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December 2, 2016 by
Those of you who work Line Maintenance know that a good portion of the calls we get during the course of the day are for things like coffee makers, seat belts, window washes, and of course oil. This past week started off normal enough. I start work mid week and one of the first calls was for oil. This is not unusual but as the day progressed it seemed like all the flight crews wanted oil. There were 5 or 6 of us on shift that day and I would bet that each of us went through 2 or 3 cases of oil EACH!!
We have a table that we put our empty oil cans on to drain out the last bits of oil and make the cans clean for the recyclers. The table was full and the cans were stacked! I know that this happens every now and then but this seemed to be excessive. Easily every other call was for oil I was amazed.
Turns out that the flight crews have a new requirement that says they must call Maintenance Control if they are at a station with no SWA maintenance and their oil qty is 65% or lower. I can only guess as to the reasoning behind this but I'm sure that if the dollars and cents, nitty gritty, nuts and bolts were explained to me, then it would make total sense. What I do know is that the flight crews do not want to talk to Maintenance Control. They like talking to them so little that they make sure that they get the oil filled up at a Maintenance Station, like OAK.
I admit that it is tiresome to go out and put 2 or 3 quarts of oil into an engine. I start to think things like "It's raining out here, the Captain is nice and dry upstairs and called me out in this mess to put a lousy 2 quarts of oil in the engine?!" Of course there are times when I have put over 10 quarts into an engine and that pisses me off too. "How could these fools leave whatever station they were at with the oil being so low?" It really irks me that they would treat the engines, my engines like that.
I think whats going on is that the company wants to save as much money as possible and it really is kind of silly to have to pay contract maintenance to put oil in a plane that just left OAK (or where ever) one or two legs ago. Saving money helps SWA put food on my table so I guess I will go oil up that plane in the rain, snow, heat, dark even if it's a mere two quarts. It's taking care of our engines and our bottom line, two birds-one can of oil, type of thing.

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