Tuesday, May 15, 2012

P-40 Kittyhawk Found in Egyptian Desert

P-40 Kittyhawk Found in Egyptian Desert

More cool old planes found! Check out the above link and then the link to the original article for photos.
Goat

FAA Proposes Fines for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air

FAA Proposes Fines for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air

"The agency says that during 10 occasions between June 19, 2010 and Jan. 13, 2011, Alaska allegedly performed maintenance on six of its Boeing 737s while failing to comply with the “required alternative deactivation procedures.” Alaska allegedly failed to document alternative actions it carried out and to install the appropriate danger tag, which reduces safety hazards as technicians are working on maintenance and to prevent damage to the aircraft parts and systems themselves."

This is crazy! Did you know that we could get fined for not using our "Lock Out-Tag Out" proceedures? The FAA is getting desperate if you ask me.

Goat

737 Nose-Gear Extension Confirms Larger Engine Choice

737 Nose-Gear Extension Confirms Larger Engine Choice

As we figured the nose gear will be longer, 8 inches longer.

Goat

Pristine Spitfires Found in Burma

Pristine Spitfires Found in Burma

Not only am I an aviation professional but I am also am airplane nerd. I love all airplane but have a special fondness for old WWII aircraft. This story is amazing! They found as many as 120 Spitfire airplanes boxed up from the war time in Burma. Enjoy the attached article!
Goat

Friday, May 4, 2012

Enter The "PROBBIES"

We have a new batch of mechanics here in Oakland. It seems like we are always hiring but that is the nature of our station. California is a very expensive place to live and the people we hire move on to greener pastures. We call the new guys "probbies" because they are on probation. If at any time during their probationary period the company deems it necessary to fire the probbie then it can, with certain stipulations of course.



I still remember vividly the time I spent on probation. I was proud, happy, ecstatic really, to have been hired and was willing to do any thing the mechanics asked me to do in order to keep the job. There were three of hired at once and we swept the shop, tire connexes, rotated the new tires to the back of the connex, cleaned up, stayed up, and tried to always look busy yet stay out of the way. As I said there were three of us, Teflon, Revere, and myself. The schedule for all the mechanics used to be posted on the window of the managers office. It listed all the mechanics and their days off. About a month into the probation I came into work off my weekend, I clocked in and notice that there was a big red line through Revere's name. Already paranoid I froze and realized that Revere got canned! I told Teflon but of course he was not worried. The probation period way back then was 3 months long and it was a very long three months, but it was also a time for learning, building camaraderie, and showing what you were made of.



Nowadays the probation period is SIX MONTHS! That's a long time. Of course there is way more to learn then there used to be. While we can no longer make the probbies clean up the shop or clean off  the golf carts we can and should teach them what they will need to know to succeed at SWA (or where ever you, the reader works). We want mechanics who are go getter's, self-starters, willing to listen, willing to learn (on their own and under instruction), who we are willing to work with for a long time (the rest of our careers). We also need to deprogram them from where ever they came from. No one wants to hear "well at Delta we used to do this..." We need them to want to help, not be afraid to ask questions and we have to figure out if they are "stand up" type people.

I bring all these things up because I heard a rumor that some mechanics do no want to work with the probbies. They say it's not their job to "train" new guys. They don't want to be "slowed down" by having to explain the ins and outs of the job to the new person.

I say not only should you be required to work with new guys but you should want to. These guys need to be taught how we do things in our shop. They also need to see what kind of guys and gals they will be working with when and if they pass probation. The probbies are like sponges and if they get treated like s@&% then that is how they will act once they are off probation. I'm not saying that they should not still clean up and take the normal ribbing from the mechanics-it builds character. What I'm saying is that if you choose not to show the probbies how to work then you have no right to complain about how they work. When they are off probation and not working how you think they should then you most likely did not explain things to them when they were on probation.

The other thing that is ironic is that I'm sure the guys saying they don't want to work with the probbies got plenty of help while they were on probation. As a matter of fact I bet some of them just barely passed probation themselves!

winglet lightning strike


When I was a Delta we new guys were called "JEEPS". Just Enough Education to Pass. "Hey JEEP go get me an airhose." "Hey JEEP get me a drill." "Hey JEEP pay attention." I made it through and the next set of guys got the ribbing. It's a right of passage in our industry and one that any mechanic worth a dime does not mind going through, but remember it's a two way street. Time to suck it up and slow down to show these new people the way. Who knows you may even learn something.

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