Choice 3: Avionics Systems Tech

This actually wasn’t really  choice of mine in the beginning. I never even thought about it. But When you’re exploring your option it never hurts to explore outside your comfort zone. One thing that drew me to this career is that it’s currently in high demand, so there would be a good chance of me getting in the forces in this career path. Also it’s an Air Force career, which is what I really want.

So what is an Avionics Systems Tech?  They’re responsible for maintaining all electronic systems onboard aircraft. As part of the aircraft maintenance team, the Avionics Systems Techs are responsible for first line servicing operations in launching and recovering all types of aircraft. The only way I can summarize it is they’re electricians and maintenance people for aircraft.

The primary responsibilities of Avionics Systems Technicians are to:

  • Carry out performance tests, preventive/ corrective maintenance, and calibration of the following systems and their associated components:
    • aircraft communication,
    • intercom,
    • search radar,
    • fire control radar,
    • acoustic sensing,
    • infra-red radar,
    • electronic warfare,
    • navigation,
    • compass, and
    • flight control systems
  • Set up and operate test equipment to maintain the above systems
  • Operate and maintain computer-controlled automatic test stations
  • Serve as an instructor in field technical training units, training squadrons or basic training units
  • Prepare and maintain aircraft forms and statistical data
  • Operate aircraft support equipment
  • Perform first line servicing tasks such as marshalling, parking, towing, starting, refueling, cleaning and de-icing

*The last one on the list reminds me of working at airshows. Is it summer yet?*

As I’ve mentioned in the last few entries, training begins with BMQ and once that’s completed the really training begins! The training is very in-depth thankfully because I don’t know a whole lot of electronics. I have a very basic knowledge, thanks to my dad. But looking at the list of what they train you in, I kind of wish I had of taken some different courses back in high school now…

Avionics Systems Techs attend the Performance- Oriented Electronics Training course at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario. Training takes approximately 30 weeks and teaches the following basic skills:

  • DC Circuits Theory
  • AC Circuits Theory
  • Electro-Mechanical devices
  • Solid State devices
  • Power sources
  • Amplifier circuits
  • Oscillator circuits
  • Multistage electronic circuits
  • Conductors and cables
  • AM/FM Theory
  • Audio/Video equipment
  • Digital circuits
  • Computers and peripherals

avionics 2

The second part of the training program takes place at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering in Borden, Ontario. Training takes approximately 24 weeks and includes:

  • Common mechanical training
  • Common aircraft servicing
  • Solid-state devices
  • Digital logic
  • Aircraft wiring
  • Magnetron, Klystron, Travelling Wave Tubes and Microwave theory
  • Computer techniques and architecture
  • Inspection and repair of indicator/display, pitot static, flight instrument, compass, aircraft flight recorder and locator, air data computer, automatic flight control, electronic warfare, navigation, radar communications, aircraft data processing, Avionics (AVS) and combined Avionic (AVS)/Aviation (AVN) multi-purpose display systems

avionics 3

It’s a lot of training if you haven’t noticed. Almost a whole year worth of training! But chances are, I’d do the first half then I would have maybe a month or so inbetween starting the second phase of training. Well I assume that, as that’s what my brother is going through. He’s going for pilot and I think he’s now if his phase 2 of training. But it’s not like he went from phase 1 straight to phase 2. He had a few months of downtime between.

Like with the other trades, there is specialty training they can do:

  • Instructional Techniques
  • Calibration Technician
  • Quality Assurance
  • Computerized Fault Diagnosis and Analysis
  • High Reliability Soldering
  • Aircraft Specific Type Courses

You know, the more and more I look into this career path, the more I want to make this choice #1 for me. It’s such a change from what I thought I’d want to do. But I like to get my hands dirty. I like to know how things work! I like putting stuff together! Damn, I never thought I’d say this but I think this is what I’m gonna strive to be! An Avionics Systems Tech!


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