Aircraft Spray Painters can be equated to civilian Automotive Spray Painters but that’s where the similarity ends. As an Aircraft Spray Painter you'll be responsible for the application of protective paint coatings to ADF aircraft. Air Force Spray Painters are employed on duties which include the paint stripping and painting of metallic and composite surfaces of aircraft; corrosion prevention processes; preparation and use of aircraft support equipment; identification and demanding of aircraft paint equipment and materials, maintenance of spray painting equipment and amendment and maintenance of technical publications. Spray Painters are also involved in stencilling, and the application of tapes and decals.
Working Conditions. The working environment varies because of the nature of the work encountered. Air Force Spray Painters are often exposed to outdoor conditions and inclement weather, cramped or awkward working positions, confined working spaces, poor light conditions, and aircraft, machinery and equipment noise and vibration. Where possible, work is performed in shelters, hangars or workshops that offer protection from inclement weather. Workshops may be of the open structure or climate controlled type, depending on the maintenance performed. Work is often performed outside normal hours and during stand down periods.
You may at times during your career, have the opportunity to also work on aircraft belonging to the Navy and Army and be employed within Navy or Army Units.
Weapon Systems. As an Aircraft Spray Painter you may be employed on one of the following aircraft types:
- Fighter, (F/A-18 Hornet, Hawk, PC9);
- Maritime, (AP3C Orion);
- Strike, (F/A-18F Super Hornet); or
- Transport, (Hercules, C-17 Globemaster, KC-30A).
Physical Effort. Daily tasks involve considerable standing and climbing with lifting and handling of light materials, tools and equipment. Lifting and handling of heavy equipment and materials occasionally occurs during painting of heavy items, working with scaffolds and trestles, or handling large material containers.
Manual Dexterity and Physical Co-Ordination. Some specialised manual dexterity is required in the use of brushes and spray guns. Normal physical co-ordination is adequate for most tasks.
Speed and Accuracy of Movement. A high degree of accuracy of movement is required for most tasks; however, rapid response or great speed of movement is not normally required.
Contact with Others. Spray Painters are required to frequently interact with other technical trades and civilian staff.
Probability and Consequence of Error. Paint removing compounds, some chemicals and most solvents used in Spray Painting can ruin composite fibre structures and expensive acrylic canopies. Improper techniques can eventually lead to corrosion and destruction of basic metal structures. There is the possibility of error and the consequences can be major and costly.
Responsibility for Money and Material. The job does not involve any responsibility for the care of money. However, accounting responsibilities require the custody and correct use of valuable technical equipment, tools, machinery, publications, materials, job items and other military assets.
Trade Criticality. The duties of an Aircraft Spray Painter in aircraft identification, conspicuity or inconspicuity are critical to the operational effectiveness of the RAAF. The surface finishing is a major factor in the protection of corrosion of aircraft structures; lack of suitable protective coating for any length of time would seriously affect the serviceability and life of the aircraft.
Handling of Classified Documents and Equipment. During the course of duties, Aircraft Spray Painters may be required to handle classified documents and equipment.
Hazards. Inherent hazards exist in tasks associated with exposure to toxic / caustic materials; contact of exposed skin with paint remover and operating at heights over 5 metres. Personal protective equipment is provided and its use is enforced. Tasks require constant care and development of safe working habits to avoid injury. Minor cuts and bruises may be sustained, but the possibility exists of sustaining more serious injury from machinery, plant, equipment and operational aircraft systems.