For the small plane A&Ps out there

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proppastie

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I took my test at Bakers in Nashville....they teach the test and have local DE to give the exam. This is after you have your signed paper from the FAA. The test had many questions on turbine and large aircraft systems, and it was an FAA test....So if you only learned small GA you would have a hard time to pass.....But maybe different Fsdo do things differently. The problem with many of the answers here is probably they got their A&P before you were born.
 

Pops

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I know several A&P's that went to Bakers in Nashville.
After building 2 homebuilts and working on airplanes for many years under a couple of IA's, the local FSDO office ask me when was I going to get my A&P. I told them I didn't want it because I didn't want to work on airplane for a living and I would rather have an IA inspect and sign off my work and not be bothered by people wanting me to work on their airplanes.
 

Turd Ferguson

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[
I am surprised that the FAA allows so much latitude in curriculums !
Again it’s good to hear from those that were there.
If you read the curriculum in Part 147 for an approved aviation school there is very little leeway.

In A&P school you learn fundamentals. It's not airplane category specific. The A&P school I attended was on the Gulf Coast and surrounded by offshore helicopter support. So I got a lot of experience working on helicopters. Same fundamentals as an airliner, difference is in the details. You learn details on the job.

In the mid-90's FAA floated a proposal to specialize A&P training and skills by adding specialty 'type ratings' to to A&P certificates. For example, one could earn a 'transport airplane' rating on their A&P certificate if they completed the requisite additional training. The proposal failed.
 

Turd Ferguson

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The test had many questions on turbine and large aircraft systems, and it was an FAA test....So if you only learned small GA you would have a hard time to pass.....
It works both ways because an applicant testing based on military experience struggles with internal combustion powerplants. For example, not going to get experience with magnetos in the military but it's required part of oral and practical testing. One of my A&P instructors became a DME and he says all applicants testing based on experience struggle if they don't get any prep. Their experience is too narrow, which someone has mentioned in this discussion. At least in school you cover a broad range of subjects. Might not excel in any one area but at least it shouldn't be foreign.
 

Dan Thomas

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It took quite a few years to finely realise that mechanics are just rare. For instance, I live in a town of 450 people. There are maybe 50 people here who can build you a house, and probably 5 or so that could rebuild an engine properly. I don't know why but it's just that way.
Only about 0.2% of the nation's population holds a pilot license of any sort, from ultralight up to ATP. 1 in 500 people. Aircraft mechanics are rarer than that, probably much less than 0.1%. And pilots who are also mechanics are the rarest. I worked briefly for a water bomber outfit, working on the four-engined bombers and the twin-engined bird dogs, all turbines, and of the 50 or so mechanics, only four or five of us were pilots as well.

I used to hear flight students grump about the time it took to get their ratings. I'd hear them complain that they didn't want to spend four years earning the Canadian AME. I'd remind them that the years go by anyway, and you have a choice: spend them grumbling, or spend them doing the work and achieving something. Some of them achieved both the flying and fixing licenses, making good livings, some owning and flying and maintaining their own airplanes, while 20 years later the grumblers are still grumbling about the time and cost and working at some job they hate.
 

crusty old aviator

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We didn’t work on a single airframe at my A&P school. We had wrecked structures to practice repairs on, but not whole airframes. We learned all about systems: all of them! An aircraft is just a collection of systems, after all. I’ve heard so many arguments for dropping dope & fabric, dropping welding, even dropping accessory repair (because “technicians don’t repair, they only send stuff out or replace components: only mechanics repair stuff), but they’re all bogus.
Canada doesn’t have AMTs nor mechanics, they have engineers. So they think Yank A&P’s are poorly trained, but their engineers don‘t have bachelor’s degrees, and much less training than A&P’s. I got into a debate with a MOT goomer up there, and he learned that an A&P/IA is comparable to an engineer with every license they issue (except avionics, like in the US), except the breadth of the FAA curriculum is much broader than the MOT’s, who rely on specialty training courses to supplement their D and M licenses, etc.
The law is there, requiring A&P candidates to learn, understand and know dope & fabric, small recip engines, propellers, etc., regardless of whether they want to “play in the majors” or just supplement their BSAE or BSME degrees. It all really comes down to the A&P being little more than a license to learn, as has been mentioned above, and a license to work on any system in any aircraft, learning the specifics of those particular systems and installations as you go. I've seen way too many A&Ps refuse to work on aircraft they were unfamiliar with, because they ARE poorly trained and never grasped that every aircraft is just a collection of systems.
The most important thing for all mechanics, and AMTs, to remember is: that every inflight aircraft is a life-support system, and working on them should always be approached as one would approach maintaining the equipment you’d find in an OR and an ICU.
 

Dan Thomas

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Canada doesn’t have AMTs nor mechanics, they have engineers. So they think Yank A&P’s are poorly trained, but their engineers don‘t have bachelor’s degrees, and much less training than A&P’s. I got into a debate with a MOT goomer up there, and he learned that an A&P/IA is comparable to an engineer with every license they issue (except avionics, like in the US), except the breadth of the FAA curriculum is much broader than the MOT’s, who rely on specialty training courses to supplement their D and M licenses, etc.
Don't know where you get your info, but it's off. "Engineer" is a British term referring to a person that operates or maintains machinery. It's not the Professional Engineer with 6 or 7 years of University training.
Much less training than an A&P? Ha. In Canada, formal training for the AME license is mandatory. You cannot get the license without it. An American can get the A&P just by apprenticing for three years (or is it 30 months?). A Canadian needs four years of apprenticeship and an Approved school can grant time toward it, but seldom more than 21 months or so. After the formal training the student will still need more than two further years of apprenticeship. The advantage of formal training is the vast amount of theory one gets along with troubleshooting skills, and formal training tends to limit the spread of harmful norms that occur when mechanics train mechanics without following any syllabus. Furthermore, Canadian AME exams are NOT available in book form with all the answers in the back. You can't memorize a pile of stuff and go write the exams without knowing a lot more about the subject.

A Canadian AME license is the equivalent of the A&P-IA in that the AME can sign off annual inspections from the day he is licensed. No further experience required. To be the Director of Maintenance in an Approved Maintenance Organization (like an FAA Repair Station) he'll need two more years experience.

D and M licenses? MOT? Very old stuff. There were formerly 17 categories of licenses. They were, some years ago, consolidated into four categories: M1, M2, E and S. M1 is aircraft up to 12,500 MTOW excluding turbojets (like bizjets) but including some heavier, simpler airplanes like the DC-3 and a few others, and also including piston and turbine helicopters up to 12,500. M2 covers everything else, big stuff and turbojets. E is avionics and S is sheet metal and structures. You can hold more than one rating, but if you get both the M1 and M2 you can't get any more. The M1/M2 can sign off anything including avionics and structures. He doesn't necessarily do the work, but he has to make sure it's done right and to the book.

I hold the M1 and had to write ten exams for it. That was during the transition period between the 17 and four categories before they consolidated the exams. I did M2 work but didn't collect quite enough tasks for it in the 15 months I did it. Enough time but not enough tasks.

The term MOT disappeared a long, long time ago. Transport Canada it's been since then. 1970s, maybe.
 

TFF

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Each system grew out of its own countries need. Now the intermingling is a real problem if you only want to do it your country’s way. There needs to be an international add on and send your money to Brussels or the UN instead of trying to bend each country’s ear. I don’t want to work the EASA way. I have worked in a few repatriated aircraft. Some are messes which beautiful paperwork.

I did my IA at Baker.
 

rv7charlie

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To a much earlier question about reduced training requirements for owner-maintenance (specific to homebuilts, and I *think* for private use cert. a/c as well): If you read Kitplanes & Sport Aviation, you've likely seen that the FAA is considering exactly that in a big batch of rule re-writes currently working their way through the system. Some of y'all might be young enough to see them go into effect....

Charlie
 

Angusnofangus

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Don't know where you get your info, but it's off. "Engineer" is a British term referring to a person that operates or maintains machinery. It's not the Professional Engineer with 6 or 7 years of University training.
Much less training than an A&P? Ha. In Canada, formal training for the AME license is mandatory. You cannot get the license without it. An American can get the A&P just by apprenticing for three years (or is it 30 months?). A Canadian needs four years of apprenticeship and an Approved school can grant time toward it, but seldom more than 21 months or so. After the formal training the student will still need more than two further years of apprenticeship. The advantage of formal training is the vast amount of theory one gets along with troubleshooting skills, and formal training tends to limit the spread of harmful norms that occur when mechanics train mechanics without following any syllabus. Furthermore, Canadian AME exams are NOT available in book form with all the answers in the back. You can't memorize a pile of stuff and go write the exams without knowing a lot more about the subject.

A Canadian AME license is the equivalent of the A&P-IA in that the AME can sign off annual inspections from the day he is licensed. No further experience required. To be the Director of Maintenance in an Approved Maintenance Organization (like an FAA Repair Station) he'll need two more years experience.

D and M licenses? MOT? Very old stuff. There were formerly 17 categories of licenses. They were, some years ago, consolidated into four categories: M1, M2, E and S. M1 is aircraft up to 12,500 MTOW excluding turbojets (like bizjets) but including some heavier, simpler airplanes like the DC-3 and a few others, and also including piston and turbine helicopters up to 12,500. M2 covers everything else, big stuff and turbojets. E is avionics and S is sheet metal and structures. You can hold more than one rating, but if you get both the M1 and M2 you can't get any more. The M1/M2 can sign off anything including avionics and structures. He doesn't necessarily do the work, but he has to make sure it's done right and to the book.

I hold the M1 and had to write ten exams for it. That was during the transition period between the 17 and four categories before they consolidated the exams. I did M2 work but didn't collect quite enough tasks for it in the 15 months I did it. Enough time but not enough tasks.

The term MOT disappeared a long, long time ago. Transport Canada it's been since then. 1970s, maybe.
Good explanation of our system, Personally I hold an AME licence with S rating. At the time I got my licence there were several sub-catagories of the S rating. S1,S2,S3, etc, for sheet metal, tube and fabric, wood, composite, and welding. They were all grouped together into just S about 2000 or so. Even though I can legally sign off repairs on wood, or tube, I wouldn't as I don't have the expertise,
 

BBerson

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To a much earlier question about reduced training requirements for owner-maintenance (specific to homebuilts, and I *think* for private use cert. a/c as well): If you read Kitplanes & Sport Aviation, you've likely seen that the FAA is considering exactly that in a big batch of rule re-writes currently working their way through the system. Some of y'all might be young enough to see them go into effect....

Charlie
Right. The FAA only cares about commercial operations and also requires that same mechanic rating for non-commercial owner/mechanics that want to maintain or inspect their own airplanes. There is no simple "Private Mechanic Certificate" in this supposedly free country.
Imagine if only "Commercial" pilots certificates were also required for all private operations.
 

Doran Jaffas

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I’ve read some interesting discussions about how A&P training Could be shorter if it didn’t include so much emphasis on large commercial craft.
For those of you that have gone to school and spent a lot of time working on small aircraft A couple of questions.

How much time in training do you think could actually be saved and still be training competent repair personnel for small planes , if any.

Where would you draw the line for small planes for that type of training.

Just for this arguments sake Let’s assume the current standard requires 2000 hours of intensive classroom training.
S.M.A.T. on the west end of KY70 in Michigan offers a 1 year start to finish A&P course.
 

Pilot-34

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Yes that and the school at granite city IL is where i got my estimate of 2000 hours
 
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Dan Thomas

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Right. The FAA only cares about commercial operations and also requires that same mechanic rating for non-commercial owner/mechanics that want to maintain or inspect their own airplanes. There is no simple "Private Mechanic Certificate" in this supposedly free country.
Imagine if only "Commercial" pilots certificates were also required for all private operations.
In Canada the mechanic gets the same training, but his ultimate licensing depends on his apprenticeship time and tasks. Commercial airplanes can only be maintained by AMOs (Approved Maintenance Organizations), and mechanics working within those can only sign off work if the AMO has granted them an ACA (Aircraft Certification Authority). That makes the AMO train and vet the mechanic further. Recurrent training is necessary, too, to keep up with changes to the regs and ADs and SBs and a whole lot of other stuff.

Every time there's a major aircraft accident, the general public, which thinks all pilots and mechanics are stupid and need more rules, demands action to tighten things up. So the feds do that, making airline and commuter and charter flying, and flight training, more expensive, and then the public complains that the costs of flying are too high.

When I was a Director of Maintenance (the formal title TC sticks on it is PRM, Person Responsible for Maintenance) I spent at least a third of my time just doing paperwork and recurrent employee training and their records, and reviewing new ADs every two weeks and SBs as they came out, and quarterly checks on a whole raft of stuff including service manual and cockpit checklist currency. Constantly updating stuff. Every year there was another internal audit to review a different raft of stuff and make sure the Maintenance Policy Manual (for the AMO) and the Maintenance Control Manual (for the flight school) were up to date and in line with the ever-changing regs. I often wondered if I had trained as a mechanic or as a lawyer.
 

Pilot-34

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Wow
That explains a lot about you.
I’m not sure I could survive that environment let alone thrive in it.
 

Dan Thomas

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S.M.A.T. on the west end of KY70 in Michigan offers a 1 year start to finish A&P course.
There used to be a few like that. Cheyenne Aero Tech, for one. Don't know if they're still around. Zero to A&P certificate in one year of hard, steady work.
 

Pilot-34

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Southwestern community college headquartered in Belleville Illinois has a program that is one year . It based out of a facility near Granite city Illinois
 
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