THE MECHANIC’S CREED
Upon my honor, I swear that I shall hold in sacred trust the rights and privileges conferred upon me as a certified aircraft mechanic. Knowing full well that the safety and lives of others are dependent upon my skill and judgement. I shall never knowingly subject others to risks, which I would not be willing to assume for myself, or those dear to me.
In discharging this trust, I pledge myself never to undertake work or approve work which I feel to be beyond the limits of my knowledge, nor shall I allow any non-certificated superior to persuade me to approve aircraft or equipment as airworthy against my better judgement, nor shall I permit my judgement to be influenced by money or other personal gain, nor shall I pass as airworthy, aircraft or equipment about which I am in doubt, either as a result of direct inspection or uncertainty regarding the ability of others who have worked on it to accomplish their work satisfactory.
I realize the grave responsibility, which is mine as a certified airman, to exercise my judgement on the airworthiness of aircraft and equipment. I therefore, pledge unyielding adherence to these precepts for the advancement of aviation and for the dignity of my vocation.
I have been in aviation for thirty plus years and the one thing I pride myself in is not crossing the line to take short cuts to get the aircraft out the door. As a former Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI), I had to deal with a few mechanics that crossed the line. It was never a pleasant experience taking another mechanic to task, but rules are for safety and they should not be broken as the above creed explains.
One thing I learned, as an ASI there is a situation of intentional crossing the line and non-intentional crossing the line. It was the intentional crossing the line that really effected people and cost the owners additional money to correct something or in some cases their life.
As an ASI I took a few mechanics out behind the hanger and had a man to man talk and found that often would get a mechanic back on the right side of the line. Sometimes it just takes another mechanic pointing out we may of crossed the line. Then there were a few cases where no amount of talking would help and I was forced to open an enforcement action to suspend or revocate a mechanic certificates and ratings.
Taking away a mechanic rating is a serious action as it takes away their ability to earn a living in aviation. However, there are some areas such as a mechanic committing fraud it is automatic revocation of their certificates.
If you use someone certificate number, name, and signature to return an item to service that is crossing the line and FRAUD. This is intention and you are wrong.
One of the items I often seen was a mechanic not following the maintenance manual and skipping steps because they thought they knew better. One such case was an A&P that told me he did not need a torque wrench since he had performed the task so many time he know how much torque he was applying. In this case, the cylinder departed the engine for improper torque resulting in an accident.
Often FAA inspectors find mechanics crossing the line at the incident or accident sight. There is not much a FAA inspector can do if they find negligence during an incident or accident investigation. This is why Part 43 section 43.9 is so important about describing the work you performed or reference to the data used indicating the steps your followed.
Some of the negligence is from preforming the same task over and over such as on flight school aircraft where you may be performing a 100-hour inspection on the same aircraft every few weeks. Not disassembling the aircraft as required to inspect can lead to disastrous out comes. Skipping steps on the inspection checklists is crossing the line.
Having a boss intimate a mechanic to skip steps or inspections is crossing the line. It is the mechanics responsibility not to cross the line it is your name, signature, and certificates at risk if you cross the line.
No supervisory can force a mechanic to sign off any return to service if they think it is not correct. We mechanics have to the power to say NO. If a mechanic thinks, they are being pressured to sign off a return to service statement by a supervisor it's time to pick up the telephone and contact your local FSDO for assistance. This is one time the FAA inspector is your best friend.
As mechanics we have to decide to do things right as stated in the Mechanics Creed, if you cannot follow the mechanic creed maybe you should find some of the line of business to make a living. I for one trust most mechanics and will go out of my way to assist another mechanic that is what we do.