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Flight Test Instrumentation Technician

Test aircraft parts to ensure safety prior to actual flight testing.

What does a Flight Test Instrumentation Technician do?

Every new product must undergo testing before it hits the market. After all, nobody wants to sell or buy an unsafe product. And when the product is an airplane, helicopter, jet, or other aircraft, that safety and performance testing could save lives.

As a Flight Test Instrumentation Technician, you help Engineers design and test the components of aircraft so they can be approved for use by the public. But don’t worry, the job of a Flight Test Instrumentation Technician isn’t as “Evil Knievel” as it sounds. Before you ever let the Test Pilot head into the sky, you run every possible test to ensure safety on the test run and every flight afterwards.

In order to monitor the engine performance, handling, radar, communication systems, temperature, navigation, vibration, friction, noise, and a number of other systems, you assist the Engineers who design gauges that record readings. You then mount the gauges to the system and allow them to take careful notes during the flight.

The instruments you design record sounds, temperatures, movement, and resistance, to name a few. Once they’re back on the ground, you analyze the data gathered through those cameras and recording devices. This information allows you to make adjustments to the system before testing it all over again.

Working as a Flight Test Instrumentation Technician is a great opportunity to work with Test Pilots and Engineers. If you like what you see, you could continue your education and move up the ladder.