What should A+Ps avoid doing

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Let'sgoflying!, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    15,101
    Location:
    west Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave Taylor
    Got good advice for young friend wanting to start a shop on what should be done.
    Thought it might be helpful to approach it also from "what to not do".

    Try to avoid your specific beef with an A+P and give a "general guideline".

    Thanks
     
  2. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,560
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cap'n Jack
    Post beyond their knowledge and be argumentative on aviation forums?
     
  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    19,653
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    popcorn image.png
     
  4. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    46
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    JScarry
    Don’t complain about your other customers to me. If you complain about them to me, what are you saying about me to them?
     
  5. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,560
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cap'n Jack
    Likewise, unless there is truly an immediate safety issue, don't complain about the work of other mechanics. There may be several reasonable ways to fix something, and you can only control your own work.
     
    JScarry likes this.
  6. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,312
    Location:
    Statesville NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Grum.Man
    You should not complain to your customer about being busy. You should not ignore voice mail and e-mails.
     
    James331 likes this.
  7. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    3,491
    Location:
    Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    coloradobluesky
    Dont do unnecessary repairs so you can charge the plane owner for it and make more for yourself. Don't install the part if it's not the right part. Getting the right part is difficult, sometimes the most difficult task.
     
    James331 likes this.
  8. FlySince9

    FlySince9 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    Huntersville, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jerry
    This is a big one.... should set aside time every day to respond to your customers inquiries... Good-Will goes a long way in the success of a business (especially a fledgling one)
     
  9. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    27,629
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Do not give credit to dead beat owners.
    Don't sign log books until you've been paid.
    Don't give stickers to owners to place in their logs.
    Don't take on long term projects unless you own them.
    Do make friends with your PMI.
    Do treat your customers as you would like to be treated.
    Always ask your PMI what they want to see in block 8 prior to sending in the field approval.
     
    Paulie likes this.
  10. Bell206

    Bell206 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    390
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    And I'll continue on...

    Don’t lie to a customer.
    Don’t cheat a customer.
    Don’t misrepresent yourself to a customer.
    Don’t ignore a customer—if you can’t/won’t work for them tell them up front and why.
    Don’t assume a customer understands the complete maintenance process.
    Don’t offer a maintenance opinion without providing proper references.
    Don’t perform maintenance on a customer’s aircraft without his consent.
    Don’t undercut or worry about the “other” guy—charge a fair wage and remember after today you become the “other” guy.
    Don’t over-estimate yourself.
    Don’t forget you can say “no.”
    and…

    Don’t put up with any BS from the select, know-it-all, gods-of-the-sky type customers who think the sole purpose of your profession is to screw them over. Politely and diplomatically show them the door and wish them a good day.
     
    Paulie and ETres like this.
  11. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    8,939
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    What goes here?
    So... don't engage in tomfoolery?

    :dunno:
     
  12. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    27,629
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Always take the time to explain to your customer why you are required to do it a certain way.
     
    ETres likes this.
  13. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,552
    Location:
    Owensboro, KY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Skyrys62
    tom-foo-le-ry
    tom-foo-la-rah
    tom-foo-le-reeeeee
    tom-foo-la-rah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah
     
  14. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,552
    Location:
    Owensboro, KY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Skyrys62
    I have no idea why I posted that
     
  15. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Messages:
    4,889
    Location:
    Home will always be Vandalia, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GlennAB1
  16. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    27,629
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Simply joining the mob.
     
  17. Non Compos Mentis

    Non Compos Mentis Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Messages:
    248
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Non Compos Mentis
    Bad, but common business model: "Maximize every invoice"
    While one may think this is the way to profitability, it leaves a trail of unhappy customers, who will likely go elsewhere with their next maintenance needs.

    The proper business model: To build a long list of repeat customers.
    -Treat them fairly
    -Always be truthful
    -Communicate often
    -Keep logbooks neat, tidy and clearly legible
    -Keep the shop neat and tidy
    -Admit you are human
    -Never trust a banker.
     
  18. Non Compos Mentis

    Non Compos Mentis Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Messages:
    248
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Non Compos Mentis
    Why not?
     
  19. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    27,629
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    I want to know the sticker went into the book. And the FAA guidance at IA renewal they do not advise it.

    What it really boils down to is simply, does the sticker comply with FAR 43 for the items required.
     
  20. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    27,629
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    We A&Ps are not always aware of what we will find, and most be able to openly converse with owners. when we find things that are a surprise, lots of times owners try to hold us to the original estimate, when that isn't a fair thing to do.
     
  21. Vaflier

    Vaflier Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    Wachapreague Va.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Vaflier
    In my job whenever I give a customer a written estimate it specifies exactly what will be done. It also includes a statement that, Any additional work found to be needed will be at additional cost and will only be performed with prior written aproval from the customer. Have never had a problem as a result. Good communication is cheap and saves a lot of time, agravation and money for all parties.
     
  22. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    27,629
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    What then happens when you find a big expensive problem that the owner is not capable to pay? are you going to put it back together ?
     
  23. Vaflier

    Vaflier Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    Wachapreague Va.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Vaflier
    I will work with the customer to find a workable solution, but I will never compromise the quality of my work or safety just to save a dollar. Repeat Never.
     
  24. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    27,629
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    The quality of your work was never in question.
    Would you or your employer allow credit to the customer to get the aircraft out of the shop?
    What policies do you employ the resolve the problem?
     
  25. Bell206

    Bell206 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    390
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206

    When it comes to customer relations, communication is paramount. But memory retention never seems to keep up.

    I used a written form of communication with my customers. Nothing formal like an estimate, more like a work request. When computers hit the scene I was able to fine tune it and used that form till I stopped working.

    The other reason I used a written form was I didn’t have a shop per se but assisted owners in their hangars. Since I worked a variety of different hours and usually on a semi-tight schedule due to the day job, I didn’t always have a chance to meet with the owner face to prior to working on their aircraft.

    I also needed the written side to keep the jobs separated as I might have 3 or 4 different jobs going (assisted or non-assisted) and I didn’t want to mix up anyone’s requirements especially if I had 3 172s going at the same time.

    We started with posted notes on the windshield or clipped in the map holder on the yoke. I moved to letters slipped in the logbooks as we had a rash of post-it notes go missing. It worked well but I still had a few issues.

    So I bumped it up a notch and went with a simple one page “work request” form with check boxes at the top, blank lines at the bottom, and a signature line. The owner checked what he wanted, filled out anything else and signed it. Any new requests got a new sheet.

    With technology they would fill it out, scan it and email it, allowing me to start planning even before I touched the aircraft. It really worked for those owners that lived down the road a piece. But each person has their own needs and this one worked for me.

    As for labels/stickers I let the owner decide as he is the legal custodian of the aircraft record. I fully understand how some mechanics don’t prefer labels, especially if they have been caught in a “he said/she said” situation on whether the work was performed. I made copies of my signed labels as a record for myself, but labels meet the requirements of 43 and 91.
     
    AKBill likes this.
  26. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    19,653
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    You're a poet and didn't know it!
     
  27. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Messages:
    4,889
    Location:
    Home will always be Vandalia, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GlennAB1
    A&P's should avoid telling owners "what they would do" because, "what they would do" is not what owners can do.
     
  28. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,944
    Location:
    DXO124009
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Light and Sporty Guy
    Don't do "Pre-buy" inspections?
     
  29. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Messages:
    4,889
    Location:
    Home will always be Vandalia, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GlennAB1
    Or, if you do, charge enough so you can afford errors and omissions insurance.
     
  30. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4,392
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dan Thomas
    Fix cars instead. People really need their cars and willingly pay to have them fixed. Lots less liability, too. And there are lots of parts available for cars. And there are almost no 1970s or '60s or '50s cars on the road.
     
  31. Bell206

    Bell206 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    390
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    Better read the fine print. Most "business" type insurance policies don't cover aviation work.
     
  32. Bell206

    Bell206 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    390
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    Diesel mechanic with heavy equipment operator certificate. Better money and options. For the big money, crane mechanic and operator. But I never liked heights if I was connected to the ground.
     
  33. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Messages:
    4,889
    Location:
    Home will always be Vandalia, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GlennAB1
    I'd rather be associated with aviation.
     
    Bell206 likes this.
  34. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Messages:
    4,889
    Location:
    Home will always be Vandalia, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GlennAB1
    Of course, always read the fine print.
     
  35. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Naples fl
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    paulie
    I won't use stickers, always write directly onto the page.
     
  36. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    3,948
    Location:
    Vail, Arizona
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Timbeck2
    Don't tell a customer you'll be at their hangar and never show up without an explanation. Don't get a bad reputation for being flaky.
     
  37. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    15,644
    Location:
    Behind you!
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Well seeing how some of the biggest certificate holders use stickers for stuff, I'd say yes.

    Also why would I pay you for your time, buy parts etc, and not put the logbook entry you gave me in, I mean if I wanted undocumented work why would I bother paying a APIA for it, anyone can do undocumented work lol


    Depends, are we talking about finding something on a annual?

    Seems many APIAs don't understand what a annual is, it is a inspection, and when someone pays for it they pay for the plane to be disasssmebled as required and re assembled, doing the work on any snags is often also delegated to the APIA, however that is not always the case, nor is it required.

    If I pay you for the inspection, you find a issue that I don't have the money to fix, don't want YOU to fix, or whatever, you still have been contracted to finish the rest of your inspection and put the plane back the way you found it, complete with a list of any snags that need to be addressed. Refusing to reassemble is not only a sketchy way to try to force me to give you more busiesss, but in the above situation it's also showing of a lack of professionalism and a probably a breach of contract.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    bflynn likes this.
  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    44,775
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    “This sticker void if not affixed to the aircraft maintenance logbook.”

    Done.

    And tell them to send you a cell phone photo after it’s affixed, and file it with your copy of whatever was on the sticker, if you’re really paranoid. If they can’t figure out how to take a picture with a phone these days, flying may not be their best choice of hobby. It’s pretty easy.

    Take your own photo of your copy of the sticker and theirs side by side right after they’re printed if you think some psycho is modifying your stickers after you give them to him or her.

    The best part about the stickers is not having to try to read some mechanic’s chicken scratch to figure out what happened years ago. Illegible entries are so utterly annoying.

    A printed sticker is actually readable and can fit a lot of useful information into a very small amount of space. The recent stickers with appropriate signatures look a hell of a lot better and more professional than Dr. Scribblefingers $0.10 Bic pen blobbed entries from the early 80s — in our logbooks, anyway.

    Can’t think of a shop around here that doesn’t do it. Some might ask to affix the stickers themselves, but they’re all doing stickers these days. If nothing else because they’re always legible.
     
  39. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    27,629
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    In this case, I'd simply sign off the annual as un-airworthy. because if it is not in a condition for safe operation it is not airworthy.
    but with your attitude you need not worry about me doing any thing for you. Simply because I don't work for those who want to argue
     
    Paulie likes this.
  40. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    27,629
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    I think you have forgotten that poor hand writing is an A&P's best insurance. :)
     
    denverpilot likes this.