mechanic know why that light came on IN DETAIL.
I've always felt The mechanic never gets enough credit for the job he does,probably since hes always behind the scenes.
I think this difference will always be present

Maybe One day it may reduce.
We do get some people from Flt ops watching us do Major work & seem real fasinated by it,eager to know more.
The funny part is when they are more concerned in avoiding dirtying their shirts as we take then on a tour of the Airplane under maintenance.

But Finally I should say,that jobs are different & the treatment will always be different.

regds
HAWK.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
Twotterwrench
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Sep 05, 2001 10:39 pm

One factor that must come in to play here is the fact that many talented mechanics, some with more than 10 years of experience are fleeing the industry. Last figures I saw showed that of aprox. 387,000 licensed A&P's in American, only 152,000 were active. That is almost 2/3's of all mechanics who have chosen to do something else with their talent. Enrollment in A&P schools is down by over 70%!!! If that doesn't scare the airlines, it should. In my opinion, several things are going to have to change or this problem is only going to get worse.

First, wages! The mystery and nostalgia of aircraft are no longer enough to attract kids with technical abilities into a career in aviation. Admittedly, most of us started in aviation because we love airplanes. But, as a young man or woman starting college, knowing you are interested in technical fields, the IT company that is offering $50.000 + to start and a company car and cell phone with signing bonus, moving and housing assistance is certainly more attractive than the $14 an hour the airlines are offering.

Secondly, working conditions. As a mechanic, you have to accept that you are going to spend at least 10 to 15 years on the night shift until you have the seniority to bid off. You know you are going to work every weekend and every holiday. You don't get "crew rest" when you are tired. You get "mandatory overtime." You work with chemicals everyday that are taking years off of your life. You never see your kids. You have no social life with your wife because she keeps human hours and you are too tired to participate. You know that if it is 20 below out and the tire has to be changed, no one is going to do it for you.. you've got to do it yourself and there will be a hundred other things to do while freezing your nutsack before your shift is over. It used to be okay, because you really thought that what you did made a difference and then some 20 year old no shaving f/o throws a shit fit at you because you got a greasy smudge on his log book while signing off the latest miracle you performed while trying to get the aircraft up in the 38 minute window they give you on the turn. Compare this with office life and office parties at your typical IT company and it is easy to see why new mechanics are so hard to attract.

Dont' get me wrong, I love what I do. Regardless of how management and ops look at maintenance, I go home on a lot of days feeling like a hero; unseen, but a hero none the less. Only problem is, I've got a family and this job isn't putting food on the table anymore. If they pay pilot's $200,000+ to work 10 days a month, because of their training and experience, don't you think something could be and should be done to equalize things for the guys keeping it safe on the ground?

 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Wed Sep 05, 2001 11:59 pm

I certainly hope the FE knows what dc bus isolation is.... both the pilots and the FE should have an extensive knowledge of the aircraft systems and operations.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
Guest

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Thu Sep 06, 2001 12:05 am

It's been interesting reading these posts. I've had many experiences (mostly good) with mechanics over the years and I can say that things went the best when we were dealing with each other from a position of mutual respect and trust. Unfortunatly, all too often, pilots are treated - like I mentioned on my earlier post on this thread - as overpaid, underworked, whiney, ham-handed, technically ignorant cretons hell-bent on destroying their fragile equipment. Human nature being what it is, we will respond in kind. I know that there have been times when I've been short with mechanics, but it's been after a long day in the "office" spent dealing with equipment that wasn't working properly - equipment that had been writen up on at least two or three previous occassions. This pilot, for one, hates having squawks ignored or trivilized until 4 or 5 other pilots squawk the same problem and it can be duplicated on the ground. I've had mechanics accuse me of not knowing how to operate the cabin door - excuse me. (I have to admit that I took great satisfaction in walking away from the airplane leaving him stuck in the airplane when the door jammed on him. He had to go out the an emergency exit.) I can give many other examples and so can any pilot out there who's been at this a while.

As far as differences in pay, benefits, etc. goes it's pretty simple really. You just add up all of the pluses and all of the minuses associated with the job. If the plusses out weight the minuses - great. If the minuses out weight the plusses, then you know what you have to do. (This is the main reason why I am a corporate pilot and not a Captain at Delta Airlines.) People get compensated according to what they as a group or individually can command and not according to how much their job might be "worth". There are examples of this all around us - look at school teachers vs. professional atheletes. Right or wrong, it's the way things are and it's not going to change. When things get so bad for the mechanics that they start seaving in droves and the airlines have to start parking planes things will change. But don't expect any dramatic changes as long as they can get new hire mechanics and get the airplanes on the line. Bottom line is without mechanics pilots wouldn't be working for long and without pilots mechanics wouldn't have anything to do. A wise philosopher once said, "Why can't we all just get along?"
 
Twotterwrench
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Thu Sep 06, 2001 3:15 am

Hey, jetguy, mechanics ARE leaving in droves!!! and new ones aren't there to take there place. Revenues are down and costs are up and next to fuel, pilots are the largest expense an airline has. So, yes, I agree with you, things are going to change, but not like you imply. It's going to be in the form of the government stepping in and regulation coming back. The airlines have proven they can't do it on their own as was predicted by many when the airlines deregulated. ALPA is going to bring this about because the market is not going to support your unmerited greed. It's happening already.
 
Guest

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Thu Sep 06, 2001 3:49 am

But, that's my point - it will take major issues like this before any changes will be brought about and even then it will take a lot of time. In the meantime airline travel continues its devolution and downward spiral. It truely is something that I hate to see, but for guys on "our side of the fence" this only adds up to increased job security. Our company operates 5 aircraft not because of "management ego" but because airline travel is quickly becoming a hellish nightmare of weather and traffic delays, crowds, screaming and unruly kids running up and down the isles, uncomfortable seats, poor food and missed connections and lost luggage. (OK you airline romantics - a challenging travel experience.) Corporate aviation effectively eliminates or minimizes everyone of these issues. If you don't believe me look at the current and forcast levels of corporate aviation - it's growing at unprecidented rates. Even our beloved UAL is getting on the fractional bandwagon. Bottom line is you're absolutely correct - it will probably take the government's direct involvement to get the various issues resolved and since when will that be a "good thing"? Like I said, add up the positives and the negatives then make your decision. You have to deal with reality as it is, not as you wish it to be.
 
boeingmd82
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Metwrench

Thu Sep 06, 2001 4:03 am

Ha! How did you know!

Touché my friend, Touché..

BMD82
 
Metwrench
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 11:25 am

Boeingmd82

Thu Sep 06, 2001 2:37 pm

Been there, done that! Sometimes I alternate the coffee with a clip board, makes you look really important.

 
DE727UPS
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Fri Sep 07, 2001 2:06 am

I don't like the way F/O's are getting beat up here....

As an F/O on a three man airplane...I don't care if you get grease on the logbook because I don't touch the thing...that's the F/E's and the capts job. And I don't put mousse in my hair because I have no hair....it would just make my bald spot sticky. And I would never, ever, give a mechanic a hard time cause I know Twotterwrench would find out about it and kick my ass......

I gotta say this though....Twotter...if you work so hard how come you have time to post so much???

 
avionic
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Fri Sep 07, 2001 2:26 am

Ít is funny to hear the problems are universal, which confirms the fact that it comes down to personality. To respond to Jetguy, who is a pilot and complains about leaving with MEL items, it is not funny for the mechanic either! We have a problem we have to solve, let us say a Audio select panel is broken (SOMEONE spilled coffee in it), we have a half an hour turnaround time....the company is downsizing, so we are only 2 mechs on a widebody.....the daily check has to be performed, the bird to be refuelled, the cabin log is full of little bitchy remarks caus the flight attendant had a bad day, uncomprehensible notes like: please check electrical system in cabin (what the hell does that mean), sound in speakers goes out into cabin (isn´t supposed to?), chair recline mechanism U/S (what seat?There 400 of them) etc.... Still we bust our ass to repair the ASP but we don´t have them on stock, caus some company byer is saving money (for a high pay i might add). When the next crew comes and yells, our patience is also hanging in a thread....he is gonna spend 10 hours sleeping and one hour taking off and landing, we still have 4 planes before we can go home, and we are already late on the next one.....All of this for a shitty salary.....As u can hear i have had one of those days....So it is not with joy that we release the plane with unclosed log entries.....
 
wingscrubber
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2001 1:38 am

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Fri Sep 07, 2001 3:25 am

The conflict between pilot and mechanic arises illogically...the philosophy is, pilots fly the planes and mechanics keep them flying. If you look at it that way, pilots and mechanics have a symbiotic relationship and should be best of friends, in reality, when you throw money into the equation, people get angry.
The aircraft owner wants the plane in the air, the pilot shares the same view, the owner also wants the aircraft to be safe and to stay in the air, that view he shares with the mechanic, here, the problem is, keeping the aircraft flying means work on the ground, and when a plane is on the ground, it's losing money.
So that's the mechys first pressure, he's in a rush because if the aircraft isn't airworthy by the end of the day, the owner won't be able to afford his new car. Secondly, the pilot is rushing the mechanic aswell because he wants to get in his seat and flirt with the stewardesses, add to that the pilots 'I'm better than you' ethic and the mechys 'I wish I was flying that thing' dream, and it makes for a stressed, unhealthy relationship, even though everybody is just trying to help the other. A little empathy and understanding is called for here, the pilot wants to fly, the mechy wants to fix, and the owner wants a new car. (another one)

I'm an aircraft maintenance student, I admit it's my second choice, once I thought I could be a pilot, but I assessed the options, and this is what I chose, let me tell you why. I can fly, and I like to fix stuff, so initially, it was a tough choice, but then my ever-present teen apathy helped me choose. To become a pilot, I have to study A-levels, and then fend off ever present competition in an attempt to land one of the worlds most glamorous jobs, and live out of a suitcase etc.
To become an engineer, I study a two year GNVQ course, and then try and get a job in an understaffed, rewarding, well payed industry. The choice turned out to be pretty easy.

Peet
Resident TechOps Troll
 
Twotterwrench
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RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Fri Sep 07, 2001 3:34 am

I sneak in and use the bosses computer while I am at work.
 
avionic
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Funny Log-entries....

Fri Sep 07, 2001 4:25 am

Today i had one of those days where all log-entries were weird....and some even ridiculously funny...f.ex. "wire hanging loose from seat" (turned out that it was a string from the seat that just needed a pair of scissors) or " engine sounding funny" (could u please be more specific!!!) or "rattling noise from engine" (turned out it was a coathanger in the aft closet), "chewing gum on seat 43E, suspect wrigley spearmint" (he he), "seat not working" (what seat, and what is not working???) etc etc.....
I´d like to hear some from you guys out there, because I know I´m not the only one who has frowned or laughed at weird log entries......from pilots and mechs.......
 
avt007
Posts: 1989
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2000 4:51 am

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Fri Sep 07, 2001 4:35 am

For a while, we had F/As that would write up snags in the cabin logbook (otherwise known as hag snags), in the form of poetry. The challenge wasn't fixing the snag, the hard part was writing the rectification!
 
avt007
Posts: 1989
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2000 4:51 am

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Fri Sep 07, 2001 4:40 am

While I`m at it, let`s dispel this idea that all mechanics are wannabe pilots. A very large percentage of AMEs, including myself, have no interest at all in flying. I know it sounds strange, but it is true. Flying either gets under your skin, or it doesn`t. Me, I think it is kinda dull for the most part, and the exciting bits scare me! This is NOT intended to insult anyone, just to add a little more to the mix.  Smile
 
Buff
Posts: 1066
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:29 pm

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 8:36 am

"Re Heading Selector on Glare Shield: Captain's knob is loose."

"Captain's knob tightened."

True Story.

Buff
 
Metwrench
Topic Author
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 11:25 am

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 3:47 am

Let's not forget how this thread started.

I love my Profession, I respect the system, I respect most of my co-workers, this includes mech's, pilots, ground handlers, dispatchers, (and not in that order of importance"!!!) We do all make it work!!

But, why is it that I have 18 years of experience on some of the equipment that our Co. flys and our pilots have 6 months of experience on that equipment, and they won't consider, respect, or even aknowledge that.

I'm not trying to tell them how to fly the A/C, just how to help them understand it!!!!!

That's my job!!!

I, We, (Maintenance), know "Why" and "How" stuff happens.

Pilots learn "What" is supposed to happen.

We don't mind working 170 to 190 hours a month including weekends, and nights.

What we do mind is pilots whining about working 35 hours a month and only having 10% of our experience.


 
Guest

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 4:32 am

Metwrench, what you're forgetting is things that seem minor and/or unimportant to you (on the ground) can be MAJOR distractors in the air. Currently we're having a "battle" with our mechanics as to whether or not it's necessary to install custom seat cushions (at $1250 per seat). We frequently schedule our aircraft for 8 to 10 flying hour days. The standard Ipeco seats are, to put it mildly, brutal. They'll cause your bottom to literally go numb after 4 or 5 hours. Our lead mechanics feel that it is total waste of company resources to spend that kind of money on seat cushions and (on their own initiative) just went out and had a local upholestry shop make some sheepskin covers for them. These guys are gloating as to how they just saved the company $2000. The problem is, in their minds they took care of the problem. In our minds, they merely wasted $200 dollars because what they did will solve nothing. (But those covers sure do look pretty!) I think that it boils down to pilots not telling mechanics how to fix the airplanes and mechanics not telling pilots how to fly. We don't tell you what tools to use and we would like the same consideration. I've been hanging around airports either as a "ramp rat" or a pilot for over 40 years and I have no desire to know how to fix broken airplanes. Just like those mechanics who love to work on airplanes but have no desire to fly them. I can understand that. However, I do know when the damn things are broken and so does that 6-month new hire (because he's not going to be in the airplane without a more senior pilot on board.) All we want is for the friggen stuff to work when we need it to work. We don't need some ground pounding mechanic to tell us that we don't know how to use the equipment. Sure there will be the occassional episode of "pilot stupidity", we've all seen it - but from my experience it's the exception, rather than the rule.

Ah, that's good - I've gotten it off my chest. I feel much better now.
 
Twotterwrench
Posts: 1087
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2001 5:57 pm

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 1:58 pm

Hey, jetguy, weren't you the one complaining about maids knocking on your door when you are trying to sleep? Hmmm... Anyway, I spend 10 to 12 hours a day on my feet on very hard concrete floors or up on ladders. My feet hurt very badly at the end of each and every day. But, if I were to DEMAND $2500 shoes because they might help my feet feel better I would be run out on a rail. You know what I do when my feet start to hurt??? I sit down for a little while. And if my ass starts to go to sleep??? I get up and stretch. Now I know full well you don't need to be sitting in your seat fending off certain death every second that the airplane is in the air, contrary to what you would like the public to believe. Certainly you can get up and stretch your ass a little. Believe me, those of us stuck in coach certainly do. That is a far better solution than wasting the companies hard earned money providing your candy ass a little more padding.
As to the issue of "senior" fligh crews knowing everything about their aircraft and they don't need a mechanic telling them about their aircraft. Metwrench has 18 years experience on a certain type of aircraft. Assuming he takes two weeks vacation every year (that's all we mechanics get, by the way) he will have 900 weeks experience on this plane. Now, if he worked an average of 40 hours a week in those 900 weeks he worked on this aircraft, he would have a total of 36,000 hours experience in that plane. Know any captains with 36,000 hours in one type of aircraft??? Let's be fair and say metwrench maybe doesn't work all that hard and only spends maybe 1/2 his time actually working on the plane and the other 1/2 drinking coffee and flirting with the records girls, or that he doesn't always work on the same type plane. That would still amount to 18,000 hours experience. Know any pilots with 18,000 hours on one type of aircraft??? I don't. Dont' tell me the mechanic doesn't know more about your aircraft than you do. We know every bolt and screw upside down and right side up. What's more, we go WAY beyond the "way it should work" that you are taught in ground school. We can tell you why it works, and why it doesn't. Save the glory stories about strapping your ass into an airplane making you a big hero and the mechanic doesn't have to worry. I am liable for everything I sign for ... for the LIFE of the aircraft. You are liable from chock to chock and then it's over for you. Oh, and by the way, I only have 15 years experience and I do flirt with the records girls alot, so I only have 15,000 hours experience. I don't think you have enough experience to talk down to me like that yet either, jet.
 
Guest

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 2:40 pm

And that folks is the philosophical difference between pilots and mechanics. By the way, there is a BIG difference between one hour of experience repeated umpteen thousand times and umpteen thousand hours of experience. You don't have to know what gauge wire is wrapped around an armature and which direction it is wound to be a knowlegable pilot. That kind of information while important for your job borders on trivia for us. You just fix 'em and we'll just keep on breaking 'em. Gee, isn't this fun?
 
242
Posts: 495
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2000 1:10 pm

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 2:45 pm

"All we want is for the friggen stuff to work when we need it to work."

Maybe if you wouldn't bitch so much about seat cushions not being fitted to your ass, we'd have more time to fix the REAL problems with the aircraft.

 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 2:51 pm

Gotta butt in here..but 1 hour experience flying an airplane and one hour experience fixing one is a BIG difference.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
Twotterwrench
Posts: 1087
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2001 5:57 pm

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 3:21 pm

So mindlessly watching the instruments while the autopilot flies the plane doesn't count as experience? Is that what you mean jet? Because there is no way I want believe that you are so ignorant as to believe that I do the same thing day after day. Neither does it matter to me what guage the wire is or what direction it is wrapped, but when I get the usual moronic write-up "#1 gen. inop" I need to be able to determine whether it is a bad winding, a bad GCU or whether you and your vastly experienced partner just didn't bother resetting the circuit breaker. All you know is that the generator doesn 't work. I have to tell you why.
 
Metwrench
Topic Author
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 11:25 am

Jetguy

Sun Sep 09, 2001 3:55 pm

God help those that are on the aircraft you are flying when an "EMERGENCY" happens!!! You are obviously inept in the knowledge on how you A/C works!!!!!

We all know that if you want a cushie seat, all you have to do is whine to to the Dir. of Op's.
 
Guest

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:13 am

This is quickly degenerating into a bloody slug feast but I feel that I have to answer the allegations that have been brought by our two illustrious mechanic friends. As I stated in one of my early posts on this thread – “Unfortunately, all too often, pilots are treated [by mechanics]… as overpaid, under worked, whiney, ham-handed, technically ignorant cretins…” Gentlemen, you have proved my point.

We can take these points one at a time. Let’s start with the “whiney” part. I deliberately put the comments about the $1250 seat cushions in one of my earlier posts because I knew that that would start a firestorm of negative comments. It sure did with our maintenance staff. Without even thinking, most mechanics will immediately come up with comments such as: “I spend 10 to 12 hours a day on my feet on very hard concrete floors or up on ladders. My feet hurt very badly at the end of each and every day. But, if I were to DEMAND $2500 shoes because they might help my feet feel better I would be run out on a rail. You know what I do when my feet start to hurt??? I sit down for a little while. And if my ass starts to go to sleep??? I get up and stretch. Now I know full well you don't need to be sitting in your seat fending off certain death every second that the airplane is in the air, contrary to what you would like the public to believe. Certainly you can get up and stretch your ass a little. Believe me, those of us stuck in coach certainly do. That is a far better solution than wasting the companies hard earned money providing your candy ass a little more padding.”

You don’t understand the significance of the problem. Let me explain it to you. (The way you end up having to deal with some mechanics is by addressing the problem as if you were dealing with a 6-year old child. Dang, I did it again.)

The numbness and tingling are symptoms of poor or restricted blood circulation. The medical term for this condition is “Deep Vein Thrombosis” and we’ve heard a lot about it recently. It is a serious condition which can have fatal side effects. If you want to simulate it go sit on a metal folding chair (if you like, you can sit on a thin cushion to make the chair a bit more comfortable) for 7 or 8 hours straight. Every hour you can get out of the chair and walk around for 5 minutes. At the end of the 8 hours you tell me how it feels. (Optionally, you can go sit on the john and read for an hour. This will speed up the process a whole bunch. However, be careful when getting up as you may fall flat on your face when you try to get up after your legs have gone numb and tingly.)

Getting out of your seat and stretching is one of the techniques that we use to deal with it, but it’s not always possible. Even then, it doesn’t help much or for very long. When the pain and discomfort hit you it is very distracting. The problem is it comes on after several hours and is almost always a factor at the end of a long (6+ hour) flight. It is definitely a “safety of flight” issue. There is a very effective solution to the problem. The military, NASA, and the major airlines deal with the issue by padding their crew seats with special ($1250 per seat) “posterior conforming” padding that allows the blood to achieve nearly normal circulation. We aren’t asking for this special padding on every airplane in our fleet – just the long-range one.

Point #2 In one of my earlier posts I used the phrase “technically ignorant cretins” in referring to how some mechanics considered us. That matches up very nicely with “You are obviously inept in the knowledge on how you A/C works!!!!!” In my defense I can only state that I am our company’s EFIS and FMS training captain, I have a standing invitation to be an aircraft systems instructor at a couple of the Flight Safety centers and both Gulfstream and Flight Safety are using some of the systems training aids that I put together to train our pilots and mechanics. Oh by the way, I have had a couple “honest to goodness” aircraft emergencies and me and my junior copilot got through them just fine thank you.

You guys also seem fixated on the pay and benefits issue. I’m not one bit ashamed of the fact that I only “work” an average of 3 or 4 days per week and I get 45 days of vacation per year and get paid 6 figures. If you want a pilot’s money and benefits and work schedule, get a flying job or “quit yur bitch’n”. Rest assured though that money isn’t everything. I know because I gave up a high paying airline seat because I couldn’t stand the garbage that went along with it. The fact of the matter is we get paid according to what we can command not according to what the job might be “worth”. If you can’t deal with it find some niche where you are happy and don’t have to complain. I could go on, but I’m tired of typing.

Oh by the way guy, I want you to know one thing. I REALLY do admire and respect the work that you guys do. Without you we couldn’t do what we do. Let’s kiss and makeup. OK?
 
avionic
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 1999 3:45 am

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 1:40 am

Sorry, jetguy, but again here is the fatherly (or godlike) pilot talking down to his mechs again...sorry daddy, yes we don´t wear a tie and a million stripes on our shoulders, we take care of the shit behind the scenes. As for your heartbreaking deep vein thrombosis...i almost wept....makes me want to throw u down a ladder with skydrol in your eyes, being electrocuted on a harness and succombing to cancer because of mastinox and skindisease inflicted by oil and MEK....Let´s put things into perspective when we talk about job related injuries and hasards!!! And the fact that you got all these other activities next to flying proves our point! You have too much sparetime! We are lucky to spend one weekend with our family every month, while you have the luxury sparetime to go deep into the secrets of an FMC...Sorry, jetguy, i like u but u got my piss boiling! I never openly critisize you guys, but in my experience, when i am in the cockpitt, you guys are pretty darn happy.....u don´t know SHIT! And it is allright, cause u gotta fly, and that´s your job, and when the shit hits the fan, you (hopefully) get the aluminium tube down.....all we ask for is a little respect...respect the guy, who in the middle of the night is outside changing a tire in snow and -20 degrees C, and has to listen to the mech call horn cause the coffee machine is out of order......Sure did get me in a good mood.....
 
Metwrench
Topic Author
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 11:25 am

JetThrombosis

Mon Sep 10, 2001 9:35 am

Here's what's happening. FBO's are are having a tough time recruiting Mech's. You know what they are doing? They are hiring people off the streets and calling them "Technicians".

You have uneducated, unmotivated people working on your precious "gulfstream". Yes! Even at a sanctioned Service Center. You know why? Because "Qualified, A&P's", don't see a future in this business. You know why? Because of cretins like you who are hogging all the money, and respect.

You want a $2,500.00 butt cushion? I'll sign that requisition, if you will stop your whining!!!
 
242
Posts: 495
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2000 1:10 pm

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 2:39 pm

"Here's what's happening. FBO's are are having a tough time recruiting Mech's. You know what they are doing? They are hiring people off the streets and calling them "Technicians".

You have uneducated, unmotivated people working on your precious "gulfstream". Yes! Even at a sanctioned Service Center. You know why? Because "Qualified, A&P's", don't see a future in this business. You know why? Because of cretins like you who are hogging all the money, and respect."


Exactly. The end result is somthing like the Payne Stuart accident.

Remember, pilots. If we (mechs) have a bad day, yours will probably be worse.


 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 3:09 pm

To answer this in a simple way.......EGO! Some pilots think that they are the greatest, and that the only reason others are there working on the aircraft (mx, ramp, catering, cleaning) is because of the pilot. But what they fail to realise that when the plane is on the ground, it's a team effort to get the flight out. Some mx guys think that they are the ones that hold the cards, which is sort of true, since they are the ones that can hold a plane at the gate and can even cancel a flight. Really it's a pissing contest between two groups with massive egos, and the rest of the airline personnel should be happy that they have jobs, because without pilots or mx, there's no airline. I personally respect pilots a lot, not because they make the money, it's that they have a lot of responsiblilty. MX get some respect from me, but not a lot, because MX has caused me more trouble as a ramper than a flight crew. Nothing like loading a plane with 150 bags and then having mx tell you the plane's broke.
 
avionic
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 1999 3:45 am

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 10:13 pm

to respond to Srbmod.......you are obviously a loader, and we mechs have nothing against you, but if you knew how much damage you guys do on the ramp, because you have absolutely NO respect for the plane....if i had a dollar everytime you guys break a door, ram a cargo door, drive into a wingtip etc....i might have as much money as a pilot! And about us cancelling the plane and annoying you.....what do u want....let´s not cancel the flight, 2 engines are drewling oil and fuel, but let us release it for flight, caus the poor ramp guys have already loaded it....come on...be reasonable........But thanks again to you guys, a lot of the things we repair are things you have busted up, you keep us in business.....
 
Guest

RE: What Is The Philosophical Difference Between?

Tue Sep 11, 2001 12:42 am

Dear wrench,
you bring up a great point, here is my theory after 15 years in the cocpit.
The main difference comes from lack of kowledge from both sides as to what the other side can and cannot do, as well as how!
From the pilot's standpoint, we see a light. We know what it relates to, we read the abnormal or ( God forbid), emergency procedure, and have a very basic operational knowledge, of how the related system works. From then on, once the discrepancy is in the logbook, we expect the mechanics to fully understand our writeup, and completely fix the problem. The problem is that we ( most of us anyway), do not really now whether the mech has enough info to fully understand the problem, or whether that thing can be easily fixed with the current info.
A bunch of times we have a problem, only to stop apearing when a mech comes on board ( damn you Murphy), but we expect from you to understand, and magically fix it on the spot.
On your side, you know in detail the inner workings of the plane, but you may lack the overall picture of inflight correlation of the systems together. Here lies the frustration, derived from the lack of common backgrounds.
When I was teaching people to become instructor pilots, the book clearly stated that the biggest barrier in effective communication is the lack of a common point of reference or background. We know ( or should know) how the thing is supposed to behave in the air, but little of the intricate workings "back there somewhere", while you are the exact opposite.
And then ofcourse are the a***oles on both sides that think that they are better then the other.
In any case, being a plane freak I am, I always loved to hang out in the hangar and shoot the poo with the mechanics because thats how I learned more, plus your coffee is usually better than ours!
I hope that answers your question.
Regards
T.A.

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