What do Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians do?

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Includes helicopter and aircraft engine specialists.

  • Read and interpret maintenance manuals, service bulletins, and other specifications to determine the feasibility and method of repairing or replacing malfunctioning or damaged components.
  • Inspect completed work to certify that maintenance meets standards and that aircraft are ready for operation.
  • Maintain repair logs, documenting all preventive and corrective aircraft maintenance.
  • Conduct routine and special inspections as required by regulations.
  • Examine and inspect aircraft components, including landing gear, hydraulic systems, and deicers to locate cracks, breaks, leaks, or other problems.
  • Inspect airframes for wear or other defects.
  • Maintain, repair, and rebuild aircraft structures, functional components, and parts such as wings and fuselage, rigging, hydraulic units, oxygen systems, fuel systems, electrical systems, gaskets, and seals.
  • Measure the tension of control cables.
  • Replace or repair worn, defective, or damaged components, using hand tools, gauges, and testing equipment.
  • Measure parts for wear, using precision instruments.
  • Assemble and install electrical, plumbing, mechanical, hydraulic, and structural components and accessories, using hand or power tools.
  • Test operation of engines and other systems, using test equipment such as ignition analyzers, compression checkers, distributor timers, and ammeters.
  • Obtain fuel and oil samples and check them for contamination.
  • Reassemble engines following repair or inspection and reinstall engines in aircraft.
  • Read and interpret pilots' descriptions of problems to diagnose causes.
  • Modify aircraft structures, space vehicles, systems, or components, following drawings, schematics, charts, engineering orders, and technical publications.
  • Install and align repaired or replacement parts for subsequent riveting or welding, using clamps and wrenches.
  • Locate and mark dimensions and reference lines on defective or replacement parts, using templates, scribes, compasses, and steel rules.
  • Clean, strip, prime, and sand structural surfaces and materials to prepare them for bonding.
  • Service and maintain aircraft and related apparatus by performing activities such as flushing crankcases, cleaning screens, and lubricating moving parts.
  • Examine engines through specially designed openings while working from ladders or scaffolds, or use hoists or lifts to remove the entire engine from an aircraft.
  • Remove or install aircraft engines, using hoists or forklift trucks.
  • Inventory and requisition or order supplies, parts, materials, and equipment.
  • Fabricate defective sections or parts, using metal fabricating machines, saws, brakes, shears, and grinders.
  • Remove or cut out defective parts or drill holes to gain access to internal defects or damage, using drills and punches.
  • Clean, refuel, and change oil in line service aircraft.
  • Communicate with other workers to coordinate fitting and alignment of heavy parts, or to facilitate processing of repair parts.
  • Trim and shape replacement body sections to specified sizes and fits and secure sections in place, using adhesives, hand tools, and power tools.
  • Clean engines, sediment bulk and screens, and carburetors, adjusting carburetor float levels.
  • Prepare and paint aircraft surfaces.
  • Spread plastic film over areas to be repaired to prevent damage to surrounding areas.
  • Check for corrosion, distortion, and invisible cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail, using x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment.
  • Disassemble engines and inspect parts, such as turbine blades and cylinders, for corrosion, wear, warping, cracks, and leaks, using precision measuring instruments, x-rays, and magnetic inspection equipment.
  • Determine repair limits for engine hot section parts.
  • Cure bonded structures, using portable or stationary curing equipment.
  • Listen to operating engines to detect and diagnose malfunctions such as sticking or burned valves.
  • Accompany aircraft on flights to make in-flight adjustments and corrections.
  • Remove, inspect, repair, and install in-flight refueling stores and external fuel tanks.

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