It’s good to have an idea of the kind of jobs you’ll possibly have after undertaking an airframe and powerplant training to have an idea of what career you’d be building. Such information will better prepare you psychologically for the job market, and you can start right away building proper foundations for your dream job.
Career Paths For You
It’s important to have a vision for your future, so here are the most popular career options for airframe and powerplant trainees:
Airframe And Powerplant Technician
Your main job as an airframe and powerplant(A&P) technician will be to ensure the engines of aircraft meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) standards. FAA’s main objective is to improve the safety and efficiency of the US aerospace system.
To achieve this goal, they’re actively involved in designing the college syllabus for A&P trainees. It’s in your best interest to ensure the Aviation Maintenance Technology course you take is approved by them. Taking a non-FAA-approved course will make it hard for you to land jobs in the aviation industry.
In addition to the degree or diploma, you’ll need to obtain the FAA A&P license as you won’t be able to work independently on any aircraft without this.
If you don’t have it, you’ll forever have to work under the supervision of an FAA-licensed technician. Also, you’ll find it challenging to advance in high-ranking positions in your aviation career.
It’s good to understand airframe and powerplant as two separate entities. Airframe refers to the mechanical structure of an aircraft, including the fuselage, wings, and empennage (stabilizing surfaces at the tail of an aircraft). For the airframe, you’ll need to learn things such as:
- Airframe fuel systems
- Cabin atmosphere
- Hydraulic and pneumatic systems
- Navigation and communications
- Fluid lines and fittings
- Airframe electronics and electricals
- Airframe materials like sheet metal, wood, and composites
On the other hand, the powerplant refers to the components used to propel an aircraft. You need to have a good knowledge of:
- Reciprocating engines
- Engine troubleshooting
- Engine electrical systems
- Ignition and starting
- Turbine engine theory and repair
With this elaborate background information, here are the responsibilities you’re expected to handle if employed as an A&P technician:
- Inspecting aircraft components like wings and tails and identifying any corrosion
- Running tests to ensure all aircraft components are fully functional
- Repairing damaged aircraft parts
- Maintaining an inventory of supplies of materials and equipment to ensure enough is always available at the airport
- Analyzing the probable causes of faults in aircraft and fixing them accordingly
- Documenting all inspections and repairs
- Fueling valve overhauls
Mechanics and technicians do pretty much the same job. However, there’s a slight difference since mechanics do more repair works while technicians are leaning more as maintenance professionals.
In other words, when an aircraft component is damaged, a mechanic is the one who usually repairs it. But when an aircraft is in good condition and simply needs maintenance checks, a technician is best placed to do the job.
There are claims saying both mechanics and technicians can handle a particular repair job, but only the technicians can fully explain why the repair is being done the way it’s done. Try proving them wrong by thoroughly learning your craft.
Aircraft Technical Writer
You may choose to ditch the manual aspect of aircraft maintenance and become a writer. Your duties will include:
- Developing documentation, processes, and procedures required by different aviation original equipment manufacturers
- Managing record retention of documents throughout the life of a given aviation program
- Evaluation of products or technologies
- Writing technical proposals, requests for proposals, statements of objectives, requests for information, performance work statements, and sources evaluation notices
- Authoring and publishing industry specifications for technical publications
Finally, if you show effort in your job, you may be promoted to an aircraft maintenance supervisor. Your main duties will be:
- Planning the allocation of personnel
- Leading in every aspect of the operation
- Coordinating and directing aircraft maintenance and repair jobs
In short, the A&P technicians and aircraft mechanics will be working under your supervision. You’ll need to understand the ins and outs of aircraft maintenance and repair so you’re in a position to give your coworkers the right direction.
To Sum It Up
Airframe and powerplant training adequately sets you up for a variety of jobs in the aviation industry. It’s the dream of many students to work in this highly admired industry, so consider enrolling in an FAA-approved aviation maintenance technology course or any other aviation-related course.