Here's today's riddle: Name something that all pilots need and use all the time, often don't know by name, and depend on completely for the safety of every flight. The answer isn't obvious, and neither is this person, who frequently remains totally hidden at your local flying school or airport. Need a clue? How about tools, grease and safety wire? I'm speaking of your local aviation mechanic.
Some pilots still think an A&P is a supermarket, not the highly-trained airframe and powerplant mechanic who works on their airplane. Few know the education, effort, endurance, persistence, and skill required to obtain an A&P license. There are those who believe that becoming a licensed aviation mechanic is merely a matter of strapping on a tool belt, showing up at the local FAA office then doing a few dazzling moves with a box wrench. These are the same people who believe that Voltaire invented electricity. It just ain’t so.