Being a part of the aviation industry is special. Since knowledge is power, imagine the power you have every time you step onto a flight, whether it’s on a plane you’re maintaining or on an airliner for your vacation. It’s easy to assume that everyone around you knows the same things that you do. That’s simply not the case, though. Most people understand that the flaps are what retract from the wings for takeoff and landing, but most people don’t understand why they’re used. So, what do passengers understand about the airplane? What do they understand about the work that goes into maintaining an airplane? On a recent flight from Chicago to New York, I paid close attention to what those people not privy to our information about airplanes know about aircraft maintenance. Nothing As a professional in the aviation industry, you have to assume that passengers know nothing. You’re the expert. It’s also important to remember that there’s no reason to enlighten the passengers around you just because you know more. They know about marketing and software engineering and human relations and everything else imaginable. They deserve to fly on a plane and concentrate on their own professions and it’s your responsibility, as an aircraft mechanic to make that happen. They Think It Should Be Done Before the Flight Passengers know that there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into building and maintaining airplanes. They don’t know about 100 hour inspections and annual inspections and Minimum Equipment Lists. They do know that that kind of stuff should be long taken care of before they set foot on their airplane.