How to become an aircraft mechanic

Job description: What does an aircraft mechanic do?

Aircraft mechanics manufacture all types of aircraft and engines. Also, they take over the repair and maintenance of the devices and thus ensure passengers’ and crews’ safety. The apprenticeship is divided into three specialist areas: maintenance technology, engine technology, and production technology. Each area is dedicated to different tasks so that the individual activities in this profession are incredibly varied.

In the field of maintenance technology, aircraft mechanics check the aircraft and systems’ safety and functionality before each take-off and after each landing. Among other things, they check the fuselage, the wings, and the control gear, landing gear, and engines for any damage. They check the safety equipment and dismantle the individual components if necessary. They also carry out measurements on electrical systems and evaluate the on-board computers. Again, they overtake aircraft at specified intervals. They clean the individual components and replace any defective components or wear parts.

Aircraft mechanics for engine technology specialize in jet engines and aircraft engines. They check the respective assemblies at specified maintenance intervals. You clean the individual components, replace damaged parts, and change operating materials such as engine oil or hydraulic fluids. They carry out various control examinations during flight operations. They fix small faults themselves. In the case of larger errors, arrange for the necessary repairs.

The production of aircraft takes place in the field of manufacturing technology. Aircraft mechanics put the individual components together and attach engines, landing gear, and wings. They use various methods for this, such as welding, riveting, screwing, or gluing. They then assemble hydraulic or electrical systems and carry out practical function tests or measurements. Finally, they install wall cladding, overhead lockers, seats, galleys, and sanitary facilities in the cabin and install the on-board systems.

Aircraft mechanics work for manufacturers of aircraft for airplanes and helicopters, in repair and maintenance workshops of airlines and airports, and at air force bases of the Bundeswehr. Typical locations are factory halls and runways.

Aircraft mechanic responsibilities and requirements

In this country, aircraft mechanics is a state-recognized training occupation in the industry. Regardless of the subject, the training lasts three and a half years. A shortening is possible under certain conditions (for example, if you have an excellent performance or previous knowledge of another training occupation). Learning takes place in the dual learning mode. That means that both the vocational school and the training company function as learning locations. The companies choose their trainees themselves according to their criteria. A specific school leaving certificate is not required by law. In practice, however, applicants with a middle school education have the best chances of getting an apprenticeship. Good performance in the subjects of technology, works, physics is welcome.

The dual training optimally prepares prospective aircraft mechanics for their future careers. At the vocational school, they acquire the theoretical fundamentals while developing their practical skills in the training company. The training content includes aircraft equipment, plastics processing, engine technology, aerodynamics and aeromechanics, sheet metal processing, and avionics. But the subjects of quality testing and quality assurance are also on the curriculum. Also, there are specific training content depending on the subject. In manufacturing technology, the participants deal with the basics of the construction of aircraft, flight mechanics, electronics, and relevant electrical and measurement technology. In the training company, the trainees get to know the everyday working life of an aircraft mechanic. You will learn how the individual work steps work and practice planning and performing them independently. They also learn how to use relevant computer programs, tools, and devices safely.

In addition to professional qualifications, personal and social skills are also critical when applying as an aircraft mechanic. Suitable applicants need a great deal of interest in mechanics, IT, and aircraft. Also, there is technical understanding and a careful working method: Prudence and a sense of responsibility help carry out various activities. The ability to concentrate and a right eye for observation are just as important. These features make troubleshooting aircraft components easier. Furthermore, the assembly of small components requires a steady hand and skill. Many employers also demand the ability to work in a team, commitment, and good physical condition.