pilots vs maintenance guys. Round 1 goes to maint.

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by pb172, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. pb172

    pb172 Filing Flight Plan

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    Is there some sort of rift between pilots and maintenance guys? Today, I found out the hard way maint guys apparently don't get along w/pilots at my facility.

    I had a plane booked, but found it near the maint hangar. usually planes that are on flight line that are ready for use ARE NOT parked there. I asked a maintenance guy,..." hey is N...." in maintenance? He says, "check the board". I see on the board its ready for flight, but found it odd it was parked next to maint hangar. I cancelled the plane and got another for other reasons.

    Am doing instrument training right now. CFII states that maint guys do not talk to pilots!
    Is this normal out there? I did all my flying on military base aero clubs until now. I never saw that happen.

    Decided to just play nice and stay away from them. I'm the new guy I guess
     
  2. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    No, that is not the norm.
     
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  3. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    Hmmm... I'm a pilot and I talk to an A&P frequently. Thankfully not always about maintaining my plane. He's a nice guy and his hangar is a few doors down from mine.

    It could be in your case that wrenches don't talk to the pilots because there are many renters flying the sucker and they take their instructions only from the MX Officer in the club. That keeps the mechanic from enjoying chats all day that they are not authorized to work on.

    When I was in a club (14 owners) all squawks had to be reported to the MX Officer or Treasurer, and then the message went to the A&P. This kept cost, confusion, and some spurious reports in check.
     
  4. drjcustis

    drjcustis Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Bring them donuts, they’ll talk.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  5. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    This kind of cultural dynamic is highly localized, it might be true of your flight school, but could be completely different at another next door.
     
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  6. William Pete Hodges

    William Pete Hodges Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Part of what you are seeing is that you are a rental pilot, not an owner pilot. Mechanics make their living by working for the airplane owners, they are the ones paying them, not the renters. Once you buy your own plane that dynamic changes dramatically. I talk to my AI all the time. He is also a pilot and owns his own airplane, and his advice to me has always been sound. He'll talk to me anytime I ask.
     
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  7. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’d say it’s not normal. Some A&P or their boss created that environment and it continues. Maybe it’s a very unpleasant place to work and they are passing their displeasure off on you. You’ve got to have some line of communication between the two. On the other hand, if renters have created a poor attitude towards the the maintenance side they could be reacting to that. No psychologist here, but I try to think in these terms first when faced with stuff like this. This stuff is easier handled when it’s all under the same employer, but I do recall when renting planes long ago that there wasn’t much of a positive or active pilot group-maintenance Dept relationship.
     
  8. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

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    I consider my IA and A&P personal friends now. Especially when you have your own bird a solid relationship is important, you both have responsibilities and both will make each other’s responsibilities easier, safer, more effective rice if ya work together even if that doesn’t mean physically working together
     
  9. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Hard to say without knowing the mechanic's version of your conversation.;)
     
  10. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    My CFI was also the A&P - not an IA though.

    So it was difficult to not talk to the maintenance guy.
     
  11. pmanton

    pmanton Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I'm a pilot and A&P. I talk to myself regularly. :p
     
  12. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    If someone told me that, I'd probably go more out of my way to talk to them than I would normally.
     
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  13. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    As a rank&file renter, I was on a first name basis with the A&P in charge of a fairly large fleet. One time, I discovered a missing hinge pin from the copilot door around the same time he walked by. I asked if there was a spare handy, he looked around the ground, found it and pounded it back in. If I had been headed somewhere interesting, I probably would have brought back a dessert item for him.
     
  14. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have seen it both ways. I used to work at a place where the Director of Maintenance was a dyed in the wool pilot hater. We had a couple heated discussions, to the point that the owner of the business had to physically push us apart, and folks would get prepared whenever we were within earshot of each other.

    Another place I worked at the Director of Maintenance and I became great friends and worked together really well. If I wrote a squawk he knew it was an actual problem, plus he liked the write up because it would be complete. (heading indicator not working, vacuum gauge reads 4.5, all other vacuum instruments work as expected) I would also take time to fill out the inflight engine instrument logs.

    Some mechanics are like other folks and do not like to be disturbed when busy.
     
  15. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    So what's the DOM like at your air ambulance company you own?
     
  16. Magman

    Magman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Could it be the perception of Lowell on “Wings”?

    For a MIL view check out Dos Gringos recording of “I’m a Pilot”.

    That was not my experience though.

    I understand most ER Docs discourage visitors too.
     
  17. Cloudhound

    Cloudhound Pre-Flight

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    I don't see where Zeldman made mention of his company in his post, so why do you, Doc?
     
  18. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    There are pilots that do feel they are superior and cocky. There are MX guys that are the same way. Most times pilots and mechanics get along. But there are times you can find the cocky, better than you types in both.

    also was this the only mechanic at the place? Are there multiple? Maybe this one didn’t work on that plane, so he has no clue and told you to check and see where the information is.
     
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  19. pb172

    pb172 Filing Flight Plan

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    I enjoy flying and have decided to just stay away from them. Its their world in that hangar, ... I'll study the situation for a while. lol.
     
  20. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If your not comfortable talking with your maintenance people on a regular basis ,it’s time to find a new shop.
     
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  21. guzziguy

    guzziguy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    ABSOLUTELY CORRECT
     
  22. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm my own builder/pilot/mechanic and the older I get the more I talk to myself. I do that when I need the correct answer ... :p
     
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  23. Non Compos Mentis

    Non Compos Mentis Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How often do the pilot and A&P get into heated arguments?
     
  24. Oldmanb777

    Oldmanb777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Flying is the fun part of aviation. Working on arrogant pilots idiosyncrasies is not. It's cultural thing. You don't get in a mechanics tool box without express permission, kind of like touching his wife without permission. But you would be amazed how many pilots helped themselves to my tool box without asking. AND DON'T ask to borrow my tools, unless we are very good friends. It's universal. Nobody walks a mile in others shoes. The standard is, pilots are arrogant, over paid, under worked cry babies. "They are like seagulls, they sh*t and squawk all the time and you have to throw rocks at them to get them to fly." (I was told that by a scheduler) They couldn't understand why I was un- willing to deadhead 4 hours to fly a redeye after 6 days of 16 hr duty days. My FAR legal rest could be achieved on the deadhead in a middle seat in the tail end of coach. It's all about perception. They believe you have all the fun, they do all the work, you get all the pay and glory. So after a while of getting more work shoved at them by pilots who don't seem to appreciate what they do, they get tired of it and give it back. Not right, not good, but its human.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  25. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It varies. I know some mechanics with chips on their shoulders, but usually this is not the case. I’m an A&P/comm pilot and worked with pilot/A&Ps in my time. In fact in my shop all A&Ps flew as well. Some shops get that ingrained culture of us vs them” and thats not healthy for anybody. But when some wet CFI struts in trying to tell you your business it doesn’t go over well. Or, “hey my student has a check ride in 2 days, I need this 100 hr NOW.” Or some renter just parked the plane, walked away, and the next guy noticed a prop strike and/or smoked tires. Now we gotta “gang bang” this plane after hours just to make the flight school owner happy.
     
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  26. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Some butt holes are pilots, some are mechanics and some are neither one...
     
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  27. CA182R

    CA182R Pre-Flight

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    Maybe the maintenance guys are not A&P mechanics. Maybe they are car/other mechanics working a gig in a club/school under supervision of the DOM (company's A&P/IA), and they don't interact with pilots because they are told not to or they don't have time because they are on the clock. Also, they may not be familiar with the processes outside of the shop because somebody else handles those. Even for things that seem obvious from the outside.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  28. aterry1067

    aterry1067 Pre-Flight

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    A pilot decides to fly a hot air balloon. He takes off and catches an unexpected easterly gust. Miles off course, he chooses to land in a nearby field to find a solution. He lands the balloon and is greeted by a passerby. The pilot yells out to the passerby and the following exchange takes place:

    Pilot: "You there! I seem to have been blown off course. Can you tell me where I am?"
    Passerby: "Yessir. You are in a balloon in a field."
    The pilot responds "Ah. You must be a mechanic."
    The gentleman responds: "Well yes I am, but how did you know?"
    Pilot: "Because while what you tell me is factually correct, it is of no use to me whatsoever, and I demand more useful information."
    Mechanic: "Well, you certainly are a pilot, aren't you?"
    Pilot: "Of course. Why do you say that?"
    Mechanic: "Because you have no idea where you're going, no idea where you are, and no idea how you got here. And even though we just met, all of this is now somehow my fault and responsibility."
     
  29. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    ATP-H, CMEL, CSEL, CFI/CFII Airplanes and Helicopters
    There are some truths in aviation. Here are three of them:
    1. Pilots complain about pay
    2. Crews complain about pilots
    3. Mechanics complain about all three...
    Each place has it's own flavor. Depending on where you are operating, you may have a different approach. Some mechanics want complete write ups in the book and others want vagueness. As an airplane owner and a professional pilot, I talk regularly with the maintainers of the aircraft I fly.
     
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  30. N Everson

    N Everson Filing Flight Plan

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    These attitudes are stereotypical because it's unfortunately common. I have the distinct pleasure of being both an AP&IA and a pilot who has owned and operated airplanes. The attitude goes both ways for sure. I've seen pilots treat mechanics as though they are beneath them, and there is no excuse for that. At a big shop I worked as a mechanic, pretty much all the older guys hated pilots and had nothing nice to say about them - ever. I had the distinct impression that the pilots didn't deserve the amount of disgust directed at them. In my experience, and as a pilot, I tend to like other pilots better than mechanics.

    Bottom line is, respect people, treat them well, and your relationships will be better than the other guy. Besides, it pays dividends to treat the mechanics well. They (we) have far too many ways to screw with un-suspecting pilots and owners.
     
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  31. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    One thing I’ve learned in aviation is to respect ones domains. I never walk into the shop without asking for permission first. I never interrupt a mechanic when he/she is actively wrenching another plane. Respect their time. Diplomatically address differences of opinion.

    It goes without saying not to ask to borrow tools.

    As a pilot, proper pilot/mechanic etiquette is critical. While 90% of the time we deal with the same folks and build a rapport, how we deal with those 10% of mechanics who’ve we’ve never met before makes a difference in an AOG being a minor inconvenience, versus a huge, complicated, and expensive mess.
     
  32. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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  33. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Almost every AME (A&P) I've met loves airplanes and aviation, and won't stop talking about them to anyone who'll listen.

    If they didn't feel that way, why would they work in a G.A. shop on piston aircraft for less significantly money than they could earn working on cars or trucks, while having to fight with stingy aircraft owners over every penny on the invoice?
     
  34. falconkidding

    falconkidding Line Up and Wait

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    "Ops check good"
    "Yeah that plane does that"
    "Wont hurt anything"
    "Yeah we cant figure out why it does that"

    All things I've been told about obviously broken stuff.
    Mx at expressjet was pro though. Fast, knew the plane, wouldnt hesitate to ground it. Loved those guys.
     
  35. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
    S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

    P: Something loose in cockpit.
    S: Something tightened in cockpit.

    P: Dead bugs on windshield.
    S: Live bugs on back-order.

    P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
    S: Cannot reproduce the problem on the ground.

    P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
    S: Evidence removed.

    P: #2 Propeller seeping prop fluid
    S: #2 Propeller seepage normal – #1 #3 and #4 propellers lack normal seepage

    P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
    S: DME volume set to a more believable level.

    P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
    S: That’s what they’re for

    P: IFF inoperative.
    S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

    P: Suspected crack in windshield.
    S: Suspect you’re right.

    P: Number 3 engine missing.
    S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

    P: Aircraft handles funny.
    S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

    P: Target radar hums.
    S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics

    And the best one for last.

    P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
    S: Took hammer away from midget.
     
  36. Jim Lipscomb

    Jim Lipscomb Filing Flight Plan

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    New to the Forum, old to aviation. Started at 14, still going at 77; J-3 to MD-11; A&P.
    Yes, Pilots and mechs talk to each other all the time.
    I find myself doing it every day...
    cheers,
     
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  37. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    :yeahthat: When working on something I like to stay focused on the task at hand. Getting distracted is not on my list of fun

    On the other hand, when I worked for an air taxi I always made time to talk to a pilot who had squawks. The air taxi had about 30 float planes of various types. The standing joke when a pilot asked if we could fix the leaks in the floats was to take a rubber duck (bathtub toy) place it next to the floats and say "when the duck floats, we will fix the floats"....:rolleyes:

    All kidding aside, folks are folks everyone has a bad day. Aviation is a small community with some of the most helpful people around. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated goes a long way to opening the communication channel.
     
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  38. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't ever remember running into an incompetent mechanic. Incompetent maintenance managers are usually the problem.
     
  39. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    If the pilots and mechanics at my airport didn't talk I'd find a new airport.
     
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