Growing up the son of an aircraft mechanic, there was always a lot of confusion when someone asked me what my father did for a living. I would tell them that he was a mechanic which they quickly associated with cars. Then I would have to explain that he was an AIRCRAFT mechanic not an AUTOMOTIVE one or that he was an aircraft MECHANIC and not an aircraft ENGINEER. Then I would surprisingly have to deal with what he actually did on a daily basis. After about several years of being asked, I got pretty good at explaining what my father actually did
Aircraft mechanics have one duty and that is to make sure the plane is in the safest condition to transport these passengers. It is critical that you remember that there are hundreds of lives on planes. These lives are at the hands of these mechanics. There is no room for error. One little mistake could mean life and death for hundreds of people. To fulfill this duty, they have several pivotal responsibilities which include:
They must examine certain parts of the plane the engines
While this may seem like an insignificant duty, it is very critical to the safety of the plane. If somekind of failure were to occur during a flight, this is where the FAA and the company would turn to look for a cause. Without maintenance records, supervisors would not know if a mechanic did their work or not because of this supervisors check these diligently after every shift. My father, who is sometimes negligent, forgets to sign off that he has done a repair. On these occasions, my father has been forced to return to the airport, so that he can sign the forms.
They must examine certain parts of the plane
Mechanics have to examine the engines after every single flight to see if they are functioning properly. While this may seem extreme and unnecessary, again remember they have hundreds of lives in their hands. They must also check for cracks and corrosion in this wings and tail. Any kind of cracks no matter how small can ruin the flight path.
They must replace and repair defective parts
This responsibility is what mechanics are usually associated with. This includes everything from replacing tires to just fixing the fans or the seats. They fix every little thing on the airplane even the toilets. There are no such thing airplane plumbers just mechanics.
They must troubleshoot problems
Even if they are not told of a problem by their supervisor, they have to check for any kind of defects on the plane. This is deeply ingrained into mechanics. Even when we are just flying somewhere on vacation, my father checks to see if anything is wrong with things like the seats.