Have You Hugged Your Mechanic Today?

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Want to go to the airport…but wx sucks.  Now what?  Hold on.  Today might be a perfect day to enjoy aviation for a fraction of the regular cost.  Consider calling ahead and asking either your flight school or fbo shop to see if you can stop by.  You may not have had the opportunity before, or been too busy to socialize with the professionals keeping us airborne, but today could be a fun and new experience.

If one of the mechanics has a free moment, she / he might be able to show you some things that are both interesting and will help make you become a more well rounded pilot.  As an example, I remember when I was a full time flight instructor, there were more students than not who had no idea what or why they were checking certain items on their run up.  I’m sorry but “because the checklist says so” is not an ok answer as to why you are checking something.  Your local mechanic may also be able to show or explain something better than your CFI can (….and doesn’t charge ground instruction time).  Everyone has done a “mag check” but what are you actually checking?  I have met very few people (professionals included), who know what’s happening and why when they turn that key to L, R, and both.  Most just say max drop…Max differential…

The mechanic may also enjoy showing you something that may make his day a little easier.  One example I can think of is the importance of leaning after landing so the plugs are in good shape for the next start.

He may have an airplane already opened up for an inspection.  This would be a great time to “look under the hood” and ask some questions.  “Whats that…how’s that work…..why does my checklist say….why do I have a volt and amp meter…when should I look at either?”

Airframe and Powerplant mechanics are also some of the neatest people I have hung around with.  Don’t let the dirty fingernails fool you.  Aviation Maintenance Technicians are very smart.  Most love aviation and history to boot.  Many have great stories and our maintenance professionals help keep us safe and in the air.  Getting to know some of your local Techs can also be great if you have a question on a preflight or may be thinking about owning someday.

Have You Hugged Your Mechanic Today

Have you hugged your mechanic today?  If not maybe you could offer a pizza delivery instead for the guys in the shop keeping you cool.  Every one knows when the prop stops, pilots start sweating.




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