Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tools of the Trade: Top 10 Items our AMEs and Pilots Couldn't Live Without

Airplanes are of course the main feature visible to anyone visiting the Vintage Wings hangar.  No less permanent a fixture however are the large tool chests scattered here and there amongst the airplanes in various stages of disrobement.  After all how are you going to efficiently safety your castle nuts to within AC 43.13 standards of 8-10 turns per inch without your lockwire pliers? How are you supposed to properly gauge sheetmetal without your calipers? As the saying goes, an AME is only as good as his or her tools (disclaimer: this may be true at other organizations, but here at Vintage Wings, our crew is so good they could wrestle these beasts with their bare hands).

Christmas may have passed, but Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just around the corner. If you are looking for gift ideas, take a page from our book.

Top 10 tools our top-notch AMEs can’t live without:

1.      Ratcheting multi-bit screwdriver

2.      Sidecutters

3.      ¼” drive and ¼” socket set

4.      Their brain

5.      BFH (Big F*****g Hammer)

6.      Lockwire pliers

7.      Drill

8.      Wrench set (especially 9/16”)

9.      Flashlight (for searching for that teeny, tiny bolt that you dropped down that big, dark hole)

10.  Rivet gun

Other honourable mentions include:

1.      Cleco pliers

2.      Grinder

3.      Tiewrap tool

4.      Cup of coffee (practically mandatory to have at least 5 per day)

5.      Spray gun

6.      Voltmeter

7.      Butter knife (for scraping, for removing and installing Zeus fasteners, and as a screwdriver…and I suppose for butter too, if you were really desperate)

Once the aircraft are airworthy, the pilots are chomping at the bit to get in and get going. Every pilot has his or her own pre-flight ritual, which can include anything from a mental rundown of the upcoming flight, to a double or triple check of equipment, to a nervous pee. To get a glimpse into the world of our awe-inspiring aviators, check out the list below.

Top 10 things our pilots won’t leave the ground without:

1.      Green Bag, including licence, Medical, Certificate of Registration, Certificate of Airworthiness, Weight and Balance, Journey Log, Radio Operator’s Certificate if going to the U.S., etc.(this exciting item was contributed by our President and DFO – go figure)

2.      Maps

3.      Big, fancy, makes-me-feel-important aviator watch

4.      Sunglasses

5.      Extra pen

6.      Kneeboard

7.      Cellphone/Blackberry/iPhone

8.      Leatherman/multi-tool/Zeus fastener

9.      Flashlight

10.  Headset/helmet with communication ear plugs

Other honourable mentions include:

1.      Printed copy of the weather

2.      Moustache wax

3.      Survival gear

4.      Bracelet made by pilot’s son for flying

5.      Aircraft tie downs

6.      Lucky flying boxers with a duck on the butt (this particular pilot noted that he never has to bail out when he wears them)

7.      White Scarf

8.      A big SMILE

9.      Visa Card

10.  Two large double-seal Ziplock bags (in case of “physiological” emergencies)

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1 comment:

  1. You missed the plug wrench for the P51 sparkplugs!!