Working in the Aviation MRO Industry
An MRO Organization - where MRO is the acronym of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul - is an essential entity in the Aerospace Industry, able to maintain different Aircraft and Helicopter models airworthy.
Today, more and more MRO Organizations are Service Centers, highly specialized in maintenance of a specific Aircraft model or family, in strong partnership with the Aircraft manufacturer to solve technical issues and to ensure fast and reliable support for spare parts.
Maintenance tasks may include inspection, parts replacement, overhaul, modifications and repair, not only on the Aircraft, but also on components, such as wheels, brakes, valves and avionics.
The list of an MRO Organization’s Capabilities is detailed on a fundamental Quality document, the so called MOE (Maintenance Organisation Exposition), including a list of all employed Technicians with their valid Licenses.
MRO Companies rely on experienced Technicians and Avionic Engineers, most of the time moved to work in this challenging branch of the Aviation Market by passion and dedication.
To become an Aircraft Technician, you must attend the EASA Part 147 School, to obtain the Part 66 AML (Aircraft Maintenance License), or an FAA Approved Aviation Maintenance Technical School to obtain the A&P License (Airframe and Power Plant). Once the License is achieved, you usually get an IA (Inspection Authorization) for the FAA or a CA (Certification Authorization) for the EASA.
Team Work, flexibility, strong sense of Responsibility, problem solving skills and, as mentioned, Passion and Dedication are necessary requirements to be part of the Aviation MRO world.
MRO Technicians will constantly be part of a specific Maintenance Team where each one of them will have a role, with the lead of their Supervisor.
Working hours could be subject to shifts; depending on the schedule of a project, it may also happen that Technicians could be working some overtime, which is why being flexible is a must in this sector.
All Technicians must periodically attend various refresh courses to ensure they are up-to-date on the Platforms they are licensed to work, and that they maintain a high-level safety focus.
Human Factors for example, as seen in our previous post, is one of those courses that must be renewed every one or two years, depending on the course duration.
MRO Organisations’ tasks are divided in two main categories:
The Aircraft maintenance activity is held in the operating environment (apron). The Aircraft is subject to specific, easy, rectification tasks and replacement of any component identified as Line Replaceable Unit. Approximately every 100-150 hours of flight the aircraft undergoes an inspection called A-Check;
The Aircraft maintenance activity occurs in the Hangar. During this maintenance process, the Aircraft is subject to scheduled checks and investigations, thanks to Pilots reports on defects and the constant contact with the Aircraft CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation), which is designed by the Aircraft Property and is responsible to duly manage the Aircraft in terms of airworthiness, maintenance deadlines, findings and tasks issuing towards the MRO.
Unlike the Line Maintenance, the Base Maintenance covers more accurate and important tasks such as C and D checks.Base maintenance requires more time demanding projects such as interior refurbishment, structural work, and replacement on critical components.
The most important Base Maintenance Inspections are divided into 3 categories:
1) B-Checks, made approximately every 6 to 8 months or every 400-500 flight hours, it is completed within 1 to 3 days, a detailed examination of systems and components is made without disassembling the entire aircraft parts;
2) C-Checks, made approximately every 15 to 24 months or every 3000 flight hours, it is completed within 2 weeks. This check requires an inspection of most of the aircraft components and a repair program is made on the aircraft engines and systems;
3) D-Checks, made approximately every 6 years or 20.000 flight hours, requires a major structural inspection where the aircraft is dismantled, and a complete inspection and overhaul is made inside out, even the engines are removed and inspected. Once everything is repaired all parts of the aircraft are put back together. The check could last 2 months.
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