I am a member of the Boeing Employees Flying Association (BEFA) since high school, and this exceptional organization helped me earn my private pilot certificate, instrument rating, and several endorsements.
Commercial Pilot's License
I am currently pursuing a commercial pilot's license (CPL) with the eventual goal to become a part-time certified flight instructor (CFI). I enjoyed many of the subjects learned in pursuit of my private pilot certificate and instrument rating; combined with a background in mechanical engineering, I believe I could produce effective flight lessons for future aviators.
I currently have 210 total flight hours of experience under my belt, which is not too far away from the 250 hours required by the FAA for a CPL.
Aviation Maintenance
I have worked previously on automotive and marine engines quite extensively, but unfortunately not so much on aircraft engines due to availability of aircraft and to FAA regulations concerning aircraft maintenance. In July 2013, I began volunteering with the aviation maintenance team at BEFA while under the supervision of a certified technician. We perform most preventative maintenance on the aircraft fleet, which includes oil changes, wheel replacement, brake pad replacement, hydraulic fluid, control surface hinge lubrication, and replacement of burnt out lights. We also address faults reported by pilots if we are able.
Aircraft engines are remarkably simple and redundant compared to engines used in automotive and marine industries. They are usually designed as a 4- or 6-cylinder, air-cooled, direct drive, boxer configuration with a maximum speed set between 2400 and 2700 RPM. On high-performance configurations (e.g. Cessna 182), the tips of the propeller blades are capable of exceeding the speed of sound by a small amount under certain circumstances. Older models generally use a single-barrel carburetor, while newer models use mechanical fuel injection.
Unlike most other industries, aviation commonly uses safety wire to secure critical components together to make visual inspection of faults and shifts easier as well as withstand the high-vibration environment caused by the high-compression, lightly-flywheeled engine. Other industries typically use lock nuts and cotter pins to secure critical components.