Thursday, September 29, 2011

"That's A Hangar Job!!!"

We in OAK work Line Maintenance. We do a lot of landing light changes, avionics work, and tire and brake changes. We have no hangar so we do not do hangar work. What I want everyone to know is that while we do not have a hangar we do do work that would typically be described as "Hangar Work".

When I first think of what constitutes hangar work I think of major overhaul and HMVs (Heavy Maintenance Visits). What most people do not know about SWA MX OAK is that we also do a lot of work that some would consider hangar work. We do engine changes, gear actuators, APU changes, strut repacks, gear swings and even have done some pretty substantial sheet metal work.

Some people may think that working the Line would get them away from those types of jobs but in fact they are a lot more common than not. The trick of doing these jobs is that the weather does not always cooperate. I have done all the above jobs outside and in the rain and wind.

People who do Line Maintenance look to not having a hangar as part of the challenge. Way back in the day we used to Taxi over to the Oakland Alaska Airline maintenance hangar. They were nice enough to let us use their roof from time to time when they were still open. We also used to taxi on over to the United hangar when they were still open.

Occasionally I hear people at work complain that some job that they have been assigned is a "hangar job". I think they should watch what they wish for. The company could decide that they are right. If that happens and work is taken away from OAK why do we need 53 mechanics? On the flip side the company may review some of these jobs and start assigning us way more work that does not necessarily require a hangar to complete.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Maintenance Dictionary of Terms

We all know that we have our own language in maintenance. I have written blogs about "hog" pliers, "the angle of the dangle", etc.  I am sure that we all have our own contributions to the "Maintenance Dictionary". It is an ever evolving language that will change time and time again as long as there are guys swinging wrenches.

There is one guy at our shop who has coined his fair share of terms that we use here in OAK. I would like to share these terms with you guys and maybe you guys have some terms you would like to add to our Dictionary. Thank you to the mechanic I will call- Non-Sched for your library of terms.

Your Turn in the Barrel                                       It's your turn to work the broke plane.

Smoking a Turd in Purgatory                               What ever you are doing is going to damn you to hell.

Quick Flip                                                            Working a shift-being off for 8hrs and coming back.

IFE                                                                        In Flight Emergency

Change the Big Part                                              R/Ring the largest, most expensive piece in the system.

Rag Wrench It!                                                      Wiping a leak down and calling it good.                                                                                Derogatory  remark. "All he did was rag wrench it!"

Change the Carburetor                                          Change the MEC or HMU on an engine.

Putting out Fires                                                    Solving all the issues pilots have.

Take it to the Box                                                   Take the plane to the run up hole.

Men Who Stare at Planes                                      Mechanics who don't work very hard.

Push it to the Pad                                                   Take the plane off line-ground it.

Fielding Gate Calls                                                The process of answering and doing gate calls

Make it go Bye Bye                                               Fix it and get it out of town.

Your on Deck                                                        You are next up for a call.

Is it Taco'd?                                                            Is it messed up beyond repair?

Premium Call                                                         A very easy gate call

Jamalphed                                                              All messed up

Not Enough Bounces                                             Not enough landings

Dolls Eye Indicator                                                 Ball indicator

GSP                                                                         Gravy Sucking Pig

There are more but some are not easily translated into something that would make sense to anyone but a person who was around at the time, like "Swivel Hips".

All these terms are an amalgamation of years of airline experience, people, and actions. These are terms that are used almost daily here in OAK and will be with me long after my time at SWA is over. Some may think that these types of things don't mean much but I argue that they do. If you know that it's "your turn in the barrel" then you may be "changing the big part" because the old one is "taco'd". When you are done you can "take it to the box" and if your good and not just a "man who stares at planes" then you can "make it go bye bye". And that's what we are all about.