Wow, time flies. Kind of like the airplanes at my school don’t. It’s hard for me to believe this, but I am one final exam away from completing my third quarter of airplane mechanic school. Here are some of the things I have learned in the past 2 months.

You can store hydraulic pressure up for later use, kind of like a hydraulic battery.

A“slinger ring” is a thing.

Some planes have rubber boots on their wings that inflate to break off ice. You patch them much the way you patch a bicycle inner tube, but the glue is more official.

It takes at least 7 people to jack up an airplane. It takes one person to screw up the jacking of an airplane. Fortunately I have never been that one person.

You would think that unneeded air from a pneumatic system would just … go somewhere, but it actually gets actively dumped overboard. Fortunately unneeded hydraulic fluid gets recycled in the system, or we would have very greasy skies.

According to a 1960s-era promotional video from Monsanto, you can get Skydrol hydraulic fluid on your contact lenses and it’s no big deal. Monsanto, propagandizing since mid-century.

That same video contained the phrase “in the woman’s kitchen.” Yeah . . .

Aviation is a field where my drive for cleanliness and order is not only tolerated but valued. Yay!

The outflow valve doesn’t care how smart you are, or how successful you might have been as an account manager at a purportedly monopolistic software company. Neither does the safety wire.

Some planes are a**holes. They just are.

It’s hard to describe how satisfying it is to work on something for days on end, and then, at the moment of truth, have it actually work. When the fuel gauge moves, or the landing gear swings, or the generator registers on the voltmeter – suddenly we’re not just playing with Fisher Price airplanes – they’re the real deal.

The laws governing the flow of electrons in an electrical system and the flow of fluid in a hydraulic system are surprisingly (at least to me) similar.

Learning all this stuff about airplanes, and seeing the dedication and expertise of the instructors makes me feel safer flying. And I already felt pretty safe.

It’s possible to keep “your mom” jokes running for weeks at a time.

Aviation terminology is rich with juvenile joke fodder. Orifices, especially. Lots of orifices.

Skydrol is heavier than water, so if you get it in your eyes, water will not do a very good job rinsing it out. However, it’s lighter than liquid coffee creamer. Therefore a couple of single-serving coffee creamer cups make great emergency eyewash in the event you get Skydrol to the eyes.

Posted by lesherjennifer

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