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6 reasons why you don’t need experience to be a good troubleshooter

1. History can send you on the wrong path

It’s not about what the problem was the last time. Knowing was usually breaks on an aircraft helps. Actually, it helps a lot! Unfortunately, it’s also one of the experienced maintenance engineers’ biggest pitfalls. Applying a good thought process to finding the probable cause of this exact failure is a much better option.


2. Years on the job aren’t the whole story

Troubleshooting is easier when you are experienced, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t be good at it without years of aviation maintenance work under your belt. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of “waiting” for years for experience to sink in. Like anything else, troubleshooting can be taught, practiced and improved. It can be accelerated if you are systematic in your own development.


3. You don’t have to know an aircraft type by heart

It’s not about knowing the specific aircraft model you’re working on inside and out. Once again, knowing the aircraft does help and make things easier. However, if you have to work on different aircraft models on a day-to-day basis, it may take a while before you get to know all of them enough to troubleshoot on autopilot (See? I made an aviation joke there.). Any aircraft you might work on today is pretty much designed around systems that work the same way. If you know the basics, you’ll find your way around a new aircraft easily. If you can fix an electric issue on an airplane, you’ll probably be good enough to diagnostic a car's electric system, right? Starting from the basics is the key!


4. A solid foundation is everything

Troubleshooting requires techniques and a good methodology. You didn’t learn ‘’by experience’’ how to do a proper lockwire! You learned how to do it during training, and then experience made you better and faster at it. First a good base, then experience.


5. Research is the name of the game

It doesn’t matter if you know where all the components are by heart and which access panel to open. Troubleshooting is about thinking, analysing, using a solid method and being effective. Any aircraft mechanic worth their salt can find their way to the units, that’s the easy part!


6. Yeah, we can’t help you with that one

You need to be smart to troubleshoot. Unfortunately, experience doesn’t help with that so, good luck to those who self-diagnose as not-so-bright!

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Pete Corp
Pete Corp
Jan 16, 2020

Thank you Gregory for your positive reply in reference with my comments

regarding troubleshooting. Maybe I have missed the point somewhere during my reading.

I do agree with your article and all of your comments except one :

''.. the fact that we heard time and time again ...'',

hear say never stood up in the front of a trial with judge and jury,

just kidding Gregory , that is probably due to my background

and poor english reading skill !

Best regards,

Pierre C.

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Gregory Blanc
Gregory Blanc
Jan 16, 2020

Hi Pierre, welcome to Mentor’s blog!


First of all, thank you for taking the time to share your point of view.


About your points, don’t get us wrong: usually, experience is a great thing if you can remain curious enough to use documentation and improve your skills. We totally agree on that.

The post evolved from the fact that we heard time and time again “there is only one way to become a good troubleshooter and that’s working the job for 15 years and being lucky enough to get to try the challenging assignments”.


To us, that’s not the only way to improve. We also think that considering today’s shortage in experienced technicians, we need to find other ways to…


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Pete Corp
Pete Corp
Jan 13, 2020

WOW , I COULD WRITE THE SAME BLOG WITH A 180' APPROACH : '' 6 REASONS WHY EXPERIENCE CAN IMPROVE YOUR TROUBLESHOOTING SKILLS '' REGARDING THE 6 REASONS YOU WROTE , YOU ARE RIGHT TO A CERTAIN POINT BUT IT LOOKS LIKE TO ME THAT YOU ARE FOCUSING ON NEGATIVE ASPECT OF YOUR LOGIC . IN ORDER TO PROVE MY POINT REGARDING ITEM 1 ) I CAN EASILY SAY THAT HISTORY CAN HELP ME ALSO IMPROVE MY TROUBLESHOOTING SKILL . WITHOUT ZERO HISTORY FACING A PROBLEM YOU ARE BOUND TO START ALL OVER AGAIN , ETC , ETC !

ITEM 2) YEAP .... DOING THE JOB THE WRONG WAY FOR YEAR DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR SKILL , BUT WHAT AB…

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