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Aviation Structural Mechanic AM
Aviation Structural Mechanics (AM) maintain aircraft airframe and structural components flight surfaces and controls hydraulic and pneumatic control and actuating systems and mechanisms, landing gear systems, air conditioning, pressurization, visual improvement, oxygen and other utility systems, egress systems including seat and canopy ejection systems and components, fabricate and repair metallic and nonmetallic materials; perform aircraft daily, special, hourly, and conditional inspections, supervise operation of airframe work centers; maintain aircraft metallic and non-metallic structures including fuselages, fixed and moveable flight surfaces, tail booms, doors, panels, decks, empennages, and seats (except ejection seats); flight controls and related mechanisms; hydraulic power storage and distribution systems including main (primary and secondary), auxiliary (utility), and emergency systems; hydraulic actuating subsystems; landing gear systems including wheels and tires, brakes, and emergency systems; pneumatic power, storage and distribution systems; hoists and winches, wing and tail fold systems; launch and arresting gear systems; hydraulic component repair and test; and perform aircraft daily, special, hourly, and conditional inspections.

 The Aviation Structural Mechanic (AM) maintains all aircraft main and auxiliary hydraulic power systems, actuating subsystems and landing gear. Responsible for maintenance on the aircraft fuselage (mainframe) wings airfoils, and associated fixed and moveable surfaces and flight controls. Aircrew volunteers from this rating perform in-flight duties in various types of aircraft. These technicians may also volunteer to fly as Naval aircrew. Aircrew performs numerous in-flight duties and operates aircraft systems in turbojet, helicopter, or propeller aircraft. Aircrew earns additional pay for flying. (See the Aircrew Program for details.)

What They Do

• Remove, repair and replace hydraulic system pumps, auxiliary power systems and unit actuating subsystems;

• Maintain aircraft landing gear system, brakes and related pneumatic systems, reservoir pressurization, emergency actuating devices, pumps, valves, regulators, cylinders, lines and fittings;

• Service pressure accumulators, emergency air bottles, oleo struts, reservoirs and master brake cylinders;

• Inspect, removes and replace components of hydraulic systems;

• Replace gaskets, packing, and wipers in hydraulic components;

• Remove, repair and replace aircraft fuselage, wings, fixed and movable surfaces, airfoils, regular seats, wheels and tires, controls and mechanisms; Remove, install and rig aircraft flight control surfaces;

• Fabricate and assemble metal components and make minor repairs to aircraft skin;

• Install rivets and metal fasteners;

• Fabricate repairs for composite components;

• Perform non-destructive dye penetrant inspections (NDI);

• Perform daily, preflight, post flight and other periodic aircraft inspections.

Qualifications and Interests

Aviation structural mechanics require an orientation toward tools and equipment should possess manual dexterity and be physically fit. They must be able to keep records, have a knack for getting along well with other people and work as part of a team. The ability to do repetitive tasks and perform detailed work is also helpful. Normal hearing and normal color and depth perception are required.

Working Environment

Aviation structural mechanics may be assigned to sea or shore duty any place in the world, so their working environment varies considerably. They may work in hangars or hangar decks, or outside on flight decks or flight lines at air stations. A high noise level is a normal part of their work environment. AM’s work closely with others, do mostly physical work and require little supervision. AM’s may also serve as flight engineers aboard certain aircraft.


Excellent opportunities exist for qualified applicants to enter this rating. Approximately 8,000 men and women currently work in this rating.

Navy AM - Aviation Structural Mechanic Intermediate Level

Aviation Intermediate Level Structural Mechanics perform intermediate level repair on Metallic and Non-Metallic structures, Composite materials, Hydraulic, Pneumatic, Utility and Flight Control System components. Perform complete repair to Aircraft Tire and Wheel Assemblies. Maintain and operate Hydraulic Component Test Stands. Performs all Non-Destructive Inspections. Performs aeronautical and non-aeronautical component welding.

Navy AM - Aviation Structural Mechanic Organizational Level

Aviation Organizational Level Structural Mechanics maintain, service, troubleshoot and inspect aircraft Metallic, Non-Metallic, Fuel Cells, Hydraulic and Pneumatic aircraft systems, Landing Gear systems, Utility and Flight Control systems. Perform corrosion prevention, corrosion treatment and aircraft painting.

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