Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Knew It Would Happen One Day

When I first started this blog I knew that people at work would be reading it. I also knew that some of those guys reading it may figure out that I am talking about them. To that end I have changed names to "try to protect the innocent". You can figure out if I am writing about you or not. I also do not write about things that may be safety related, FAA type incidents, or any thing that the flying public may strike out at SWA for. As a lot of you know this still leaves me a lot of room for stories and advice for the readers or up and coming A&P mechanics.

Recently I was made aware of the fact that a certain person at work does not appreciate my use of a blog to "air our dirty laundry". For the life of me I can not figure out why this particular person feels so vexed by the stories and tales I recount. If a story about me and another guy going on a field trip and troubleshooting a problem to find a solution threatens him I can not be to blame. As a matter of fact of all the blogs that I have written-none of them pertain to this person. That's not to say that he does not have a bunch of stories associated with him. It is to say that this person has done things that fall into the above set of things that I do not write about. (Now that's scary).

The stories here are not intended to intimidate or bad mouth the guys I work with. As with any job there are mechanics here that I do not enjoy working with. If saying that means that this fellow will no longer read my blog or not like me or working with me then that's fine. Keep in  mind that I had to hear all this from third party sources so....maybe my facts are wrong. Let me know, I'm a grown ass man, I can take it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The More Things Change........

The longer I am in this line of work it never ceases to amaze me how many things have come and gone that were supposed to make the life of an aircraft mechanic easier. It seems that every year a new computer based maintenance program comes out with the latest and greatest techno gizmos. There are safety harnesses to keep us from bashing our heads, safety vests to keep us from being run over, new tools to help us troubleshoot, on and on.

With all these new tools it seems that the guys who get stuff done. The guys you can count on to fix a plane all have the same traits that the guys who can't fix planes do not have (no matter what fancy new tools they show up with). I know at my job there are guys who I will go on a road trip with and guys I will not go on a road trip with. The ones who I go with have to know how to work. By work I mean not give up when the first thing that someone else (MX Control) tells them to try does not work.

I'm not sure if there is some God given traits or talents that make a good mechanic. I do know that some of the best mechanics that I know all have certain things in common. They all:

Have common sense.
Know how to use Maintenance manuals.
Know how to read a wiring diagram.
Carry a surprisingly small number of tools with them.
Take very good care of those tools.
Work very smart.
Can be trusted to work alone.
Do not get pushed around by MX Control.

There are those who get by. There are those who rely on others to get by. Some hide. Some simply do nothing.

To be a good Line Mechanic you can not be burdened by all the new techo gizmology that comes out on a yearly basis. Bleed air test boxes for example will give false readings if not hooked up correctly. The reason to know how a system works is to not be overly dependant on test boxes or others (MX Control) to do your troubleshooting for you.

I have always said that you can fix any thing with a srewdriver,visegrip, and a hammer. Everything except laziness.