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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Aircraft Assemblers and Aircraft Assembly Inspectors(9521)

Aircraft assemblers assemble, fit and install prefabricated parts to manufacture fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft or aircraft subassemblies. Aircraft assembly inspectors inspect aircraft assemblies for adherence to engineering specifications. They are employed by aircraft and aircraft subassembly manufacturers.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read labels on instrument panels and on safety equipment to ensure they are appropriate for the aircraft. (1)
  • Read government regulations governing aircraft construction. (2)
  • Read specifications for the assembly and modification of parts. (2)
  • Read shop orders to determine the next operation and to verify that previous operations have been completed and signed off. (2)
  • Read survey inspection reports (SIR) which record all the problems which need to be addressed before a specific job is deemed complete. (3)
  • Read aircraft assembly manuals to find out what to do when parts are rejected or how to repair an assembly which does not conform to standards. (3)
  • May read the Canadian Forces Technical Orders (CFTO) which contains information on parts installation, testing and inspection. (4)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Read parts lists which show the availability and storage location of various parts. (1)
  • Read safety labels and paint, solvent and glue labels. (1)
  • Read identification tags showing serial numbers of parts and defect tags which indicate a fault such as an undersized part. (1)
  • Read forms which record anomalies and non-conformances. (2)
  • Read work schedules and aircraft completion schedules. (2)
  • Obtain information about tolerances and "just in time" deliveries from charts. (2)
  • Read graphs showing the cost of production and the number of rejects per employee. (2)
  • Recognize common angles in schematics when planning the installation of new mechanical assemblies. (2)
  • Complete forms for ordering parts and for recording the results of inspections. (2)
  • Complete material and processes specification (MPS) forms to verify work done. (2)
  • Read tables that show tolerances and stress loads. (3)
  • Draw symbols on schematic drawings to highlight certain information and redraw parts for approval by engineering. (3)
  • Read assembly drawings to establish the sequence of parts installation. (3)
  • Read blueprints of the aircraft to obtain information about material thickness, angles or dimensions. (3)
  • Read and interpret schematic drawings to locate fault points, bends and curvatures and to verify that they are correct. (4)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write notes to themselves to remind themselves of items which should be written in formal reports. (1)
  • Write non-conformity tags, recording the date, serial number and a brief description of the variance. (1)
  • Write corrections or modifications on planning and engineering documents. (1)
  • Complete order forms and standard repair forms to request parts or record the nature of a needed repair. (2)
  • Write memos to report discrepancies and problems with parts or to suggest repairs. (2)
  • Write letters to customers, suppliers or regulating bodies to provide or request information on parts or designs. (2)
  • Fill in survey inspection reports (SIR) to report on components which are not serviceable and to suggest what must be done to make them useable. (3)
  • Write non-conformance reports (NR) and complete technical query forms (TQF) to send to planning, engineering or quality assurance personnel. These reports outline problems with publications, documents, designs and any interpretations of these. (4)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Schedule hours required to perform work and schedule the receipt of parts for "just-in-time" deliveries. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure the dimensions of aircraft parts to plan for fitting and to establish the tolerance of moving parts. (1)
  • Measure the distance between rivets and the diameters of rivet heads. (1)
  • Measure hydraulic pressure. (1)
  • Take measurements to ensure that the equipment operates within established parameters. (1)
  • Measure the length of parts and gaps between parts within thousandths of an inch. (3)
  • Calculate the balance of weight on one side of an aircraft with the other, using the variable standing wave ratio. (4)
  • Use geometry to determine angles for bends. (4)
Data Analysis Math
  • Monitor the leak rate of a pressurization system in an aircraft to ensure it remains within an acceptable range. (2)
  • May draw conclusions about the probable failure rate of a part, based on the analysis of data, including average longevity of existing parts and their performance in various conditions. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the temperature and relative humidity required to ensure a good coat of paint on sheet metal. (1)
  • Estimate time and amount of materials and equipment required to perform tasks. (2)
  • Estimate the time that will be taken to accomplish major modifications to an aircraft, when many factors relating to supplies and personnel are unknown. Inaccurate estimates can result in major slippage in meeting revised schedules. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Exchange information with co-workers about parts and installation procedures. (1)
  • Interact with supervisors to receive instructions. (1)
  • May listen to phone messages with instructions from engineers and supervisors. (2)
  • May provide guidance and direction to new hires. (2)
  • Interact with engineers to discuss parts specifications and anomalies encountered. (2)
  • Communicate with clients in the hangar to describe work that has been performed or to discuss flight tests. (2)
  • Call suppliers to confirm supply requirements or discuss parts quality. (2)
  • Participate in crew meetings to discuss allocation of work and team responsibilities. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • May be slowed down by broken or damaged parts. They make efforts to obtain replacement parts as quickly as possible since the slowdown can affect many workers whose tasks depend on the part being installed. (1)
  • May find that a part does not fit properly. They check to see if it is the right part and check technical manuals for installation directions. If they cannot find the cause of the poor fit, they complete technical query forms (TQF) followed by pre-installation failure reports. (2)
  • May find that a part which has been installed is not operating correctly at the final assembly and testing stage. They consult engineers to assist in the analysis of factors which could have caused the problem. (2)
  • May find that parts of the production team are behind schedule, causing delays for other workers. With the approval of supervisors, they may leave their own work for a short period to provide assistance to the team which needs it. (2)
  • May find that a part is operating but is not functioning exactly as stated in the technical manuals. They revisit their installation procedures to see if they have missed a step, if there is an error in the manual or if equipment is malfunctioning. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide whether to scrap, swap or fix a defective part. (1)
  • Decide whether to file a part to make it fit better on the fuselage. (2)
  • Decide from which suppliers to order replacement parts. The decision takes into account likely availability, the location of the supplier and the length of time it will take to fill the order. (2)
  • Decide in which order tasks should be performed to work best with the production schedule. (3)
  • Decide whether a part meets specifications, taking into account many technical details. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors plan their tasks to respect the deadlines of an overall production schedule. They have input to the schedule through monthly and weekly planning meetings which determine the sequencing of daily activities which will contribute best to meeting the schedule's requirements. The task sequence is generally determined by the workers themselves, although they make adjustments to take into account delays from parts breakage or supply delays. In some hangars, work priorities are supervised by a lead hand. Since many parts of the production process depend on the work which preceded it, there is a high degree of integration with the work plans of co-workers.

Although much of the work is routine, aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors need to be able to react quickly to factors which can cause production delays or quality problems. (3)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the sequence in which parts are disassembled and reassembled.
  • Remember for future reference a rare problem which occurred on an overhaul and how it was solved.
  • Remember modifications to procedures and drawings in the Canadian Forces Technical Orders (CFTO) so that they do not have to be referred to constantly.
Finding Information
  • Find parts equivalents and specifications in supplier manuals. (1)
  • Consult engineers to clarify information about non-conformity issues. (2)
  • Find information about modifications to drawings by cross-referencing engineering change notices, engineering memoranda and operational sheets. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • They may write a non-conformance report. (2)
  • They may seek parts information on a database. (2)
  • They may use e-mail. (2)
  • Use other computer applications. For example, they may use custom-designed software to read procedures and review descriptions of problems. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors work independently on most tasks. They may work with partners when installing heavy units or in doing jobs which require several kinds of expertise. Some functions, such as rebuilding assemblies, are carried out by work crews as team projects.

Continuous Learning

Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors take refresher courses to update their technical knowledge. They review changes in specifications and regulations on a regular basis to keep abreast of industry changes. On-the-job training is used to teach new work procedures and problem solving methods. They may receive training in areas such as drafting, tool making, mathematics and oral communication.

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