head, and each division has a division officer. The size
of the squadron will determine if you have a branch
officer. The line chief petty officer (CPO) is the
division CPO. Normally, you will work directly for the
line petty officer or a shift supervisor. There are three
branches (two afloat) within the line division. The
following paragraphs discuss these branches.
The troubleshooter branch provides a rapid means
of troubleshooting and repairing discrepancies
discovered on the flight line. Also, troubleshooters are
technical advisors to the plane captains.
Troubleshooters may be permanently assigned to the
line division or they may be temporarily assigned from
other work centers on a daily or hourly basis. They
must be knowledgeable in line operations, flight line
safety, and aircraft systems.
SUPPORT EQUIPMENT BRANCH
Only shore-based squadrons have support
equipment (SE) branches. Lack of space aboard ship
makes it impossible to store SE; therefore, an SE
branch is not possible. Normally, your squadron will
check out SE needed on the line. When SE is no longer
needed, it is returned to the aircraft intermediate
maintenance department (AIMD). The SE branch is
responsible for the SE used by the squadron. This
responsibility includes the daily/operational
inspections performed on the equipment, and in some
cases, minor maintenance. Refer to local procedures
when you work with SE.
PLANE CAPTAIN BRANCH
The plane captain branch of the line division is made
up of qualified plane captains and trainees (persons in
training to become qualified plane captains). This branch
normally has between 75 and 95 percent of the total
personnel assigned to the line division. The branch does
routine maintenance (daily/turnaround inspections and
cleaning) and other organizational maintenance assigned
by maintenance control.
You cannot become a qualified plane captain
automatically. You must work long hours and
demonstrate that you know the aircraft and its
operation (orally and in writing). After demonstrating
your ability. you will be designated, in writing, as a
plane captain by the commanding officer. The
following paragraphs discuss the duties and
qualifications of a plane captain.
Plane Captain Duties
Because naval aircraft are very complex, the plane
captain does not have in-depth knowledge of all the
systems contained in the aircraft. Therefore,
technicians other than the plane captain must perform
those portions of the daily and turnaround/preflight
inspections that are beyond the technical
qualifications of the plane captain. This assistance
does not relieve the plane captain of their overall
responsibility for the aircraft. The following is a list of
the minimum duties of a plane captain:
Perform daily, preflight, postflight, and
turnaround inspections with assisting personnel,
and assist others in performing O-level
Assists the pilot in flight preparation and advises
the pilot of the material condition of the aircraft.
Responsible for the cleanliness and prevention of
corrosion on the aircraft by pursuing an effective
and continual preventive maintenance program.
Perform the work required and assist on phase,
special, and conditional inspections within the
rating specialty as required by maintenance
requirements cards (MRCs).
Plane Captain Qualifications
Assignment as a plane captain carries a high degree
of responsibility. The selection of the right person to be
a plane captain is important. Regardless of rating, this
person must possess the mechanical aptitude, personal
integrity, and motivation necessary for the job. These
qualities help to ensure that the aircraft is properly
inspected and serviced before each flight. A broad
screening of available personnel in the aviation ratings
and comprehensive formal and on-the-job (OJT)
training programs ensure that only the most qualified
individuals are designated as plane captains. The
following is a list of qualifications for plane captains.
Possess the qualities of personal integrity,
maturity, judgement, and aptitude.
Demonstrate knowledge of the particular type of
aircraft and its systems, including its cockpit, ejection
seats, and controls.
Demonstrate knowledge of the ordnance or
armament equipment installed in or on the aircraft, and
ensure that the armament, ejection seat, and other
cartridge-activated devices are in a safe and ready
condition during daily, preflight, postflight, and