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Sat, Sep 22, 2007

MCAS Miramar 'Avi Guys' Deliver Power To Aircraft

Crews Fix Stubborn Gauges, Control Systems

When a pilot notices the gears or flight controls sticking, gauges not working, or a radio system not coming in clearly, avionics technicians get called to the job.

Avionics technicians perform all electronic maintenance and installations on an aircraft.

Both day and night crews arrive on the flight line prepared to counter any discrepancies with any of the radar, flight data recorders, navigation, communication, lighting or anti-skid systems.

"The importance of our job is to make sure the pilots and the air crew go and complete the mission without being hindered by faulty equipment," said Lance Cpl. Nolan Adams, an avionics technician with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 (Reinforced), Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Each day and each shift differs for the "avi guys" as they face a variety of potential troubleshooting situations. When a flight returns and the pilot has something to report, he describes the problem to maintenance control, who then notifies avionics.

After the crew troubleshoots and repairs the discrepancy, collateral-duty inspectors look over the system to ensure flawless equipment. Air controllers keep logs of all flight hours and send notices to avionics crews when the entire system requires an inspection.

To keep up with the latest technologies, the technicians receive updated technical manuals and take part in monthly training classes on the systems. The crews also work with civilians who work with the aircraft systems aboard the air station.

The skills from this military occupational specialty may easily transfer to a civilian career, should any technicians choose not to re-enlist once their contract expires, said Lance Cpl. Chase Davis, an avionics technician with the squadron.

"I specifically look for prior military employees," said Dave Hainline, the manager of Ramona Avionics, Inc. and former avionics technician in the Navy.

Hainline explained that former military avionics technicians must complete on-the-job training to familiarize themselves with a world of new equipment, where only the general components are alike.

"The work I do now enables me to expand my skills and knowledge of aircraft I learned in the Marine Corps," said David Davis, a former Miramar Marine with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, who now works at Ramona Avionics, Inc.

"And it's not just what the MOS did, it's what the Marine Corps did -- instilling the leadership, discipline and reliability employers look for," said David.

Marine Corps avionics technicians should take advantage of their environment and learn as much as they can, explained David.

(Aero-News salutes Lance Cpl. Jessica N. Aranda, MCAS Miramar)

FMI: www.miramar.usmc.mil/home.htm

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