By BYRON HARRIS and MARK SMITH / WFAA-TV Fixing an aircraft is not like fixing a Chevy. Aircraft mechanics don’t do their job with guesses, but instead do them with a repair manual open in front of them, mapping every step. Manuals are written in English, the worldwide language of aviation. News 8 has uncovered a pipeline of mechanics that are being funneled into the United States from foreign countries and may lack the necessary English skills to read and understand the manuals needed to make proper repairs. Documents and interviews indicate one Texas repair firm, San Antonio Aerospace (SAA), now has more than 100 Mexican and Asian aircraft mechanics. SAA’s sprawling repair station in San Antonio is currently running two shifts a day doing contract work for both Delta Airlines and UPS, among others. Some SAA repairmen say the Mexican workers lack the ability to even understand the content of company meetings, much less read manuals. Nonetheless, they say, SAA sent a manager to Mexico to actively recruit repairmen. One certified American mechanic who spoke Spanish said he acted as an informal translator to help the Mexican workers once they arrived in San Antonio. "I would be like the Pied Piper to them," he said. “They would follow me and ask what the meeting was about, 'What did the lead mechanic say?'” Later, after watching a group of Asians arrive at SAA, he said he realized the folly in helping the new hires with language problems after overhearing a conversation between two of his managers. “All these American contractors that think we can’t live without them,” he said one of the managers said to the other. "We will just get rid of them.” Ultimately, he and many other American mechanics at SAA were laid off while the foreign workers remained. "They came in at half the pay as American, English-speaking mechanics, so they got a bargain,” the mechanic said. “Of course, the downfall is when you can't read, write or understand English there is a serious safety problem going on there." SAA president Moh Loong Loh said in a written statement that his company is "an equal opportunity employer, and our hiring policy is in strict compliance with local, state and federal regulations." Other questions regarding SAA’s recruiting practices include the number of foreign mechanics employed and potential safety issues that went unanswered. San Antonio Aerospace is owned by ST Aerospace, headquartered in Singapore. It is one of the largest aircraft repair companies in the world. Delta Airlines sends Boeing 757 passenger aircrafts to SAA for repair. Delta says the company has inspectors on the premises in San Antonio who “are responsible for ensuring that all manufacturer, federal aviation and Delta requirements are met on every Delta aircraft." "Delta does not compromise on the quality or safety of work performed on its aircraft," the company said. UPS sends wide-bodied Airbus and McDonnell Douglas cargo planes to SAA for extensive repairs. UPS said in a written statement that the company has 13 full time staff people on the premises at San Antonio Aerospace. "We do not know if every mechanic speaks English,” a UPS spokeswoman said. “Once a mechanic makes the repair(s), the repairs go to a quality control inspector who has to verify the work is done correctly. After this step, one of our UPS team will also review the work." Immigration documents list at least some of the Mexican mechanics as “scientific technicians.” “Frankly, this document scares me because it doesn't state these people are trained, and actually uses a term calling them 'scientific technicians,” said John Goglia, a certified mechanic and former member of the National Transportation Safety Board. “That's not an aviation term.” Goglia said he is especially concerned if the mechanics lack solid English skills. “When you bring in a person who can’t read the manual you raise the risk,” Gogila said. “When you bring in a person who doesn’t understand the verbal instructions from a co-worker to his supervisor you raise the risk. It doesn’t take a lot of tic marks in raising the risk before we have ourselves a serious problem.” Documents indicate the men are paid by a company called Aircraft Workers Worldwide, with an office in Daphne, Alabama. AWW CEO Daniel Hardin declined to be interviewed. When News 8 came to his small office in an industrial park, an AWW employee told the reporter to leave. In a federal immigration application, AWW applied for a TN Visa under the Free Trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico. AWW says it has a gross annual income of $9 million. AWW says it intends to pay the workers a $1,000 weekly salary for about 40 to 50 hours. AWW, in the application, also claims to have “a site” or office on SAA property. American mechanics from Mobile Aerospace, a sister company of SAA, in Mobile, Alabama near Daphne, said other mechanics were brought in from overseas to work there. The Mobile division responded to News 8's questions the same way as SAA, calling the company “an equal opportunity employer.” Current and former workers say some of the foreign workers may have left SAA for jobs elsewhere, including Florida "And since there are no restrictions with them with these visas, they can go and work anywhere in the country,” Goglia said. Goglia said the issue should be reviewed by the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates such repairs. “The FAA is the entity that is supposed to safeguard the public's interest in safe transportation,” Goglia said. ”And, where are they?” The FAA, in a comment about a previous News 8 story, said it is not necessary for an aircraft mechanic to speak perfect English. Have fun flying!!!!!!!