Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hangar Time

1…2…3…4…5. Okay, I have 5 o-rings, part number MS28775-278. What does the computer say? Hmmm…looks like the part was put in inventory but then issued to the hangar floor and not into inventory. I must fix this since they are going in a cabinet.

Counting, organizing, sorting, re-organizing, cleaning, moving, and counting some more - these are all beautiful tasks to me. I love doing inventory. It was a job I once applied for years ago and ended up leaving the company for a different job. Now, I am doing inventory for the parts room at the hangar. In preparation for the new aviation maintenance software (Kevin went to India a few months ago for training on this system), the parts room is in need of a makeover. After begging Kevin for weeks to let me go help, I am now officially a part-time worker. I go to the hangar with Kevin on Tuesdays and Thursdays and do many different tasks.

For now, I have a mix of duties – I have been ordering parts and receiving them into inventory when they come in and also issuing the parts to an airplane and its work order as the guys need them. I know how to track parts in our system to find batch numbers, how old the part is, where it came from, and correct part information in the system or update its information. I have also become the Maintenance Manager's (who just happens to be my husband) unofficial office assistant where I can do tasks that need to be done but the guys don’t have time to do (or can't explain in sufficient detail in French to another hanger employee).

I spent one day prettying up on old dry erase board into a fancy airplane maintenance tracker board so the guys can keep track of their upcoming tasks.
I put together some cabinets to help organize all the specialized tools.

I went through the entire parts room to find all the o-rings and put them in one cabinet. In that cabinet, I put them all in numerical order and labeled the cabinet. I also went through each part and made sure the inventory count was correct. I even had time to search for cross-referenced parts and link them together so ordering would be easier. For instance, the Pilatus uses their own part numbers for o-rings that are typically referred to by a different numbering system for most other aircraft manufacturers. We could be ordering 10 o-rings for the Pilatus, and then order 10 o-rings for the caravan, with different part numbers, but actually end up with 20 of the same thing!
One morning, I spent the time going through old manuals, searching for duplicates to throw out, checking for validity, and then reorganizing the manuals with new file tabs and tables of contents.

Some days I do mindless tasks, like bag up rivets that have broken through their much used bags or moving items around in the inventory room to help the flow. It may seem mundane, but it is a task that needs to be done to keep things neat and tidy.  With a limited number of technicians, this is just another example of stuff that they literally don't have time to do if they want to keep the airplanes in working order (a very VERY high priority).
And then some days I spend hours searching for updated information and updating the system. I enjoy the mix and I enjoy the work. It is a good feeling to spend time working with my (dirty) hands and helping out with the ministry of MAF!

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