Role of Aircraft Maintenance Engineers in Creating Future Aircraft

Although we know that engineers don't fly the planes themselves, they have a much deeper understanding of what a pilot or flight crew needs for better and safer flights. It’s the insight of aircraft maintenance engineers which becomes crucial in designing aircraft. The engineers who are in field or work in MRO shops contributes a lot in providing inputs for current and future aircraft technologies.

There is a "virtuous circle" which operates ones the aircraft leaves the manufacturing facility. This circle constitutes OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), operators, MROs and other aircraft maintenance staff at various locations who actually see what happens to aircraft after they become operational. Their feedback is crucial in aviation industry whether it comes from OEMs or MROs. These feedbacks are vital when it comes to R&D projects. It helps in shaping the ideas and encourages continuous innovation in this field.

So how this "virtuous circle' really works? The MROs and field engineers provide inputs to OEMs. Any work outside the approved maintenance data needs approval and most importantly guidance by relevant OEMs. Until it is resolved OEMs will have its direct involvement in the maintenance process. OEMs further carries this information to their respective R&D teams and to the aircraft manufacturers. When an OEM get involved in an area, it can uncover more aircraft facing similar technical issues. This brings these technical problems a global platform to rework, reaccess and finally finding a solution.

Thus ones considered a third person in aviation industry Aircraft Maintenance Engineers are now gaining their visibility because of their crucial contribution to innovation and maintenance. As Dr. Oliver Reichel-Busch, head of corporate idea management at Lufthansa Technik (LHT) once said: “Engineers want to make things better. It’s in our DNA.” Which is true in all respect as the feedbacks from AMEs not only lead way for future innovation it also contributes to the current programmes.

The processes also benefit a lot form shop-floor feedback thus  Lufthansa Technik (LHT) a major MRO in civil aviation sector realized it saves around $47 million in a year by implementing creative ideas from its maintenance engineers, so in 2016 it formalised a programme of encouraging creative thinking and called it ‘my ideas’.

It is one of the best time to start your career in this field as it opens door to plenty of opportunities globally. The career in aviation is not only rewarding financially it brings in a great deal of job satisfaction.