I find it a bit troubling that there is such an adversairial air on this subject. There is good and not so good in every profession. There are good and not so good people, etc...
Ultimately, are pilots and their mechanics not on the same team? Should we not be working together for the same goal, safe economical operation of our aircraft?
I too have had bad experiences with some repair facilities, but I have had very good experiences too. I prefer to look at my repair facility as my partner in flying. I employ them to keep my plane in tip top shape, in return for my business they make a commitment to quality work at a fair price. When the agreement falls apart I move on.
How about we think of ways to get along and work together rather than find fault with each other?
Just my 2 cents
I find that doing business this way is a better formula for success and acomplishes more, sooner and at less cost than finger pointing.
Fortunately, I have a pretty good mechanical back ground and usually know when I am being told something less than realistic. I also, like to stop by the shop and see what is going on. Getting involved and being friendly with the people doing the work goes a long way towards building a good working relationship.
Thanks for the Replies. I will consider all the positive things that many of you have taught me. I did not want to sound arrogant like i know everything because I dont. I just wanted to express my feelings on an issue that can be a problem. I totally agree with Vin, nicely said. I am proud of what i do and realize that i still have lots to learn. Thanks
Everyday is a learning experience. My Dad alway told me that if I did not learn something everyday that I was not paying attention. As usual, he was right.
Also, it is not the situations we find ourselves in but how we react and handle them that matters.
Have a good one!
Posted by: Mike (---.1dial.com)
Date: December 27, 2004 09:20AM
Please explain the reason for this statement:
"What scares me is an AP who wants to powder coat an engine mount,"<<<
sorry for the late reply. In answer to your question, without knowing the specific properties of the material being coated, the heat process (400F) required to bind powercoat can make dramatic changes to the properties and strength of the base material. For example, Chromemoly begins to harden at this temp, and some grades of aluminum cooks out the temper beginning as low as 300F. You can also hide defects such as cracks and broken welds.
I agree heartily that that if it isnt allowed,let a qualified professional do the work.The rules may seem strict,but I feel they are provided for the
person like myself.A student pilot looking to purchase his first Airplane
only to find some previous repairs may have been hacked by a handyman/owner,and until I have the experience and knowledge,I rely totally on whats in the logs.Afterall these are airplanes not Harleys.
I am an A&P/IA also and a pilot with Single/multi land comercial ratings. I like to post on this site when I run across something I have knowledge on and can maybe even help someone. I have even asked questions. I started out flight training in the Navy until a medical booted me out. I had a strong mechanic background and wanted to stay in aviation. I went across the country to a aircraft maintenance school. I was in school about two weeks before I knew what an A&P was. I have done this for 15 years now and have worked on single engine up through Jets. I was lucky to work at larger shops so I got a lot of experience quickly. I learned a lot from co-workers and Pilots. I am still learning in lots of areas. I was also one of those that new it all out of school. then I learnd how to do it right and realistically. an A&P does have to learn a lot from the ground up on all aircraft from fabric to composite. not to many fields do you have to have knowledge in all areas. I am not talking about systems on a fixed gear single engine airplanes. most careers specialize in areas like mufflers or alignments etc. once you get a job you will learn the area. me it was jets then back to recips. working on the likes of a 150 doesnt take a lot of brain power as far as systems are concerned. being around hundreds of the same models help you in finding whats GOING to happen. anyone can tell you an exhaust is cracked. experience!!! in troubleshooting and knowing a design and where cracks will start is a lot of the arsenal. I have had several owners of their planes that have more experience in electrical and other areas than me. I have no problem signing off their work. does that make them more of an aircraft technician than me? not a chance. I have no problem looking something up if I dont know it or even call the Feds or the manufacturer. theirs not a single person reading this that knows everything their is about their profession. I have a lot of my customers (friends) that do owner assisted annuals. and because I am not affraid to pull out a book and look up a torque or question they continue to be my customer. I have had some real winners come in and ask for a job. I thought to myself Wow if he can get his A&P thats not saying much for me. but then on the other side when I was going to get my Multi ratings I thought wow if he got his I sure can get mine. every profession, you have to learn to get the experience. most A&P's in general aviation make very little money. I own my own FBO and still make very little money but I love aviation and the friends I have made in the field. all my customers trust my work and know that after the annual I will personally fly their plane or ride with them. I tell everyone to do a preflight after their work is done. I learned in school to follow a checklist. one of the first items is to wash the aircraft on most checklists. I wash the plane at the end of the annual. washing it at the beginning cleans off a lot of signs. washing it at the end helps me look for missing screws or plates. I am only human and do make mistakes. I can see where Nate was coming from. In the beginning I had some of the same views. If you work together you will make friends, friends pass on to their friends what kind of a mechanic you are and it keeps going. soon you have a reputation and friends and experience. what more could you ask for. by the way I mentioned my customer knowing more about electrical than me. this same guy wanted to eliminate the air escaping from around the heat shield on the exhaust. he used RTV to seal it. the fumes when heated up almost killed him in flight. an experienced mechanic that has worked with silicone knows that it produces fumes and also that it wasnt an approved fix. thats just my input
There are good pilots who are good mechanics and there are good mechanics that are good pilots. Sometimes we remember the ones that are not so good. Like you, I have experience with both. I remember the day I flew home after obtaining my pilots licence and thinking how little I know about flying. The same was true when I obtained my mechanics license. They both are a constant learning process.
I recently completed a logbook review for an annual where the owner, a new pilot had completed a list of 19 things that were neatly listed in his log book of work that he had done since the last annual. The list started with painted aircraft, without removing controls, installed four place intercom, installed knotts to you speed modifications, installed new interior, etc. At the bottom it was signed by the owner and was not supervised.
We dicussed the FAR's and he stated everyone does these things. He made it clear that there were plenty of mechanics who would over look these things. I quess he found one, as he is currently flying. This person knew the rules and decided not to follow them because everyone else does. I recommend knowing the rules and following them.
> There are good pilots who are good mechanics and
> there are good mechanics that are good pilots.
> Sometimes we remember the ones that are not so
> good. Like you, I have experience with both. I
> remember the day I flew home after obtaining my
> pilots licence and thinking how little I know
> about flying. The same was true when I obtained my
> mechanics license. They both are a constant
> learning process.
> I recently completed a logbook review for an
> annual where the owner, a new pilot had completed
> a list of 19 things that were neatly listed in his
> log book of work that he had done since the last
> annual. The list started with painted aircraft,
> without removing controls, installed four place
> intercom, installed knotts to you speed
> modifications, installed new interior, etc. At the
> bottom it was signed by the owner and was not
> We dicussed the FAR's and he stated everyone does
> these things. He made it clear that there were
> plenty of mechanics who would over look these
> things. I quess he found one, as he is currently
> flying. This person knew the rules and decided not
> to follow them because everyone else does. I
> recommend knowing the rules and following them.
Your former customer may still flying for the time being, but at much risk (to himself and others). I'd say that he and his airplane are flying on borrowed time. The first thing that could burst his bubble would be any event that would cause his log-books to be looked at by his local FSDO. In that case, not only would HE be in trouble, but so would his "plenty of mechanics who would over look these things" if they signed off on his annuals and returned the aircraft to service, knowing that the aircraft's control surfaces had been painted without balancing and that equipment additions and interior modifications had been made without corresponding weight and balance adjustments or without the required documentation for parts-traceability, interior material burn-certs, etc. The second thing that will be a very expensive "wake-up call" will happen the day he pounds his nose-gear into the ground or does something else to damage his airplane and tries to file an insurance claim. The adjuster WILL look at his log-books, along with dates of his last medical, last bi-annual flight review, etc. If anything turns up to suggest that the aircraft or the pilot were not 100% "legal" at the time of the incident, then guess what?... CLAIM DENIED! (they don't put the small print in the policy for nothing!).
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