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Old 09-21-2018, 05:56 AM   #11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian102001 View Post
How do you lose your medical? What if your healthy.
How about a database of medications that will disqualify you for a medical?
How about slipping on the ramp or the jet bridge stairs in winter time?
How about a car accident?
How about any accident, sports or around the house?
How about a seizure?
A stroke?
A heart attack when youíre 38?
A tropical disease?
Anything anybody genetically related to you is currently suffering from that just may have a hereditary component?
Do we need to continue?
Seriously?!

Great piece by the way JB.
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Old 09-21-2018, 06:31 AM   #12  
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An A&P is not a good alternative to any job!
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Old 09-21-2018, 06:59 AM   #13  
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I should point out that one of the single best certifications I have outside of flying in the cockpit is turning wrenches. I've been doing it as long as I've flown, and have been maintaining airplanes for a lifetime, now. It's given me work when there was none, kept me busy between seasons, given me a second income, given me a first income, put me in my first jet-job, given me places to live several times, and on more occasions than I care to count, saved my life.

I am as much a mechanic as I am a pilot, and from an early age as a teen it was made clear that if I were to press forward as a pilot, I had better know the machines as well as any mechanic, ergo, should be one. Before I could fly I was told I should start buying tools and I did. They're one of the best investments I have, and should my medical go away tomorrow and I'm unable to do both, I will have a career that can support me and my wife.

Obtain your A&P and with a few college credits more you'll have a two year degree; a springboard four year degree that can be in whatever you want, from ITT to law enforcement to law to business.

When others were having trouble finding work upon large scale furloughs, I found work immediately turning wrenches, and immediately thereafter flying and work as a check airman; the ability to do both counts and put me in line for work when I'd have not had that opening without the certification.

A friend spends his spare time wrenching. He works seasonally as a pilot, has his spring, fall and winter off, and turns wrenches for a few people, mostly on experimentals. He's in demand. He makes good money. He owns new cars, trades up when he feels like it, owns his house, sets money aside, and has time to do the things he wants to do; mostly mountain biking and other such activities. He meets people, has a good life. He's an excellent mechanic, and he springboards off that to do other things. He's built several airplanes for people. He works when he wants to work, and takes time when he wants to do other things. He has options.

What started a long time ago as a kid has become somewhat of a passion. When I learn a new aircraft type, I learn it as a pilot but also as a mechanic. I enjoy the precision of a complex sheet metal repair. I like to weld. To work with sealant, to rig controls, inspect a structure, replace a cylinder, hang an engine. I enjoy the attention to detail in dressing a propeller blade, stop drilling a crack, and the subtle details of a good safety wire job. There's certainly satisfaction in arriving at the bottom of a low-minimums instrument approach and finding a runway exactly where it should be, but likewise there's a perfection and symmetry to dismantling an airplane, shipping it half way around the world and reassembly it to find that it does exactly as it should because you've done your part. Or simply changing the oil in someone's Cessna, or repacking a wheel bearing, or spending the day dissecting the maintenance records for an airplane to put it on a tracking program.

Maintenance is a valued profession, and for those of us who didn't drop our or fail in our maintenance careers, a well respected one.

There are those who place no value in maintenance; this is invariably a sign of a disgruntled employee or simple ignorance, often of both. It's a great skill and certification to have, one that's served me a lifetime of benefit and continues to do so, and one that employs hundreds of thousands of others. There are those who will say that maintenance is dead in the US, but they speak from ignorance and a failed career, and don't know whence they speak. It's alive and strong, and always looking for more people. Jobs are always out there, from manufacturing to line maintenance to repair stations, component repair, avionics, and beyond. My son, a military mechanic at the moment, has been mulling his choices upon separation, should he choose to do so. A number of his friends are making excellent money in aerospace, some working at places such as Space-X. The field is wide open, but whether one chooses to do it for a backup, a concurrent profession, or a full time dedicated job (I've done all three for several decades), it's an excellent investment. Even if you never turn a wrench it's an excellent investment in time and education and will benefit your flying career.
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Old 09-21-2018, 11:16 AM   #14  
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I also would suggest a degree in business or management. Just something to have. If you're stubborn like I am and would want to stay in the industry than maybe get an Aviation Management degree.

JB is spot on btw.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:23 PM   #15  
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Well JB, I admire your passion. I have always found better offers in other industries whenever I was looking. That is the NO.1 reason I say forget aviation MX. There has always been plenty of new and/or displaced A&Ps keeping wages depressed. Just like with pilots, only theres no chance of ever recouping the loss later in life. The only exceptions are the very few 18-20yo kids that get on directly with a major or are born into a family owned maintenance business. From my prospective, less than 10% of all working A&Ps do better than the average blue collar worker.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:49 PM   #16  
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Too bad JohnBurke blocked me over a petty BS argument in another thread, if he could read this I’d tell him that these are some really good posts. A lot of wisdom, and I respect the guys like him who have really been there and done that in aviation.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:29 AM   #17  
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Here's a great Plan B:

Don't be a fool with your money. Live on a LOT less than you make but, live well.

When the airline goes under, or you medical out, you will have no need to work or stress about money.



Good Luck.

Stimpson
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:40 AM   #18  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbo View Post
From my prospective, less than 10% of all working A&Ps do better than the average blue collar worker.
What do you consider the median income to be for blue collar workers? How about average hourly wages? What do A&Pís make? How about airline A&Pís? What does it cost to get your A&P?

I have an idea myself, curious what you base your statement on?
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Old 09-22-2018, 02:43 PM   #19  
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What do you consider the median income to be for blue collar workers? How about average hourly wages? What do A&Pís make? How about airline A&Pís? What does it cost to get your A&P?

I have an idea myself, curious what you base your statement on?
I'm comparing local wages in the DFW metroplex. Hourly rates depend on the employer more than the particular job. Some pay well most do not. A&Ps make the same or about $1/hr more than other techs at any particular airline. Just like pilots, some will work for free. Some can fetch $100/hr. Airline A&Ps? Some make $12/hr, some over $50, all doing the exact same job. An A&P certificate will cost whatever an experience signoff costs and whatever an examiner charges. Some guys spend 40K at Riddle, others get a letter and take the test. My statements are based on 30 years experience in this industry.
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Old 09-22-2018, 05:20 PM   #20  
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My comments are based on several decades experience as an aircraft mechanic...but we do have a poster here, whom I've blocked, who claims such experience, and doesn't have it. He lasted bout ten years before he quit, and has appointed himself the missionary of pessimism on aviation maintenance. I blocked him because his information is routinely so wildly inaccurate as to constitute a lie (much like his claim of experience). It doesn't reflect the reality of working in aviation maintenance. Not in the slightest.
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