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Aviation Technology

Aviation maintenance is an essential part of keeping aircraft in peak operating condition. Mechanics and technicians who specialize in this field are responsible for carrying out scheduled maintenance checks, making necessary repairs and for performing the regular inspections that are legally required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); these follow a schedule based on the number of hours the aircraft has flown, calendar days since the last inspection and the number of cycles of operation. Preventive maintenance involves a careful examination of engines, landing gear, instruments, pressurized sections, accessories (such as brakes, valves, pumps and air-conditioning systems) and all other parts of the aircraft; components that are damaged or worn must be repaired or replaced.

Some aviation maintenance workers choose to specialize and qualify in one particular type of aircraft or even a single section of a specific type of plane; for example ‘Powerplant Mechanics’ are authorized to work on engines and do some limited work on propellers; ‘Airframe Mechanics’ work on any part of the aircraft except the instruments, engines and propellers; ‘Combination Airframe-and-Powerplant Mechanics’ (A & P Mechanics) can work on any part of the plane except the instruments.

Certification for aviation maintenance is administered by the FAA and requires either extensive work experience or the completion of a degree program at an FAA approved school. Both Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees are available and cover all the aspects of airframe and Powerplant technology necessary to become a practicing aircraft technician, together with additional courses in electronics, computers, business and general education.

Publish date: February 10, 2011