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  1. #1
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    Default Here We Go Again! Another FNG!

    Greetings all! Finally getting around to an introduction, I'll make it brief. I've been lurking for some time on the site and have found it to be a bit of a letdown. There seems to be a lot of negativity and, based on what I've read on this site, the A&P field has lost much of its luster over the last few decades.
    I probably need to have my head examined as I am in the first third of A&P school at the ripe old age of 52. I'll be 54 by the time I finish school. Going to A&P school is something that I've had in the back of my mind doing for 25 years, and my last job was the straw that broke the camel's back. I am tired of crap, bottom feeder jobs, crap, bottom feeder bosses, and taking job offers from anyone who gives me one doing whatever it is they do at whatever pay they pay. I have no degree's, no certifications, no marketable skills other than a tiring backbone and an arm and hand hanging off either side of my body. So I've decided it's time (past time actually) to take some control of the situation and get some kind of training. Why I chose aviation maintainance I'm not 100% sure, other than it looks like something I can do, and aircraft are interesting to me.
    My ace in the hole with the entire situation is there is a major military base in my town that hires virtually every graduate of my school, and they are projecting a rate of 70 retirements per month over the next 2 years. I have no doubt there will be jobs available, and the federal government is blind to age, or they should be anyway. I'm sure these aren't the top paying A&P jobs, but I can do pretty well on $25- $30 an hour, which is pretty much double what I can expect to make by doing nothing and continuing to work crap jobs the rest of my life.
    Speaking of military bases I am suprised that I have run across little to nothing on here discussing this aspect of A&P employment. After looking around some, I am beginning to suspect that what I have here in my town is a fairly unique and rare arrangement with the government hiring civilian A&P's to work on military aircraft. From what I've been able to determine. it is more common for the government to contract with private companies who in turn hire A&P's to do the work. I would love to move to Las Vegas and work at Nellis AFB, but they seem to do the contractor thing there, and I'd much rather work for the government than a private company. So I'll probably be stuck here, but that's ok. If I'm wrong about all this, I'd love to hear about it.

  2. #2
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    Well, First thanks for signing up. If all the lurkers signed up, we might get some more meaningful discussion going.

    Negativity, yes it has become an issue.
    Few things to consider.

    One that people talk about good things about 5 out of 100 times. It they talk about bad things like 50 out of a hundred times. Remember the old saying, treat a customer good, they will tell 10 people. Piss them off, they will tell 100.

    I hate censorship. I always swore that I'd let this site find its center, after I failed at the original design anyhow. But recently it has been getting to the point where it's all I see. And that's not why I did this.

    This field has changed significantly since I entered it in 1980. I think part of that is there are fewer old salts, and MUCH less sharing of tribal knowledge. I see people with knowledge not share and help people, just to watch others fail. It's pathetic.

    When I was taught, I didn't go to school. I got the basics of turbine power plant in USAF and was lucky enough to get hired first by a small engine shop ( recips ) and second by a Piper Citation service center. There were a few guys willing to teach, and I soaked it up like a sponge.Paint, sheet metal, engines, work and quality ethics, troubleshooting. It wasn't always easy and a lot of the new schooled mechanics kind of abused me because I was ex military with no formal A&P school.

    Older mechanics frequently get frustrated because it seems at times all employers want are people to sign the book, or do manual labor for small change. Gone or almost gone, are the days of PRIDE in your work, or taking the time to be a craftsman, or learning the difference between being a parts changer, a mechanic, and a craftsman. After 9/11 the Airlines systematically broke the labor unions, now the high paying jobs are all but gone. MRO and Contract labor have furthur created a transient group of laborors that many times have no loyalty. Many are there to do the least work, and take the most time to do it.

    I've been doing this my entire adult life. And I still get excited when I go to work. I can't wait to dig into a project or a challenging troubleshooting job. I love to do composites, paint, sheet metal, anything that allows me the freedom to slow the heck down and really take pride in what I do.

    52 isn't that old man, it's ALL about attitude. If your willing to work, don't bitch and complain a lot, and have even a sliver of natural ability, can keep your mouth shut so you can learn? You will go far.

    Anyhow...


    Steve
    You never have a second chance, to make a first impression

  3. #3
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    Update!! School began last September. I am now finished with General, and in my first Airframe class. Finally getting into some "meat and potatoes"! Doing well and marking off the days, starting to feel like there is some progress happening!

  4. #4
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    Good deal man. Do as good as you can !


    Steve
    You never have a second chance, to make a first impression

  5. #5
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    I'm encouraged by your post. I'm in my late 40s and, really, starting over again trying to get an aircraft structures/sheetmetal, or assembly position. Not A&P yet, but I did work 7 years modifying & restoring P-3s, C-130s and CJ 27s (and one 747). I'm in line to get a great job at an MRO and I'll take my A&P tests this Summer. I often lament and throw a pity party for being as old as I am and just starting out again in aviation maintenance. I'm tired of the crap jobs, too. It's been 3 years since I've touched airplanes (except for a 3 month contract at Spirit in Wichita) but I'm even more encouraged to plow away at my job search because of your post.
    Never give up.

  6. #6
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    Amen brother stay at it
    You never have a second chance, to make a first impression

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky_S View Post
    I'm encouraged by your post. I'm in my late 40s and, really, starting over again trying to get an aircraft structures/sheetmetal, or assembly position. Not A&P yet, but I did work 7 years modifying & restoring P-3s, C-130s and CJ 27s (and one 747). I'm in line to get a great job at an MRO and I'll take my A&P tests this Summer. I often lament and throw a pity party for being as old as I am and just starting out again in aviation maintenance. I'm tired of the crap jobs, too. It's been 3 years since I've touched airplanes (except for a 3 month contract at Spirit in Wichita) but I'm even more encouraged to plow away at my job search because of your post.
    Never give up.
    Thanks! It's nice to know I'm doing something here that people look up to. I've been told the same thing by a couple of people already. It helps me to keep going also. And yes, I'm still plugging away at it. In about 2 weeks, I'll be 1/2 finished, on the downhill side!

  8. #8
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    I'm in my last class for Airframe. Big stuff coming soon. Oral and practical for General, FAA test for Airframe, oral and practical for Airframe- all in the next 4-6 weeks! Keeping my fingers crossed!

  9. #9
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    You will do fine Keep us updated


    Steve
    You never have a second chance, to make a first impression

  10. #10
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    Forgot my Log-In info so haven't stopped by here in awhile, finally found my password cheat sheet I keep and had it all written down.

    Since my last post here I have completed Airframe, took and passed the written, and took and passed the Oral & Practical for General and Airframe. I have in my pocket a Temporary License for Airframe. Been waiting for about 70 days now to receive my permanent license from the FAA, maybe I'll get it for Christmas! That'd be nice!

    Right now I am almost 1/2 way through Powerplant, the end is getting nearer every day. Just like with Airframe, I plan to do the Oral & Practical for Powerplant as immediately as possible upon completing the course. So, all is well, everything is on track, and if it stays that way, this should all be behind me by the end of April 2017!

    Steve

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