United Airlines Principal Engineer - Fleet (Component Engineering) in Chicago, Illinois

Technical Operations

Technical Operations is the maintenance, repair and overhaul division of United. The department includes aircraft maintenance technicians, engineers, planners, ground equipment and facilities teams, supply chain teams and more.

Job Overview and Responsibilities

Utilizing a wide variety of United and vendor resources, component engineers analyze component failure modes, research solutions, execute authorizing documentation including maintenance program changes and monitor the performance of these improved solutions. Provide cross utilization skill support of systems and avionics subject matter experts and reliability engineers. Take a leadership role in ensuring United's technical excellence in the area of assigned responsibility.

Engineering – Component Support

Provide on-site and remote technical support for repair development and technical disposition related to the design, operation, maintenance, performance, modification and/or repair of aircraft components to improve reliability. Develop and substantiate safe, timely and cost effective repairs and procedures or provide similar guidance to vendor shop engineers. Interpret and implement legally mandated actions, maintenance programs, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) drawings, service bulletins and component maintenance manuals.

  • Provide engineering disposition for technical issues

  • Write concise technical documents for the testing, repair and overhaul of components to comply with manufacturer documents or legal requirements

  • Gather relevant data, report shop findings and initiate corrective action in support of root cause determination on in-service problems or operational issues

  • Work with other engineering departments in evaluation and prototype of new projects

  • Study, analyze, and seek solutions to production issues related to design, operation, performance, modification, or repair of components

  • Work as a liaison between engineering, maintenance, vendors and manufacturers to ensure legal compliance and economic engineering solutions

  • Investigate, develop & implement repair processes, procedures for assigned components as well as ad hoc requests. Efficiently use a variety of sources for developing effective repair schemes for boosting component reliability within acceptable cost parameters. The sources include (but not limited to):

  • Reliability engineers

  • Data analytics teams

  • Vendor/OEM data (Service Bulletins, tear down reports, etc.)

  • Must be capable in determining the validity and acceptability of the data as well as assist in challenging the vendor in making changes/corrections.

  • Subject matter experts (engineers, mechanics, etc.)

  • Shop & OEM production

  • Vendor Management (including recommendations/criteria on how to select vendors, assist in contract development, etc.)

  • Other

  • Strength and utilization of materials in the proper environments

  • Capable of interpreting component maintenance manuals (CMM), aircraft maintenance manuals (AMM), fault isolation manuals (FIM), etc


  • Teamwork, project management, good communication and analytical skills

  • Knowledgeable of airworthiness, repair substantiation criteria and regulatory requirements

  • Proficient in interpreting Component Maintenance Manuals and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) service bulletins, drawings and other technical data

  • Skilled with engineering practices used in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft and components

  • Background in engineering maintenance support preferred including familiarity with test equipment

  • Experience providing engineering support for component shops preferred


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical) and/or equivalent work experience

  • Knowledgeable of airworthiness, repair substantiation criteria and regulatory requirements specifically 14 CFR Part 25, 121 and 145

  • Background in engineering component maintenance support preferred

This position will be hired as either an Engineer-Level 6, Senior Engineer-Level 5 or Principal Engineer-Level 4; the selection will be based on level of experience, qualifications, certifications and time spent in a similar role at another company.


  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer without sponsorship

  • Successful completion of interview required to meet job qualifications

  • Reliable, punctual attendance is an essential function of the position

  • Up to 20% travel is expected. Destinations include OEMs, repair shops, etc.

Equal Opportunity Employer – Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled/LGBT

Division: 66 Technical Operations/Maintenance

Function: Professional Opportunities

Equal Opportunity Employer – Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled