Since I am officially a real airline mechanic now, and not just an intern, I now feel qualified to have Big Opinions about the pros and cons of my new occupation. Also, I need a blog post and this seemed like a fun topic.

Pro:

Unfettered access to airplanes. You know how as a passenger your access to the plane is controlled by the jetway? The only part of the outside you get to see is the bit surrounding the doorway, as you board. And once you’re inside, it’s pretty much your seat and the bathroom. Well, inside I can look at ALL the seats and ALL the bathrooms, plus the flight deck (oddly we still call it the cockpit when we’re working. And, inside the plane is “upstairs”). And outside I can go up on lifts to do stuff on high parts of the plane, I can stick my head in the landing gear wells, I can go in the cargo compartments (not so exciting, actually) and I can make my way very carefully around in the equipment bays in the belly of the plane.

Con:

Even if a part of the plane is a very tight fit (like the equipment bay) or very high off the ground, or is a raw sewage line, I still have to work on it. Also, I have this nightmare vision that someday I’m going to trip in the equipment bay, slip off the platform and stick my foot through the skin of the plane.

Pro:

Rocketing around on the tarmac in an assortment of golf carts, lift trucks, vans, and pickups. I had no idea how much activity happens at the airport, that you never see from inside the plane. Now that I know what to look for, I realize you can see a fair bit from inside the terminal – take a look sometime – it’s fascinating, kind of like a Busytown book. It’s very fun and interesting to be out there among all the activity. There are luggage carts and tugs driving around, other mechanics, the people who clean the planes, the people who stock the food, the people who pump out the lavatories, and various contractors. Also, apparently there’s also this whole subterranean world under the airport, called the bag well, where the luggage gets put on the conveyer belts.

Con:

The vehicle pathways are painted on the tarmac – they resemble the striping and marking of regular roads. They cross the airplane pathways, which are very thick red and black lines. So, at various points on the trip from the hangar to the airplane I’m working on, I could conceivably cross paths with a giant, moving airplane. Which are oddly difficult to see at night. You would think that a white-painted object the size of a small apartment building would be easy to spot, but they kind of blend into the background.

Pro:

Jet engine oil and Aeroshell grease make nice hair styling products, in that when they’re in my hair it looks shiny and molds into a variety of flattering shapes.

Con:

I regularly get aviation petroleum products in my hair.

 

 

 

Posted by lesherjennifer

5 Comments

  1. As we head into the dreaded menopause, perhaps the petroleum products in the hair will be a positive addition…

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    1. Hahahahaha! Maybe as a moisturizer too.

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  2. Steve Rindsberg June 3, 2015 at 11:54 am

    You forgot to mention how much fun it is to mess with the passengers’ heads by doing Important Repairs to the engine. With duct tape.

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    1. Apparently that’s frowned upon … can you believe it?

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  3. So did you secure employment already? Keep on trucking…or planing.

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