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Frequently Asked Questions: The Role of an Aircraft Launch and Recovery Technician by David Missita

May 5, 2013

Q: What are some of the primary functions of an Aircraft Launch and Recovery Tech?
A: The duties of an aircraft technician tend to change depending on the day’s itinerary, but encompass several standard operations. When a base prepares to launch or recover an aircraft, the techs operate equipment such as barricades, arresting gear, and steam and hydraulic catapults, among others.

Q: What specifics does a landing operation involve?
A: Besides operating equipment, an Aircraft Launch and Recovery Technician shares similarities with an air traffic controller. For example, techs control visual landing aids to help the vehicle touch down safely on land-based airfields and aircraft carriers.

Q: What are the particulars of recovering an aircraft, and maintaining one after it lands?
A: Teams of technicians takes apart equipment such as catapults and arresting gear. Additionally, they know how to replace faulty parts using a wide array of hand tools.

Q: Do technicians stick to operations, or take on other duties?
A: Besides getting their hands dirty on aircraft and other equipment, Aircraft Launch and Recovery Technicians are responsible for logging launches and recoveries, and recording maintenance details. They also direct launches and recoveries.

About the Author

During his time in the United States Marine Corps, David Missita served as an Aircraft Launch and Recovery Technician. Before his honorable discharge in 2001, he received the Good Conduct medal.

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From → USMC

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