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Can you trust an AET?

Mr_Gillette

Midshipman
Hi everyone,

I have been wondering about the extent of responsibilities distributed to the lowly AET, and more specifically how "down and dirty" can the keen AET get with the much more complicated matters of aeronautical engineering.

I once read somewhere that RAF aircraft technicians who work on the Typhoon are limited to basic servicing duties and the fun stuff is done by third party engineers like BAE. Is there any truth to this? If so, is it an experience any former Harrier specialists within the locality of this forum can attest to?

Furthermore, in your humble (extremely humble and modest) opinions, which would provide the best in engineering skills development without sacrificing responsibility: rotary-wing or F-35B?

Ta very much chaps.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
There are a few Woos on the site better qualified than me to answer your query, particularly those who've worked on fixed wing, rotary and joint service squadrons.

Understandably Air Engineering Technicians work to precise standards with regard what they can and can't do. Qualified to Sign and Qualified to Maintain together with tight tool control and exacting quality control means an AET isn't let loose with a slack-handful of adjustable spanners to undertake an aircraft engine change single-handedly, fresh from training.

There are indeed maintenance elements which can only be undertaken by manufacturers because of the specialist tools, training and knowledge required. This happens in all walks of engineering, including those working with cars, ships, trains, missiles, washing machines, and yes, on aircraft - as any technician will tell you.
 
Having worked in both RN and RAF environments I can say that AET's/SAC's do a lot more that Flight Servicing.

At Cottesmore there was a lot of servicemen/women embedded with BAE in HMF doing the same job.

We regularity would strip a FA2 do to its bare bone and carry out a complete survey and if required fit any modifications required.
 

Sumo

War Hero
But his title says can you trust a WAFU? I think the Jury will be out on that one, If he is talking about standing their round, no chance:rolleyes:
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Certainly on rotary wing aircraft, following a significant maintenance procedure, it's pretty much routine to take the maintainer on a check test flight.

To me, that signifies mutual 'trust'. ;)

On a serious note, dishonesty and/or lack of integrity are hardly conducive when it comes to selecting aircraft maintainers. Trust them? With my life, every time I've flown.
 

Taztiff

War Hero
upload_2016-12-16_12-33-6.jpeg
Those were the days!! Prepping the air weapons, handing over to the flight who would then say (in a nasally, nose in the air voice.....) -
'You've used the wrong wire - not accepting it!!', then goes back to his coffee and flight nutty.
 

Chukar

Midshipman
Certainly on rotary wing aircraft, following a significant maintenance procedure, it's pretty much routine to take the maintainer on a check test flight.

To me, that signifies mutual 'trust'. ;)

On a serious note, dishonesty and/or lack of integrity are hardly conducive when it comes to selecting aircraft maintainers. Trust them? With my life, every time I've flown.

I worked on rotary wing aircraft mainly wessex MK3 and lynx as an AEM (M) and many times after an engine change or gearbox change I would get a flight with the CPO (M) on the test flight after ground runs and checks had been made

The pilot, observer and any aircrew put there trust in the maintainers any time that they flew
 

Captain Birdseye

Lantern Swinger
Hijacking this thread a bit...I'm applying to join the RN next year. I was certain that I wanted to apply for a NA(AH), but considering that I am now 30 years old, I want to progress and show promise. I won't get this opportunity being a NA(AH) sadly - and there is bloody huge waiting list.

So, I am seriously considering applying as an AET instead. Both roles interest me, and if you are in the 5% of top achievers and you are lucky enough to be fast tracked, getting promoted becomes a reality. I also want to go to sea to be serving on the RN's new QE class ships...I would love to work on the RN's new F35's which if I'm correct is the recently resurrected 809 Squadron so this will be my first choice.

If I am not lucky enough to get drafted to the F35 fighters, and considering I want sea time, which aircraft would be best to select?

CB.
 
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