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Aircraft Painter


Description

When you see an airplane flying over your head, do you ever stop and look at the logo on the tail to figure out what airline it is? Whether it is United Airlines, Swiss Air, Lufthansa, or Qantas, an aircraft painter surely traced and reproduced the insignia and also painted the entire aircraft.

Aircraft painters prepare, prime and paint aircraft exteriors. They apply paint, enamel, lacquer and other non-metallic protective and decorative coatings. It is their job to mix, blend and match paints. Therefore, they need some art and painting experience with mixing colors and paints to find the right shades.

For each project, they are assigned to a plane ranging anywhere in size from a jumbo jet to a small hang glider. Painters are given appropriate manuals with detailed instructions on precisely how the plane must look. Especially these days since airplane security is so tight, it is important that each airline has the proper colors and logo, to make them identifiable, especially in the international community.

Using appropriate specifications, they mechanically or chemically strip old paint and rust with paint remover and a scraper. Next, they smooth the surface with sandpaper and steel wool, in order to prime the surface for painting. Before the actual painting, they will solvent wash all areas to be painted and blow and tack them. Using various brushes, rollers and spray guns, aircraft painters then coat the exterior of the aircraft, either in its entirety or as a patch up job.

Aircraft painters must be able to perform detailed work for corporate logos and the branding of aircrafts, as well as perfectly finished fieldwork. They must also thoroughly understand and follow all safety regulations. Since their work includes the use of hazardous chemicals and potentially dangerous industrial spray paint equipment, they need to work with the proper protective gear.
 
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Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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