A&P's are at extreme risk of losing it all.

Comments (19)

Old timer in Round Rock, Texas

70 months ago

For all you A&P mechanics and those who think you want to get into the trade, there is new and significant danger to your financial health. Following passage of the 1999 General Aviation Revitalization Act AND changes to federal bankruptcy laws, General Aviation Mechanics in particular are now at extreme risk of losing everything in a lawsuit. NO longer are the manufacturers the deep pocket in any litigation, YOU are! And if you are not currently carrying a personal liability policy with at least 2 million in smooth coverage, you can lose your home, savings and any liquid assets in a jury trial, in addition to having your wages attached to satisfy a very large jury award.

Liability insurance starts at about 5k a year and goes above 30K if you are a self employed mechanic, hard to pay for when wages for A&P's start at 12 dollars per hour and rarely go above 20. And don't forget to purchase tail end insurance to protect you for those years after you get out. Most small aircraft businesses don't even begin to carry enough insurance to cover your assets, and even fewer carry tail end insurance.

I cannot afford to buy enough coverage to protect my assets at my wages so I've decided to get out for good. I will not risk my retirement savings to some careless pilot and bleeding heart jury. With 30+ years in the trade, it's now just not worth the risk.

David_J in Takoma, Washington

70 months ago

Old timer in Round Rock, Texas said: For all you A&P mechanics and those who think you want to get into the trade, there is new and significant danger to your financial health. Following passage of the 1999 General Aviation Revitalization Act AND changes to federal bankruptcy laws, General Aviation Mechanics in particular are now at extreme risk of losing everything in a lawsuit. NO longer are the manufacturers the deep pocket in any litigation, YOU are! And if you are not currently carrying a personal liability policy with at least 2 million in smooth coverage, you can lose your home, savings and any liquid assets in a jury trial, in addition to having your wages attached to satisfy a very large jury award.

Liability insurance starts at about 5k a year and goes above 30K if you are a self employed mechanic, hard to pay for when wages for A&P's start at 12 dollars per hour and rarely go above 20. And don't forget to purchase tail end insurance to protect you for those years after you get out. Most small aircraft businesses don't even begin to carry enough insurance to cover your assets, and even fewer carry tail end insurance.

I cannot afford to buy enough coverage to protect my assets at my wages so I've decided to get out for good. I will not risk my retirement savings to some careless pilot and bleeding heart jury. With 30+ years in the trade, it's now just not worth the risk.

Very good point. A mechanic can also be held criminally liable for his actions. Remember the Value Jet aircraft that crashed into the everglades. After the investigation a number of mechanics at an RMO were given prison sentences for their negligence.

EMT in Taylor, Michigan

59 months ago

If the A&P mechanics do their job like they're supposed to, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Old timer in Round Rock, TX in Round Rock, Texas

58 months ago

Ha!, That's funny!! You really should try to understand this BEFORE you get your financial butt handed to you by a jury. At issue here is the fact that you can do everything PERFECTLY and still be sued...and lose...everything. It does not matter what or how you did your job, a lawyer will pick apart every aspect of your work and log book entry, to confuse the jury of course, and in the end they will vote their fear of flying and not the facts.

Anyone remember Piper being forced into bankruptcy by a lawsuit from the pilot of a Super Cub flying from the back seat, towing a glider, filming himself with a camera mounted where the front (pilots seat) had been removed? Airport owner closed the airport and forbade him permission to take off. He flew anyway and crashed (DUH!) FACTS!?? The Jury didn't need them. Just one drop in the overflowing bucket of stupid lawsuits relating to aviation all with the same result.

Remember John Kennedy's crash into the Atlantic? How many companies were taken down by his flight into IFR conditions by a VFR rated pilot? They "did everything like they were supposed to do", too. Didn't matter. Read the NTSB report NYC99MA178 which shows no mechanical fault.

Do some research about how conditions are TODAY. Check the legal issues used TODAY. See what the FAA has done to F-over mechanics to make it look like they are policing aviation... in TODAY's World. It's scary!

I have had no violations, suspensions, letters of reprimand, nor lost any lawsuit including relating to an accident. But I personally know those who have. Those who made no mistakes, but got screwed and lost everything anyway.

You're safer at an airline, or air carrier. In GA, you're IT pal!

And that's before any discussion on how wages have been frozen for 30 years. I was making 17 per hour in 1980 and only working a few years.

onefastsailor in Chino Hills, California

58 months ago

What's your point? If you are so down on this industry, then get the hell out, and make room for the new guys!

oldtimer in Round Rock, Texas

57 months ago

Thank you for illustrating my point beautifully! Because you failed to get the point, you are the perfect candidate to give up everthing you will ever have, because you love working on airplanes. The lawyers will LOVE you too, because you'll never see it coming! And they'll bleed you drier than stone, financially.

I DID see it coming, and as the VP of operations at a Cessna Service Center, I chose to get out. Personally I don't give a rats behind if you do or not, but I think it's important to have this discussion board so that others can read of ideas and experiences that they might not have thought about before, and maybe that will save someone from a heart stopping, life changing, retirement ending experience.

Intelligent, thoughtful contributions will be most helpful to this discussion group.

onefastsailor

57 months ago

This forum is full of negative, bitter and condescending comments that assume that because an industry is not right for one person, it is bad for everyone. That is just not the case. Positive people don't fail to see the bad side of things, they just work around them.

oldtimer in Round Rock, Texas

57 months ago

You're absolutely correct! As I stated above, not all are at grave risk. Mostly it's those who work for smaller business that are habitually under insured and perform work on older aircraft owned by individuals, BUT...remember the value jet accident in the Everglades...mechanics went to jail AND were sued in that crash. Proving that even those who work on transport catagory aircraft are at some level of personal risk.
SO...what do you do, onefastsailor, to minimize your risk? Do you not own anything that can be taken and figure you wont be named in a lawsuit?
Please share some of your risk recognition and avoidance ideas. Or anyone else out there, please share yours.

For decades we mechanics, mostly while having little in the way of an Estate that can be liquidated, have ignored the risk, watching our buddies get creamed in court and by the FAA, and all the while firmly believing that it can't happen to me. Denial, denial, denial! Living in denial will not prevent it from happening. So how do YOU cope? What is YOUR strategy for retirement after working for 30 years in the most legally dangerous job in America?

JohnRhion in Spring, Texas

56 months ago

Thank you for your great insight on the industry. Unfortunately many ignorant mechanics still believe and foster the notion that this career is lucrative, which is not the case.

A&PMechontherise in Grand Blanc, Michigan

55 months ago

Here is the deal. I have followed this forun since I began trainging to become an A&P. There have been many changes thus far in the Aviation industry that I do not belive any of you have taken into account. Besides who are YOU to say that this industry is a poor choice? Is this industry lucrative? maybe, maybe not that is all contingent upon what you may think of the definition of lucrative. A good friend of mine just got a job at Boeing where he will be assembling their newest aircraft, which there is an order in for about 20 years worth of work. Boeing has not made alot of bad moves financially, if this is true then why would they place sucha a large order? So I say to you, do YOU have all the facts before making comments such as the ones posted above? I think not. The aviation industry is on the rise. Furthermore why do you insist on calling the A&P mechanics ignorant? Really How often do you fly? Once or Twice a year? Well guess what, WE keep your behind in the air, WE make certain that that plane does not fail. Sure issues happen, but in the last ten years How many mechanical Failures have occured? Not many how do you know this? Every time a plane goes down you know about it. The story is on the news. Car accidents happen practically every hour. Seriously you can't take that approach when your sitting in nice office overlooking some numbers. maybe the particular place YOU were in was not doing well because of multiple factors. Toyota has an issue with one product, does that make it a bad company? NO. YOUR place of bussiness was not doing well does that mean that the entire spectrum of the aviation industry is not doing well? HELL NO. So tell me if this industry is hurting why can I go any where I want? A&P's are not limited to Aviation.

oldtimer in Round Rock, Texas

52 months ago

UPDATE: This particular discussion involves the new and potentially life changing financial and legal dangers facing the A&P mechanic of today. It was started before the Paris, France jury verdict regarding Continental Airlines and one of it's mechanics based in Texas, USA. (See discussion titled "Nightmare Scenareo" which is a news article outlining the verdict.)
The outcome of this trial is exactly what was warned in the original post, which some of you poo-pooed as "bad attitude".
But for those who do take this new danger seriously, please post a response and address one or more of the following:
What do you make of this? How does this affect your work? Have your coworkers expressed any feelings on how this affects the industry? Your job? Your finances? Have you checked into a personal insurance policy? What are the results of the research?
New and existing mechanics should take this seriously and so some of your own personal research, decision making, and please post your thoughts here. This is a career changing development, and I think we all need to figure out the best course of action in order to avoid becoming one of those we now read about.

Oh, and BTW: I am now working in a related field, but with non of the liability or personal danger. So I'm still in aviation, but I'm just not standing in front of a firing squad anymore, and it feels GREAT!

Joe_Westley in Houston, Texas

52 months ago

oldtimer in Round Rock, Texas said: UPDATE: This particular discussion involves the new and potentially life changing financial and legal dangers facing the A&P mechanic of today. It was started before the Paris, France jury verdict regarding Continental Airlines and one of it's mechanics based in Texas, USA. (See discussion titled "Nightmare Scenareo" which is a news article outlining the verdict.)
The outcome of this trial is exactly what was warned in the original post, which some of you poo-pooed as "bad attitude".
But for those who do take this new danger seriously, please post a response and address one or more of the following:
What do you make of this? How does this affect your work? Have your coworkers expressed any feelings on how this affects the industry? Your job? Your finances? Have you checked into a personal insurance policy? What are the results of the research?
....

Thanks for posting such a persistent and honest response, despite the ignorance coming from others. To make a long story short, I got my A&P because an old timer who worked in the airline industry told me it was worth it. Well, after nearing graduation, I realized the sh!tty truth and decided to get it (A&P certificate) but never pursued a career in this field. I went back to college and got myself an engineering degree. Since then, I have been working for a major oil company (FMC technologies) and have been making decent wages. Till this day, I have never regretted my choice. Moral of the story? Do your own research and find out facts from fiction.

Joe_Westley in Houston, Texas

52 months ago

A&PMechontherise in Grand Blanc, Michigan said: Here is the deal. I have followed this forun since I began trainging to become an A&P. There have been many changes thus far in the Aviation industry that I do not belive any of you have taken into account. Besides who are YOU to say that this industry is a poor choice? Is this industry lucrative? maybe, maybe not that is all contingent upon what you may think of the definition of lucrative. A good friend of mine just got a job at Boeing where he will be assembling their newest aircraft, which there is an order in for about 20 years worth of work. Boeing has not made alot of bad moves financially, if this is true then why would they place sucha a large order? So I say to you, do YOU have all the facts before making comments such as the ones posted above? I think not. The aviation industry is on the rise. Furthermore why do you insist on calling the A&P mechanics ignorant? Really How often do you fly? Once or Twice a year? Well guess what, WE keep your behind in the air, WE make certain that that plane does not fail. Sure issues happen, but in the last ten years How many mechanical Failures have occured? Not many how do you know this? Every time a plane goes down you know about it. The story is on the news. ....

I find your reasoning quite humorous. Obviously a fresh graduate like you have been feed the cool-aid propaganda of what your A&P is really worth. Too bad reality hasn't hit you yet. Well you can keep drinking that cool-aid but I guess you'll find out the hard way.

onefastsailor

52 months ago

Not everyone can have a successful career as an A&P, so good for you getting your engineering degree. Sorry aviation didn't work out for you.

cooldude17 in Dallas, Texas

46 months ago

I am a young up-and-coming aviation mechanic and want to know more about the industry..Help me out I'm all ears because I know that the people are going to tell me what they want me to hear.So what section of the aviation industry do you think is the most lucrative??

John_Westley in Houston, Texas

46 months ago

In terms of lucrative, you need experience first. Also you need to be single, and you need to be willing to travel overseas. So to answer your question, you need a few years on your belt, plus someone to spit in your face a few times.

A&P in Norristown, Pennsylvania

42 months ago

Have been in aviation for over 2 years, will tell anybody to get out if they have a choice. Night shifts, high level of stress, responsibility not worth $20/hour Pursuing second Bachelors in Engineering.

matt68 in South Cairo, New York

41 months ago

I was in aviation, have my A&P as well as my pilots certificate with various add ons. First off, if your willing to travel you can make good money. I worked in Africa making 60k a year, tax free, paid in travelers checks. Eventually I decided it wasn't worth getting shot over (that was good money 20 years ago). I worked on long island and only warned 3 dollars more an hour than I would have working at mcdonalds. The final straw for me was when a coworker, on his own time did an oil change for an owner. They supplied the oil and filter. Everything was fine, oil changed, filter replaced, run up completed, good to go. Owner comes, takes the airplane and crashes after takeoff resulting in death. The oil filter the owner supplied didn't have a PMA number, he had found an automotive filter that would fit and gave that to the mechanic. Because of the owners decision, and my friends trusting nature, he served 4 years for involuntary manslaughter. The filter blew out after takeoff seizing the engine. Now I work in a prison, and feel safer :)

amt in South Bend, Indiana

37 months ago

I have been a licensed technician for almost thirty years. I have been all over the world on my jobs. However, I will not work in the U.S. because the money isn't right. If you want to work on aircraft, and make good money, work overseas.

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