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Aviation mechanic shortage

Old 13th Dec 2008, 02:35
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Aviation mechanic shortage

I just want to know how bad is the aircraft mechanic shortage. I work for a regional airline here in the US and we are so short of mechanic it is unbelievable. the bosses basically beg people to work overtime every day just to cover the shifts.
With all the airlines closing shop or downsizing you would think that finding mechanics would be easy but it is not. Just to give an example, a regional airline in atlanta just got a contract to fly about 25 CRJ900 for Delta and they need about 40 mechanics. So far they could only find very few.
Is Europe also going through the same shortage?
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Old 13th Dec 2008, 11:00
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How much does the job pay where you are?

That may have a lot to do with whether you can find decent guys.
I don't work in the US, but have heard that wages are not the best in the industry.
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Old 13th Dec 2008, 14:01
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I work for a large charter airline in the U.K. and of the 17 engineers at our base 13 of them are over 45. I think that is a worry for the future considering the rate at which the air travel is expanding. Flight International covered this with an editorial on the shortage of engineers and pilots this week. Industry, take note.
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Old 13th Dec 2008, 16:25
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mechanics/ENGINEERS

dont forget in Europe/rest of the world(besides USA) mechanics are "unlicenced"....to certify you need to be an "engineer".
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Old 13th Dec 2008, 18:30
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Don't know how 'well travelled' you are... but in the 27 states of EASA all "mechanics" are A-Licenced and Line Certifiers.
...unless you know different?
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 07:10
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That's not entirely true. It is not a requirement within my company (UK145) to hold an 'A' licence to work as a mechanic. There are a handful of mechanics we have that are employed without a Cat A, the only difference being they cannot sign for anything so they are effectively just a 'pair of hands'.
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 12:24
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but in the 27 states of EASA all "mechanics" are A-Licenced and Line Certifiers.
That's not entirely true.
It's not true at all. While several companies, especially non-UK ones, are beginning to want A licences on their line stations, there are fitters and mechanics working throughout the EU without any EASA AME Licence.

Mind you, it is becoming increasingly true that mechanics, especially contractors, will do themselves a lot of good by obtaining an A Licence (not necessarily a long or very difficult process for most), and then think about going on to a B while working with the A to obtain the documented work record needed.
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 15:56
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Whatever you want to call it...mechanics in the US are the equivilent of "engineers" elsewhere. In the US an engineer requires a degree...in engineering, and most hold at least a masters or higher...and engineers don't perform work on airplanes. Semantics, and irrelevant.

There's no shortage of mechanics from what I see. We're in the process of letting some 500 go, along with a number of pilots and flight engineers, too.
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 16:13
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In the US an engineer requires a degree...in engineering, and most hold at least a masters or higher...and engineers don't perform work on airplanes. Semantics, and irrelevant.
While most engineers have degrees, there are many, like myself, that held engeering jobs without formal education. Hands on experience is sometimes worth more than book learing.
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 20:10
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In the UK from my perspective (major airline) there is a shortage of skilled labour. This has resulted in recent years in a number of Far Eastern contractors being employed to fill the gap.

Compared to the USA we have a much smaller pool of experienced/skilled staff to draw from. This is partially due to the reduction to almost zero of an aircraft industry and the number of Forces leavers drying-up. In addition, most youngsters perceive any job which involves getting your hands dirty as "un-cool" If you factor in the number in the industry due to retire in the next 5 10 years there are serious problems ahead!
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 20:59
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In some states, one cannot call oneself "engineer" without obtaining the PE credentials. Self taught need not apply
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 21:04
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My apologies to those with, what I term as, "Fitters" working in 145 hangar environments. I do acknowledge your jobs and indeed expertise in what you do. I was of course refering mainly to Line operations where Part 66 LMCM's are Certifying Mechanics (in the EASA sense!)

Boeing Eng - All we need to do is to swap "UK" into your missive on the shortfalls of recruiting new blood the USA.
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 22:27
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Hands on experience is sometimes worth more than book learing.
I'd say hands-on experience is always worth more than book learning, but one has to start somewhere.
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Old 14th Dec 2008, 22:31
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How much does the job pay where you are?
In the US, you are right, we dont really get paid well for what we do. However, in this economy with everybody else cutting jobs and laying people off it is not a bad idea to consider aviation maintenance as a career.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 03:10
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In some states, one cannot call oneself "engineer" without obtaining the PE credentials. Self taught need not apply
Having worked in ten (10) different countries (states) and at least that many different States I never had anyone question my qualifications or see my credentials. I was there to tell them how to fix their aircraft and thats all they cared about.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 08:58
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In the USA all Aircraft Maintenance Staff are refered to as Mechanics or AMTs. Not just the A&Ps, even the IA's. Simply a terminology thing, nothing else.

Indeed the issues at hand absolutely are the drop in general standards & the shortage of 'decent guys' refered to by Unstable Load. Where I presently work, we have a few B1s with little comprehension of a 6
bladed VP propellor and a couple of B2s that cannot troubleshoot a
cabin lighting system let alone an A/P snag -so yes, the EASA system
is still no guarantee of a decently trained or experienced type rated LAE/Mechanic.

Note: Falsifying your PER (Maintenance Record) does not help, at all.

Not many people really want to undertake the basic training and depth of work experience (see Boeing Engs comments) for precisely the reasons stated - its a massive investment, and in comparision not as rewarding as other careers given the responsibility.

At present, in Europe there are at least 2 impending court cases, Helios(Greece) & Spanair(Spain) where certifying personnel have followed
procedures (As nearly all of us do) yet find themselves now indicted.

Just what example is that setting and what do the NAA's, EASA or ICAO do to actually enhance an SMS? SFA...

BAe146???
www.alae.org & www.airengineers.org
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 14:56
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A&p "mechanic"

I have seen the standard of workmanship in mro`s in the USA and around the world as a tech rep...........
I wouldnt let 99% of usa "A&P MECHANICS" repair my bike....
common sense seemed to be missing!!
Perhaps thats why the money in USA is shite...?
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 15:41
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Wellung

Many non-FAA LAE's readily sign up to that perception of the average FAA A&P Mechanic. Its true there are some real rednecks (As EASA Part 66 can increasingly confirm) BUT there are also a great number of highly experienced, knowledgeable, diligent & competent qualified FAA AMTs.

BAe146???
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 16:18
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BAe, and others. Don't waste your time with Wellung; he's a prize prat. This was his today's comment on the Lufthansa Constellation restoration thread in Aviation History and Nostalgia.

excuse me while I vomit........get a life girls.
Just the sort of guy you need in the hangar.

PS. Wellung and Wizen Weltravelled are one and the same.

Last edited by forget; 15th Dec 2008 at 16:41.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 16:37
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Who cares what they are called...mechanics, engineers....we all know what we are talking about here.

In the UK, I see the shortage of engineers being due to relatively low wages when compared to other industries (considering the shift hours being put in and responsibility held) and the length of time and expense it takes to obtain an EASA pt66 licence.
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