Sunday, February 16, 2014

First Week in the Hangar

Last Monday I started working in the hangar at MMS! I had been looking forward to that day for quite some time, and was glad to finally get to work! As expected, however, they don't set new apprentices loose on aircraft right away. The first couple days involved a safety briefing, introduction to the shop equipment, and a "pre-service" orientation. After that, I began my "basic training", which will give me a foundational understanding of the tools and methods used in aircraft maintenance and repair. I was also assigned the responsibility of opening the hangar for the next few months, which will help me to be intimately familiar with the facility.

This week's basic training involved an overview of the tools used in aircraft maintenance, and the processes used for ordering and receiving parts at MMS. I learned about aircraft hardware, as well as safety wiring techniques used on airplanes. I practiced fabricating rigid and flexible fluid lines, and learned about the different types of lines that are used in the aircraft I'll be working on at MMS. Finally, I began working on my first sheet metal project, which involves cutting, drilling, and riveting aluminum sheets. 

My basic training is expected to last about a month, and after that I will begin working on aircraft under the supervision of licensed mechanics. I still need to learn additional metal forming techniques, control cable fabrication, welding, and more. There are also aircraft-specific regulations that I will need to be familiar with. There is a lot to learn, and I'm looking forward to putting my new skills into practice as I help to prepare airplanes for worldwide mission service!

Below is a picture of my new "desk", and some of the airplanes in the hangar. I plan to post some more photos (and hopefully a video) soon, so stay tuned!

The red toolbox is my new "desk". It sure beats sitting in a cubicle! In the background is MAG's Cessna 206, which will be heading to Guatemala when it is complete. On the left is a Cessna 182 belonging to Moody Bible Institute.

A few of the airplanes being stored in Hangar C. On the left is a Cessna 172 that belongs to Brigade Air. It had previously been restored by MMS (video here).