For the small plane A&Ps out there

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

Turd Ferguson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
5,035
Location
Upper midwest in a house
S.M.A.T. on the west end of KY70 in Michigan offers a 1 year start to finish A&P course.
Part 147 requires a minimum of 1900 hrs of training (400 for General, 750 for airframe, 750 for powerplant). If you attend school ~40 hrs a week (like working a job) can get to 1900 in a yr and still have holidays, semester breaks and a week of vacation.

Most of the 1yr schools faded away because academics were added so students could concurrently get at least a 2yr college degree. Western Michigan University A&P school is a 4 yr college degree program. Seen some sharp kids do it in 3.
 

Doran Jaffas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Messages
155
Part 147 requires a minimum of 1900 hrs of training (400 for General, 750 for airframe, 750 for powerplant). If you attend school ~40 hrs a week (like working a job) can get to 1900 in a yr and still have holidays, semester breaks and a week of vacation.

Most of the 1yr schools faded away because academics were added so students could concurrently get at least a 2yr college degree. Western Michigan University A&P school is a 4 yr college degree program. Seen some sharp kids do it in 3.
I agree with you on the time. That is a fact. School of missionary aviation technology is world-renowned and won't be fading away anytime soon. There are other very good schools out there. This one happens to be very convenient for me when in my plus fifty years I decide to go and get it.
 

pwood66889

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
1,605
Location
Sopchoppy, Florida, USA
Might as well put in my own 2-cents before bed time.
Am embarrassed what my A&P cost. Took the course as a "Late-Life Lark" after going on Social (in)Security. Paid resident rates in New Mexico, and it took 5 semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring>graduate). I started the 5-shot boogie in the Spring (actually January) and, like my BS before, completed in the requisite time. At like $600 a pop (10 years ago!) it was do-able.
Then it got real = spousal unit says "You've got to get a job." So after gaining the certificate at the same time the rest of my age cohort got their first full Social (in)Security pay outs, I'm sending resumes out over the `net.
Got a call: "Can you come down for a technical interview?" Had received the plastic "Ticket to Ride" in the mail, so I headed out east. Failing to find computer work after the Y2K problems were solved, I did not have much hope. But I figured I could live in the van there and back so...
First off, interviewer wants to photograph my Cert. Then it's test time.
Now, ya gotta remember that it is only 4 months after passing the written, oral and practicals, so I was on top of my game. 23 right out of 25, and the next thing the interviewer says is "Can you start Monday? This is Wednesday!
Told spousal unit "I have good news, and I have bad news." She was used to packing and moving from our 9 years in computer consulting and did miracles once again. I lucked into a place to stay and bought work shoes and clothing on the credit cards.
Like they say, "The rest is history." Nine years of steady work at Union wages. Now retired to Florida, USA, with paid for house and vehicles. Paid for Ercoupe which I am rebuilding with my EAA chapter.
Prior experiences were Air Traffic Control School and the PPASEL.
Yeah - like being a pilot, A&P's can be a rough go. But some people make it work for them.
 

Dana

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Messages
9,197
Location
CT, USA
Southwestern community college headquartered in Belleville Illinois has a program that is one year . It based out of a facility near Granite city Illinois
Did that use to be Belleville Area College? I remember they had a flight school in Cahokia when I was at Parks College, which also had their flight school there.

Parks used to have a very good A&P program (I'm talking back in the 1970s). Could get just an A&P, or a full blown 4 year degree in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering which included an A&P. I think there was also a 4 year Aviation Maintenance Management, also with an A&P, for the students who wanted a 4 year degree but couldn't hack the engineering math. They had a bunch of real airplanes for the students to work on not counting the flight school planes... a Short Skyvan, a DeHavilland Beaver, and an F-84 stick in my mind. Once a semester they'd tow the F-84 out and run it up, everybody always gathered to watch. Later on Parks closed up shop in Cahokia and got absorbed by Saint Louis University, I always wondered what happened to all the aircraft and shop equipment.
 

Pilot-34

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
354
Lol
If you’ve ever entered the pattern “ over the Ketchup bottle “ you flew from Sauget .
Yes both parks and Belleville went through some tough times but last time I was down there there were about 100 in the pattern so maybe they are ok ?
Belleville Area College is now South Western Illinois College.
 

Pilot-34

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
354
I never understood why their flight and maintenance programs were widely separated, the maintenance facility doesn’t even have a runway and they frown mightily on landing there.
 

crusty old aviator

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
222
Location
Grantham, NH
My A&P school also had a flight program and many of the flight students looked down on the mechanic students. We always straightened ‘em out by borrowing a bit from Chuck Yeager and admonishing them that “any monkey can be trained to fly an airplane, but it takes a mechanic to keep it flying.” They weren’t so snooty after that.
 

Turd Ferguson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
5,035
Location
Upper midwest in a house
I agree with you on the time. That is a fact. School of missionary aviation technology is world-renowned and won't be fading away anytime soon. There are other very good schools out there. This one happens to be very convenient for me when in my plus fifty years I decide to go and get it.
Doran, Had a cousin who was 70 y/o on his first day of A&P school. He had his A&P 2 yrs later ! ! Never too late ! ! !
 

Dan Thomas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
5,274
My A&P school also had a flight program and many of the flight students looked down on the mechanic students. We always straightened ‘em out by borrowing a bit from Chuck Yeager and admonishing them that “any monkey can be trained to fly an airplane, but it takes a mechanic to keep it flying.” They weren’t so snooty after that.
Yup. Can't train a monkey to fix anything. We also used to remind the flight students that they could go from zero to a Commercial and multi-IFR in one year if they worked hard enough, while it took a full four years to get an AME ticket.

When the regs were still on paper it was fun to pull them out and stack the books on the desk, along with all the AME textbooks. Made quite a pile. Having them online doesn't have quite the same impact.
 

Dana

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Messages
9,197
Location
CT, USA
Lol
If you’ve ever entered the pattern “ over the Ketchup bottle “ you flew from Sauget .
Yes both parks and Belleville went through some tough times but last time I was down there there were about 100 in the pattern so maybe they are ok ?
Belleville Area College is now South Western Illinois College.
I flew from what was then called Bi-State Parks Airport (CPS), now called St Louis Downtown Airport. Maybe it's technically in Sauget? Haven't been there in over 30 years. There was also the old grass airstrip behind the college, we called it "the beanfied" because everything but the runways was planted in soybeans, it was used only occasionally for special events or to bring planes into the college itself. Parks College is now only a name, it's now "Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology" on the main St. Louis University campus, but the old Cahokia campus is still abandoned and rotting away. Sad. Even though I transferred out before graduating, I had some good times there.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,003
Location
USA.
Dana, Did you every loaf at St Charles airport ?
 

hmarkison

New Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
2
Interesting discussion. I was an A&P for 34 years, taught for half of that and served for a time as DoT at my school. We had many discussions about what we could do to address all of this. First, i always felt that the A&P ticket could use more time and while I was Director of Training I bumped it up to 2100, increasing composites, sheet metal and turbines. Doing it faster in order to work on homebuilts would be doable but I don't see the FAA making it a rating anytime soon, though the LSA tech training isn't a bad start.
Many good comments here but one that we always repeated is "the A&P ticket is just a license to learn" and reminded them that at least for a bit they would need to work under an experienced tech.
My first day of school my first instructor told me something that I've taken to heart, and repeated to every new class starting their training. "A world class surgeon can only kill one or two folks a day but if an A&P screws up, it could easily result in 500 or more deaths. If you're not willing to take on that responsibility, please get out now."
Yes, there's some superfluous stuff that has to be learned but being a fairly old guy I've always taken the attitude that you end up using the information somewhere along the line. BTW, most (obviously not all) schools really teach mostly GA with the addition of some large aircraft systems. Essentially, how to read and understand the manuals, and the basic workings of systems...lots of systems. The best students know the concepts on the first day. The worst....well, hopefully they'll find a nice job in a tire shop or use their skills fixing dentist chairs.
 

Pilot-34

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
354
Seems like at parks everyone wanted to taxi all the way down to the far end of the long one runway (30L) I learned to ask for 23 and get a immediate departure instead of spending 30 minutes or more waiting in line.
Same thing returning specially on a Saturday with 100 planes in the pattern .
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
12,797
Location
Memphis, TN
Being schools there is usually limited space. GA airplanes are usually all that will fit in space available. Tasks are the same in most cases. When Fed Ex got rid of the 727s They sent most of them to schools. Even flying them too there for free. My school got the first one being on the same airport, but I have seen quite a few around the country. I was long gone when they gave them out. Planes like the A&P school in Carbondale Illinois is more like what most people think of as A&P school. They have a dyno building, around 10 different helicopters in its own building, 737 and something else big, and dozens of other planes not including the flight school. The flight school got the airport a Tower. Most schools are last on the important list of their parent school. It’s not going to get them press like some other discipline and to set up is a pain in the butt. It’s a very odd world, aviation.
 

gtae07

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2012
Messages
1,959
Location
Savannah, Georgia
I guess the big questions in my mind are “how tightly regulated should privately-owned light airplanes be?” and “how much training (if any) should be required for someone to work on their own light airplane?” And I think the two need to go together.

Why shouldn’t someone with a 20+ year old spam can be allowed to permanently and irreversibly convert their airplane to an “experimental - owner maintained (E-OM)” category where the rules become the same as for a secondhand E-AB? I know that right now that’s not how it works, but why shouldn’t it be that way? Why should it matter how the airplane was originally produced? I expect liability concerns would be a big stumbling block though, unless protections for past/current/future TC and PC holders is included.

Failing that, if some variant of the P-NC proposal is implemented with MOSAIC and individuals can both deviate from strict conformance to approved type design, and get a repairman’s certificate for their airplane (sort of like how that’s available for LSA), what would reasonable requirements be, if any? This is just for one’s own airplane, not working on anyone else’s.

That said, unless something changes I think homebuilts will grow to dominate the newer end of the personally-owned light airplane market.
 

Dan Thomas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
5,274
Why shouldn’t someone with a 20+ year old spam can be allowed to permanently and irreversibly convert their airplane to an “experimental - owner maintained (E-OM)” category where the rules become the same as for a secondhand E-AB? I know that right now that’s not how it works, but why shouldn’t it be that way? Why should it matter how the airplane was originally produced?
Because the builder of a 51% homebuilt knows a lot more about his airplane than the owner of an older spam can. Theoretically, anyway. I have had my doubts for some time, seeing all these "quick-build" kits that surely don't require 51% of the work still to be done. And the kits that are put together by a third party. There has been so much fudging and pushing of the boundaries that I'm surprised the feds let it continue.
The whole homebuilt-owner-maintenance thing was developed when airplanes were the product of a set of plans and a whole lot of mailing in for catalogs and mailing or phoning in orders for wood and metals and hardware and lots of stuff. The builder went to the airport and got parts off busted airplanes. He found a run-out engine, or something off an airplane busted in an accident or windstorm, and often rebuilt it himself. Sure, that builder knew his airplane intimately, way better than the mechanic.

But that was in the days when people could actually build or fix things. The days when magazines like Popular Mechanics or any of a half-dozen competing magazines were eagerly awaited every month, full of ideas and stories by people who had created neat stuff. Now we have millions of people who can't even change the oil in their cars. When automation made consumer goods so much cheaper, and disposable incomes went up, it became much easier and faster to just go buy a new boat or toaster or TV, or contract the repairs out to someone. The art of fixing and building was largely lost. Some people even saw it as a dirty, noisy hobby. Ot the fixer/builder was viewed as poor, not able to afford the flashy stuff. They failed to realize that DIY stuff is immensely satisfying and cathartic.
 

D Hillberg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2010
Messages
1,262
Location
very low low low earth orbit
There was once a "pilot" "owner" of a "Cessna" - Ex Air force retired who flew his plane from private property to private property in uncontrolled airspace..... The rag that was sucked into the engine caused him to do an emergency landing at an Air Force Air Field , FAA asked to investigate:

Findings. . . Pilot Owner in an unregistered aircraft who had neither a certificate to maintain or pilot any aircraft, conducted an emergency landing while transitioning through uncontrolled air space from private property to private property . . . The FAA finds it has no jurisdiction in the matter.

Air Force let the owner continue with repairs and continue with his journey. As in emergency situations you may deviate from all regulations.

It also didn't hurt that the base commander was buds with the Airman.
 

Dana

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Messages
9,197
Location
CT, USA
Dana, Did you every loaf at St Charles airport ?
No, don't think I ever got over there.

Seems like at parks everyone wanted to taxi all the way down to the far end of the long one runway (30L) I learned to ask for 23 and get a immediate departure instead of spending 30 minutes or more waiting in line.
Same thing returning specially on a Saturday with 100 planes in the pattern .
Back then it was 22/4, not 23, and 30/12 was only one runway, no R and L. I remember my first flight lesson there, we got in the air and my instructor saw me looking over at the Arch and said, "Don't even THINK about it!"
 
2
Top