Category: AVIATION

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Oakland Airport Without Electricity for at least an hour!

Today was a relatively routine day for the majority of the day. My work day started at 6am and I was at least half way through my second shift when the rain sprinkles some heavier than others picked up but didn’t seem too bad. Around 6:30pm while my fellow mechanics and I were hanging out inside the shop awaiting the next gate call we found ourselves caught rather off guard as we were surprised by a power outage. There were basic backup lights around but the whole airport appeared to be without it’s primary source of power. This lasted for over an hour! Without power, there is no internet and in this fancy day and age, without internet and power there are no phones. We work in the bottom level of the terminal building and rely on cell-phone repeaters throughout the airfield. These didn’t work either. Imagine an airport with no lights, no phones, no radios to dispatch us, no cell phones, no computers … and even badge scanners for doors that didn’t work. Overall we were all initially in shock of sorts. Our expectation was that any minute the lights would be back on. It was over an hour before power was restored. Our Maintenance office is in the lowest level of the building – quite isolated from the outside world until there is a reason to go outside. We had not been watching the news before the power out so no idea of the force of the wind outside. For an hour aircraft were diverted to other airports and only a few planes were allowed to depart. My understanding from a port official was that they were going to try and get as many planes out of Oakland as possible but limit the ones allowed to land. The...

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Aircraft Maintenance (line or hangar)

I don’t generally mention my career path to people.  I generally say I work for the airlines and kind of move on in the subject matter if possible.  I am most certainly not ashamed of my career path and I love my job and career field.  So what am I talking about? I am an A&P (Airframe and Powerplant) mechanic.  I am also reasonably experienced in Avionics (Aviation Electronics).  In more recent years we are referred to as Aircraft Maintenance Technicians.  In other countries we are Aircraft Engineers.  Overall – the general public can’t relate to my career field! This picture probably describes it best: There is so much truth in this picture it is hard to even explain. … Somehow when you refer to yourself as an Aircraft Mechanic/Maintenance Technician/ Aircraft Maintenance Engineer .. you have some sort of status … All of the ‘titles above’ refer to the exact same profession but you can see that just by the variety in terminology for the exact same job – not an easy profession to explain and others to grasp. Whenever someone starts asking about my job and all the cool intricacies I start with the worst system in the entire aeroplane.  Every mechanic, engineer, technician out there has a similar dread for this system yet it is the one system that every passenger passively counts on inadvertently. Are you thinking flight controls, engines, hydraulics?  We don’t dread on those systems – there is no job worse on any aircraft (that has them) than the lavatory! I only mention this as a reality check! The title of my post mentions ‘line or hangar’ these are two completely different breeds of technicians.  Hangar & line mechanics are are both highly skilled technicians.  The hangar technicians are ones who tend to specialise...

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