22 DEC 2016
The hangar and mechanics of American
Airlines in Ezeiza - travel and interview
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Posted in: Airlines , Airports , Featured , Interview
Tags american airlines , maintenance
A few weeks ago I said that American Airlines had hired several aircraft mechanics for its base in Ezeiza.
American now has up to five daily flights, all with Boeing 777s that stay at the airport for many hours until
they leave their bases in Miami, Dallas or New York. It is not normal for airplanes in the world to be long
at the airport. To "get money" from the plane you have to fly it. And if it is on land ... you have to do the
That is why American Airlines always had a reasonable number of mechanics to solve minor contingencies
in the airplanes, but in the last year made the decision to give greater importance to its base in Ezeiza and to
assign different tasks to the mechanics that contracted in the country .
That is to say now coordinates with its central base the scheduled tasks that will be done to the plane in our
country, taking advantage of those hours that the plane is "standing still".
I had the great pleasure to know the work they do there, although they are not yet at full capacity as they
are increasing the stock of spare parts and also the tasks to be performed. At present they have 40
mechanics and 9 people dedicated to the stock of spare parts
What is the value of spare parts in the country? Currently around 5 to 8 million dollars and aspire to triple it
For security reasons... I could not enter something to register the visit, but at least I have some photos to
leave testimony of my passing through the place.
Here with "high rims" of the 777 or the tires, rather
First I walked the platform with Gonzalo Schames, general manager of American in Ezeiza. And as it was
in the morning I saw how they were unloading cargo from one of the 777. I went up and saw how the
cleaning tasks were started and the maintenance staff was on.
Like any airplane that arrives from a flight of so many hours, the cabin is "shattered". Blankets and papers
lying around, that after a few hours everything is impeccable.
That's when the cleaning staff came in and they all go through security checks before they get on the plane.
Nothing is ever neglected. American also offers its own ramp service, which is the only company in the
country that can do it, along with Aerolíneas Argentinas (which has Aerohandling).
It is interesting what Gonzalo told me that for some years now one of the four airplanes that are always in
Ezeiza (when there is a fifth is a few hours), they do in addition to general cleaning, a deep cleaning of
upholstery. This consists of removing ALL the covers of the seats and send them to a laundry in the area,
where it has a special treatment. This laundry is periodically audited.
All this is not ready on the same day, so there is always a stock of extra covers for change, and so they
change a game every day.
Also in Buenos Aires deep cleaning of the bathrooms is done, disarming the entire toilet ... which is also
something that can not be done in normal scales. The person who does that comes with a special costume
obviously (More than special, it could be spatial)
After seeing several details that marked Gonzalo above the plane we could see how the load was lowered.
Usually, or that's what I understood, all the luggage goes in the back of the plane, and in the front half goes
all that is cargo. At that time they were lowering many pallets with the elevators. That's where I cried for
not being able to have the camera because to see how they used those platforms and removed the pallets,
making them turn and move quickly but with great care is wonderful. One person operated one machine
and another the "train" that removed them, everything was a great coordinated ballet.
They told me that at night the 777 are going with many cranberries from Concordia in Entre Rios, from
Lima in the province of Buenos Aires, also some from Tucumán, Salta and even from Uruguay. In addition
every day a truck arrives from Puerto Montt with Chilean salmon that does not arrive to leave for Santiago
From there I went to what would be the maintenance office that is a few meters from the trading platform.
There it seemed to be in American territory, full of American Airlines folders and posters. But there were
some things that confirmed that it was not a Dallas office: terms and mates.
And of course several Argentine mechanics who were checking the books of the planes and the tasks to be
There I went through everything and understood the tasks thanks to Dario Mastrangelo, who years ago
works for AA (that is American Airlines ...). Don Dario is a fan of the 777 and fundamentally his Roll
Royce engines (in version 200). He spoke with great passion of the "Falcon" of the air.
They are currently in the growth stage in their tasks and in their staff, but for example the new mechanics
for the moment can assist those already approved by American in the United States. All who enter will be
traveling to the USA in the coming months for different courses and exams. They are trained by Boeing
and AA at one of the bases in the USA.
I then went to the place where the stock of spare parts ... imagine a hardware store full of boxes of all sizes
... well, bigger
And what do they have? From fluorescent tubes to black boxes. From the little button that drives the
business seat to oxygen masks.
And there you also understand because they have NINE people handling the stock. Because every time you
use something you have to report it to be sent again. Because if an airplane is put "such a spare" you have
to put it in the history of the plane, stating that it was changed for some reason and that part with a serial
number was replaced ...
That's when I started to imagine how difficult it is to start with an airline ... and good that I was there to see
But in that place that I ran with answers, which I estimate would be about 150 square meters is where they
have 8 million dollars in stock. But they want to triple it and for that they rented a hangar in the siege zone
In that hangar does not enter any 777 ... note that the photo of Google Maps is prior to the hangar of
Aerolíneas Argentinas. But in that hangar is where they will have all the spare parts and will be the base of
maintenance and with more comfort
American DREAMS to have a hangar of their own, like the one they are building in San Pablo where two
777 enter. The project is but depends on the master plan of Ezeiza and they do works ... but that will be a
multi-million dollar investment More work, of course). San Pablo has five flights a day and by season may
have some more, but it is not far from the four insurance that Ezeiza has. They as different have the flight
to Los Angeles.
When I made the trip the hangar had a few days ago, so they had not changed much. They were
conditioning it. But for example they showed me a box they had shipped of tools from the United States,
which cost almost like a Ferrari ... full of precision elements
They also recently received a German machine to clean the engines, which requires many hours of work for
To finish, and already inside the airport in the area of counters and with my cell phone above I made a note
to Gonzalo to speak of the base and of general advice to passengers that travel to USA, until we speak of
the famous ???? that appear in the Boarding.
Thank you Gonzalo for the wave and the time, as well as Agustina Mitjavila for the AA press.