“What does a Pitot tube do?”
A Technician-in-Training Takes an Exam on the F-16
Getting to Know the Plane Down to the Final Screw Before any mission begins, before any planes take off, there is a 1st Rank technician on-ground giving the final “O.K” for takeoff. He prepares the plane, checks all the small details, and sends air crew members to the skies safely
Sometimes, even before the sun rises from its beauty sleep and much before pilots arriving at the scene, 1st rank technicians arrive at the strip first. “A 1st rank technician is in fact the personal caretaker of the planes. It’s field work, handiwork”, says commander of the 1st rank technician course, Sergeant Edi Weitz. The technicians approach the plane, examine it from every angle, take care of it and nurture it.
Mornings for 1st rank technicians begin with receiving orders, which include the details of the flights planned for that day. According to that order, the technicians adjust the planes for the first flight of the day, and one by one they take off”.
“A Technicians Signature is Worth Human Lives”
Still, the technicians’ day has only just begun. Before every flight set there is a long and detailed series of examinations that they must carry out. “We adjust the plane in terms of oil, oxygen levels, fuel, arming and compartment organization”, says Edi, and that is just the beginning of the list. “When the plane returns from a flight it is secured and the pilot exits. Now we conduct a test to make sure that the engine works, check the ejection seat and oil, refuel and begin to prepare the plane for the next set”.
And indeed, with the long list of examinations, the work of 1st rank technicians is chockfull of missions. And with these missions comes great responsibility. “Every time a technician completes an examination he signs a document saying that the plane is intact and that there are no problems. This signature is not only worth 60 million dollars, but human lives as well”, Edi determines. “The minute a technician signs off on a plane it’s not at heavens’ mercy, but at the mercy of a technician”.