One thing we can do in the aviation industry which will result in both increasing the average A&P’s earnings, and their professional image is to modify the way we go about recording and maintaining the maintenance history and airworthiness of each aircraft we operate.
We all know that aircraft maintenance is a critical aspect to aviation safety, and the certified and uncertified technicians that do this work are really the industry’s unsung heroes.
However, it is the Certificated A&P technicians that generally create the logbook entries required by Title 14 CFR Part 43, and maintain the aircraft’s records over the course of the aircraft’s lifetime.
Properly maintaining and updating these records accurately, and in an orderly manner, is key to eliminating errors, omitting information, and reflecting the quality product that is expected when using a skilled professional.
To enable A&P mechanics to excel in aircraft records management, it is crucial to incorporate a comprehensive education program into their training and continuing education. This curriculum should cover key areas such as:
- Documentation Requirements: Educating A&P Technicians about the various documents that comprise aircraft records, including Title 14 CFR Part 43 documents, Airworthiness Directives, Service Bulletins, Form 337s, 8130-3 Airworthiness Tags, etc. This knowledge will allow them to navigate and understand these documents thoroughly and effectively.
- Record Keeping Practices: Teaching best practices for maintaining accurate and organized records; emphasizing the importance of attention to detail, of being meticulous, and using standardized procedures. This includes guidance on proper data entry, document archiving, and the use of digital record-keeping systems.
- Regulatory Compliance: Providing in depth knowledge of relevant regulations such as the Federal Aviation Regulations (Title 14 CFRs) and even International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards. Every A&P should be well versed in the requirements of record retention, record accessibility, and record inspections.
- Electronic Recordkeeping Systems (a 21st century requirement): Familiarizing A&Ps with modern electronic recordkeeping system such as aircraft maintenance software, recordkeeping, and maintenance tracking. Training should focus on navigating these systems, entering data accurately, and utilizing their features to streamline recordkeeping processes.
Incorporating enhanced education on aircraft records management into the training and continuing education of A&P mechanics will yield substantial benefits.
By bolstering their knowledge in these areas, A&Ps can unlock higher earning potential, contribute more to aircraft safety and compliance, and cultivate a more professional image within the aviation industry itself.
And the time to start is … now!