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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Just a few questions

    Hello all, I am currently AD AF, F-15 crew chief and I just got my 8610-2 signed up in Greensboro yesterday. I'll be going to Baker's school in TN in September. I just had a few questions about your average day as an A&P mechanic. In the AF, there are other specialties that make aircraft parts, like sheet metal and such. Is that sort of the same on the civilian side as well? Or am I going to be expected to know how to make patches/hydraulic lines/etc. from day 1?

    Are most jobs going to require me to get all my own tools? If so, I'm assuming a lot of companies have discounts with their tool dealers. Im in NC right now and would like to stay near the Raleigh/Durham area, I know there's a lot of jobs over in Greensboro but are there usually a lot of openings at RDU? Finally, last question, can someone give me a run down of an average day? My day as an F-15 crew chief is pretty busy which I think makes the day go faster but I just wanted to get a feel for an average A&P day.

    Sorry for all the questions, I just don't know a lot about the civilian side of aviation maintenance.

    -Ryan

  2. #2
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    What an average DAY like? Aircraft mechanics don't work days LOL. A&P work is simply a process of following instructions, doing any more or less is a violation of the law. The pipeline of jobs have been full for a long time so you will be placed wherever you fit in. Specialty areas like sheetmetal, avionics, or composites require specific knowledge or experience, everything else is simple grunt work. Military contractors will be very similar to your current experience. Airlines will eventually expect more from you. General aviation, you need to be able to do everything or else you will be nothing more than a helper.

  3. #3
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    First thing about aviation maintenance is not to limit yourself. Everyone does it. When you're first starting out. You have to take what you can get. If you can get you're dream job right away. That's great. But a lot of guys have starved waiting for theirs. Examples are. I only want to work helicopters. I want to work only for Southwest Airline. I only want a job at my local airport.

    Next thing to remember is don't burn any bridges. And always be on the look out for you're next job. Layoffs happen fast and quick. Companies lose contracts almost overnight. Always be networking with fellow mechanics. Get names and numbers. You're next job will probably come from someone you have worked with in the past.

    As far as tools go. Most jobs require them. When you do buy a tool box. Don't buy an aircraft carrier size one. That just means you need a aircraft carrier size truck to move it. Buy pieces that you can put together and take apart.

    As far a work goes. Theirs is no such thing as a set day. I've had jobs that had me rebuilding entire avionics system. And my last civilian job I worked mid shift turning aircraft. And the only tools I used was a Flashlight, Leatherman and a can opener. There are too many variables. You could work sheet metal on General aviation aircraft. Or work wheel and tire at an airline.

    As far as resume eye candy goes. While at bakers. Get yourself a FCC GROL License. It doesn't mean anything in aviation unless you're rebuilding radios on the bench. But for a few hundred dollars it looks good on a resume.

    http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/index.htm?job=home

    https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-...k-menu-block-4

    Its a standard government test. All of the question's are posted. Just study them. Take elements 1 and 3. And if you want take element 8 for radar endorsement.

    Good luck
    Last edited by MC5Wes; 07-09-2017 at 07:39 AM.

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    I actually started a new section which addresses all these questions. It is literally a book to explain.
    You have to figure out which part of civilian aviation is a good fit for you and where you want to live. Such as General Aviation, Corporate, Regional Airline, Major Airline, MRO ( Huge Shops that heavy check Airline Planes. ) All these different areas have different pace of work requirements.

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

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MC5Wes View Post
    First thing about aviation maintenance is not to limit yourself.
    Agreed and nicely put.

    Quote Originally Posted by MC5Wes View Post
    Get yourself a FCC GROL License. It doesn't mean anything in aviation unless you're rebuilding radios on the bench.
    I agree with getting the FCC. Be aware it is not required by the FAA for working on the bench, but may be required by your employer.

    Good luck!
    "My life experience tells me that people talk about other people for one of four reasons: because you’re dying, because you’re dead, because you’re one of the best in your field, or because you’re one of the worst. My question for you is, why don’t I hear people talking about you?” Jason Dahl to Capt Mark Hoog

  6. #6
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    Yes. It just depends on what you're working on.

    You need a commercial radio operator license to operate the following:
    ◾Ship radio stations if:
    ◾the vessel carries more than six passengers for hire; or
    ◾the radio operates on medium frequencies (MF) or high frequencies (HF); or
    ◾the ship sails to foreign ports; or
    ◾the ship station transmits radiotelegraphy; or
    ◾the ship is larger than 300 gross tons and is required by law to carry a radio station for safety purposes.

    ◾Aircraft radio stations, except those which operate only on very high frequencies (VHF) and do not make foreign flights.

    You do NOT need a commercial operator license to operate the following:
    ◾Ship stations operating only on VHF frequencies that do not travel to foreign ports or make international communications (unless the vessel carries more than six passengers for hire, or the ship is larger than 300 gross tons and is required by law to carry a radio station for safety purposes).
    ◾Shore radar, shore radiolocation, maritime support or shore radio navigation stations.
    ◾Survival craft stations or EPIRBs.
    ◾Ship radar stations, if (a) the radar frequency is determined by a nontunable, pulse type magnetron or other fixed tune device, and (b) the radar is capable of being operated exclusively by external controls.
    ◾Coast stations.
    ◾Aircraft stations which operate only on VHF frequencies and do not make foreign flights.
    ◾Aircraft radar sets, radio altimeters, transponders or other aircraft automatic radio navigation transmitters.
    ◾ELTs or aviation survival craft stations used solely for survival purposes.

    Radio Maintenance and Repair

    You need a commercial operator license to repair and maintain the following:
    ◾All ship radio and radar stations.
    ◾All coast stations.
    ◾All hand-carried units used to communicate with ships and coast stations on marine frequencies.
    ◾All aircraft stations and aeronautical ground stations (including hand-carried portable units) used to communicate with aircraft.

    You do NOT need a commercial radio operator license to operate, repair, or maintain any of the following types of stations:
    ◾Two-way land mobile radio equipment, such as that used by police and fire departments, taxicabs and truckers, businesses and industries, ambulances and rescue squads, and local, state, and federal government agencies.
    ◾Personal radio equipment used in the Citizens Band (CB), Radio Control (R/C), and General Mobile Radio Services (GMRS).
    ◾Auxiliary broadcast stations, such as remote pickup stations.
    ◾Domestic public fixed and mobile radio systems, such as mobile telephone systems, cellular systems, rural radio systems, point-to-point microwave systems, multipoint distribution systems, etc.
    ◾Stations that operate in the Cable Television Relay Service.
    ◾Satellite stations, both uplink and downlink of all types.


    The Telecommunications Act of 1996, which became law on February 8, 1996, brought about fundamental changes in the licensing of aircraft radio stations. Aircraft radio stations include all types of radio transmitting equipment used aboard an aircraft, e.g., two-way radiotelephones, radar, radionavigation equipment, and emergency locator transmitters (ELTs). The primary purpose of aircraft radio equipment is to ensure safety of aircraft in flight.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the responses everyone, I've been scouring the forums trying to find out everything I can about the civilian side of aviation maintenance and I'm excited to start working and learning.

  8. #8
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    M.R.O. work or Civil service for the military maybe your bread and butter...General Aviation is boring, Helicopters require you to be well rounded with avionics, sheet metal, hydraulics, turbine or reciprocating...You can find yourself in the middle of nowhere, in service or A.O.G., so having all your manuals and reference loaded is a major benefit as well as being mobile. Coming from High Performance fighters is a field all in it self with no equals in the civilian world other than transonic corporate business jets...I hope you find something you can love just as much as that Mighty F-15 Eagle.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by boelkow View Post
    M.R.O. work or Civil service for the military maybe your bread and butter...General Aviation is boring, Helicopters require you to be well rounded with avionics, sheet metal, hydraulics, turbine or reciprocating...You can find yourself in the middle of nowhere, in service or A.O.G., so haviing all your manuals and reference loaded is a major benefit as well as being mobile. Coming from High Performance fighters is a field all in it self with no equals in the civilian world other than transonic corporate business jets...I hope you find something you can love just as much as that Mighty F-15 Eagle.
    GA is boring? You at least have a chance of finding customers that let you fly their airplanes for free. My main issue with aviation maintenance has been the jobs location, pay, and schedule. Once you settle down its hard to chase aviation around the country/world.

  10. #10
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    And you have a chance of finding customers that work on their planes undocumented after you've certified them. I'd stay away from GA.
    "Arguing with an inspector is like wrestling with a pig in the mud, after a while you realize the pig enjoys it".

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