What Aviation Mechanic Terminology Should I Know?

Interested in learning more about aviation from an aircraft mechanic’s perspective? Knowing some terminology will help you in the classroom. Here are some of the more important terms to know when you start an Aviation Maintenance Technology degree program at MIAT College of Technology’s Canton, Michigan, campus.*

Plus, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants aircraft mechanics to know these terms as they may be found on the FAA certification testing that aircraft mechanics must pass before they can work on aircraft.

What Aviation Mechanic Terminology Should I Know?

There are many terms that an aviation mechanic should know. The most important is the terminology of the aircraft engine.

Aircraft Engine Stages

There are four stages to an aircraft engine. They include:

Stage 1: Intake or induction is used to draw a mixture of air and fuel into the engine cylinder.

Stage 2: The air-fuel mixture sucked into the cylinder head is compressed before ignition takes place.

Stage 3: Combustion or power is created by rapidly expanding gas ignited by the spark plug causing the pressure inside the cylinder to spike, forcing the piston back down.

Stage 4: Exhaust of the converted energy is used to power the combustion engine. This happens when the exhaust valve opens just before the power stage completes and remains open during the piston’s movement.

Systems Associated with a Turbine Engine

Aircraft mechanics need to become familiar with the many systems associated with a turbine engine. These systems include:

Accessory drive gearbox – has attached pads for accessories that need to be mechanically driven. They include generators, hydraulic pumps, starters and fuel pumps. The generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy using electromagnetics. The hydraulic pump is used to move non-compressible fluid through the hydraulic system.

Fuel system – includes important accessories external to the engine, including a fuel pump, fuel control, fuel manifold, heat exchanger, drum and pressurizing valve. The fuel system supplies pressurized fuel from the main aircraft tanks. The fuel pump helps fuel to be loaded, stored, managed and delivered to the engine. A heat exchanger helps control heat and maintain temperature by removing excess heat from the engine.

Lubrication system – includes an oil pump, oil storage tank, lubricating oil jets, seals to keep the oil in and air out, scavenge system, filter indications, oil filter, heat exchanger, chip detector, and oil drains.

Ignition system – includes igniter boxes, igniter plugs, and cable to connect the igniter boxes to the igniter plugs.

Bleed system – consists of bleed valves, solenoids or actuators, control device and lines to connect the control device to the actuators. The solenoid operates by opening and closing to control air and fuel flow.

Start system – an external source of power to start the aircraft compressor that starts rotating to compress enough air to get energy to the fuel.

Anti-ice system – aircraft engine’s protection against ice.

Engine Instrumentation on the Flight Deck

The flight deck is something that a pilot monitors during flight. It is also important for an aviation mechanic to be responsible for ensuring the instruments work.

Air temperature indicator – shows the temperature of the air outside the aircraft.

Engine pressure ratio (EPR) – the measure of thrust provided by the engine.

Engine starter indication – shows the start status, whether running or disconnected.

Exhaust gas temperature (EGT) – measures temperature of the gas exiting the rear of the engine.

Fire warning indicator – fire warning in the engine compartment.

Fuel flow indicator – shows the fuel flow in pounds per hour as supplied by the fuel nozzle.

Fuel heat indication – registers when the fuel heat is on

Fuel inlet pressure indicator – measures the pressure at the inlet to the engine-driven fuel pump.

Oil filter bypass indication – indicates when the pressure drops across the oil filter.

Oil pressure indicator – shows the pressure of the oil as it comes out of the oil pump.

Oil temperature indicator – shows the oil temperature in the lubrication circuit.

Rotor rpm – aircraft with a multiple-rotor turbine engine has a rotor indicator.

Thrust reverser indication – shows the thrust reversers state.

Vibration indication – shows the amount of vibration measures on the engine rotor.

Upon completion of the FAA-certified Aviation Maintenance Technology program at MIAT, graduates can apply and test for the Airframe and Powerplant FAA certification.

Final Thoughts

Now that you can talk the talk, it is time to walk the walk. Let MIAT prepare you for a career as an aircraft mechanic with plenty of classroom theory and hands-on training. Contact us now!

Want to Learn More?

At MIAT, our Aviation Maintenance Technology program focuses on teaching students the advanced precision skills needed by FAA-certificated aviation maintenance technicians. With the strong foundation we provide, our graduates are prepared to pursue exciting careers.  

To learn more about our 24-month Aviation Maintenance Technology AAS degree program offered at MIAT Canton and explore whether MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us today if you’re interested in training to become an aviation maintenance technician.


*MIAT is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.miat.edu/disclosures.