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
"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
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
"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