What’s that you’re doing, Mr. Schwarzbauer? 

Daniel Schwarzbauer, aircraft mechanic, at Lufthansa Technik Munich
© Sonja Brüggemann/Lufthansa Technik

Daniel Schwarzbauer, 21,

Aircraft mechanic

… has been working for Lufthansa Technik in Munich for five years

 

“I am in the process of changing the wheel of an Airbus A340-600. During landing and takeoff, the tires of any aircraft are exposed to incredible forces, which is why we regularly inspect the wheels in our routine checks. They are immediately changed if we find any signs of damage or if the treads are worn. The procedure is very similar to changing a car tire: I position a hydraulic jack, which can bear loads of anything up to 90 tons, under the axle and keep on pumping until the wheel no longer touches the ground. Then I remove the hub cap and the lock rings, and unscrew the nuts that keep the wheel in place. With the help of a colleague, I pull the old wheel off the axle. We then push the new one into place. The next step is to replace all the nuts, the lock rings and the hub cap. The whole job takes roughly an hour – when I’m done, the plane is ready to go back into service.”