Gray Matter

Aviation Mechanics Most Frequently Asked Questions

by Denny Pollard



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 3/22/2012

Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 200
ISBN : 9781466919280
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 8.25x11
Page Count : 200
ISBN : 9781466919297

About the Book

To be completely frank about it, I’m increasingly aware that there are as many gray areas in aviation as there are black-and-white ones, and I’m beginning to feel as if I know less and less about what I do. I’m a trained and reasonably experienced A&P mechanic, and I’m supposed to know this airplane stuff, but my experiences are often contradictory to what I know are theoretical facts. It’s frustrating, and sometimes I think I knew more back when I knew less. Or at least I thought I did. To keep an aircraft in peak operating condition, aircraft mechanics and service technicians perform scheduled maintenance to make repairs and complete inspections required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Many aircraft mechanics specialize in preventive maintenance. They inspect engines, landing gear, instruments, pressurized sections, accessories—brakes, valves, pumps, and air-conditioning systems, for example—and other parts of the aircraft and do the necessary maintenance and replacement of parts. Inspections take place following a schedule based on the number of hours the aircraft has flown, calendar days, cycles of operation, or a combination of these factors. To examine an engine, aircraft mechanics work through specially designed openings while standing on ladders or scaffolds, or use hoists or lifts to remove the entire engine from the craft. After taking an engine apart, mechanics use precision instruments to measure parts for wear and use x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment to check for invisible cracks. Worn or defective parts are repaired or replaced. They may also repair sheet metal or composite surfaces, measure the tension of control cables, and check for corrosion, distortion, and cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail. After completing all repairs, mechanics must test the equipment to ensure that it works properly.

About the Author

Why I am uniquely qualified to write this book. I have thirty-six years of technical hands-on and theoretical work experience. My writings are the sum of my own experiences added to my abilities, but from the inside looking out. I have attended a part 147 aviation maintenance school to learn the basics of aviation and theory. Upon graduation from Sacrament City College, aviation department, I had no aviation hands-on work experience; however, I had a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate to learn. I spent many years owning my own fixed-base operation (FBO), working as a civil servant on military aircraft and gaining practical hands-on work experience before joining the FAA Oakland Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) to learn the legal concepts of aviation in-depth. During my sixth year with the Oakland FSDO, I won the National Flight Standards 2004 Field Inspector of the Year award for technical excellence, professionalism, and dedication to the enhancement of aviation safety. My career with FAA was all about aviation safety, where I used my FAA knowledge and work experiences to mentor other aviation aircraft mechanics and pilots. By working with mechanics and pilots, I was able to gain their trust as a regulator and, more importantly, as a knowledgeable friend who could answer their many questions. Working closely with the public won me the aircraft Maintenance Knuckle Buster Award in March 2002. As an FAA inspector, I expended great effort in the home/amateur built arena. In another technical contribution, I developed and made available step-by-step checklists outlining the procedures from inspection through certification. I again expended the scope of organizational impact when I wrote an article that was published in Kit Planes magazine, following the flight test guidelines contained in AC-90-89. The article highlighted accident rates among experimental aircraft during the first forty hours of flight test. As a result, I have been inundated with requests from all over the world for copies of the flight test program. I have provided copies of the article and the program to airmen worldwide, thus having a global impact on aviation safety. After thirty-six years of government civil servant time, I retired from the Oakland Flight Standard District Office in California and relocated to Yamagata, Japan, to retire. I continue being active in aviation with my writing and assisting FAA mechanics and pilots. I currently hold an Airframe and Powerplant, Inspection Authorization, and Senior Parachute Rigger certificates with the FAA.