For the small plane A&Ps out there

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TFF

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I guess, why the fight to keep up an old certified plane you don’t already own when there are thousands of homebuilts for sale that you can do what you want? I don’t own my dream aircraft but I do own a pretty good facsimile of one I want to own. It’s mine. In general, certified aircraft only have one value; to make money with. Stay away otherwise if you dream of doing stuff yourself and not playing the red tape game. There are two viable camps. Certified and homebuilt. You don’t get to mix and if you think about it, they will kill the homebuilt way before they would kill certified. Bla bla bla if you don’t like the rules in the US. In the rest of the world, the minimum level of maintenance on a Cessna 172 is pretty close to equal to regional airline rules in the US. Homebuilts have to be maintained by certified mechanics. You are barking up the wrong tree when the US is constantly being pressured into being like the Europeans because they want the tax revenue. Tax down participation is how they control the airways in Europe. It’s why people fly LSA planes over there, smallest tax footprint. Start standing up for what you have now because they are trying to take it away. I’m not joking.
 

Dan Thomas

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Sep 17, 2008
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First class of A&P school should be personal responsibility and liability. That should thin things out some... oh wait, they don't teach that at all, no wonder most students complete the course.
Some years ago a government aviation enforcement guy went to a big aircraft mechanic school not far from where I was living and working. He made a speech to the whole class (some 200 students) and made a big deal of all the liability they faced and the massive fines and potential for jail time if they screwed up. Something like half the class quit the course immediately.

But he's right, to a degree. There's a lot more responsibility when you work on vehicles that move in three dimensions and do it a lot faster and sometimes in zero visibility. Things have to be done right, or else.

In another school I visited, one of the instructors told me that their graduates were being hired right out of school by bus companies for their shops. They found that the aircraft mechanic apprentice's technical skill level was far higher than the average heavy-duty mechanic apprentice, and troubleshooting skills were better. And they paid more, too.
 

GeeZee

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Feb 25, 2019
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Indianapolis, IN
In addition to Vincennes in Indy there is another A&P school that shall remain nameless. They seem to recruit shall we say a much more mechanically challenged group. When students can’t pass the A&P finals (let alone the FAA tests) they can graduate with a general mechanics degree that gets them a foot in the door to all the little manufacturing plants. So yea, even though they weren’t cut out to be aircraft mechanics they still ended up with some skills that got them decent paying maintenance positions.
 

TFF

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There are plenty of office jobs that require or is helpful to have an A&P. I went to school with a woman who did technical publications for a big carrier. She had done to her job for more than ten years but new requirements required her to get it. Not worried about her working on a Cessna. Same carrier required all of he avionics bench techs to get theirs too. They don’t even know what an airplane looks like. Management jobs all around require them. It’s a very small world. With diverse requirements.
 

Twodeaddogs

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Dunlavin, County Wicklow,Ireland
Having spent three trips to the US, between 1991 and 1997,I found that American A&Ps were very well educated on the air legislation required for their job,most had PPLs or a great deal of flying experience, were very capable across the skill set, especially at field repairs on alloy skins, electrical work, engine work and had a much wider scope available to them. They were expected to cover a much wider range of repairs than any European mech. and operated to a much more independent level.they also tended to have a much more dedicated and expensive personal toolkit,where as European mechs tended to depend on the Company to own the more expensive kit. Also,I found that a lot of other industries hired persons with a minimum of an A&P,such as the fairground and rollercoasters industry, oil and gas,HVAC, factory/ plant maintenance and so on. Aircraft electricians and instrument fitters were in high demand in the oil and gas and pharma and chemical industries.
 

crusty old aviator

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Feb 17, 2014
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Grantham, NH
One of the first things they told us at A&P school, in 1980, was that the US Dept of Labor classified A&P’s as “semi-skilled labor.” That’s a pencil-necked bureaucrat for you: doesn’t understand what he’s evaluating, so he puts it in the middle of the pack and moves on to the next baffling job description.
 

crusty old aviator

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Feb 17, 2014
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Grantham, NH
I was interviewing for an engineering job at an aerospace outfit with the goomer who would have been my boss. When I mentioned that I had my A&P, he just dismissed it, saying there was no relevance. I stood up, told him that my life was too short to waste any of it working for such a narrow-minded ignoramus, and left. Everywhere else I interviewed in aerospace, it’s considered a valuable asset.
 

hmarkison

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Apr 7, 2020
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To ask the question "how much is not related to GA?" you have to ask how much you want to limit the definition of GA and what is "important" information to maintaining even a simple aircraft. Is the General material out the window? For a lot of students it seems superfluous but it adds significantly to understanding of whats to come. Do you get rid of hydraulics? Brake systems are hydraulic, as are retractable gear and occasionally (okay, rarely) control systems. If you want a really simple plane do you eliminate composites? I would guess not. In a perfect world you could look at a person's background (ie, the ASE mechanic) but speaking from the point of an educator, that evaluation would take enough energy (remember, the med student graduating at the bottom of their class is still called doctor) that you might as well keep in more of the training. I've been in discussion of school matters where lots of people suggested eliminating wood and fabric from the A&P curriculum so what would happen if it was?
The bottom line (and I may have missed the point because I haven't read every comment) is "what is the ultimate goal". Are we looking for a way to reduce the training for folks, like myself, that only work on GA? The amount of training that could be eliminated, even if the FAA was willing, would be relatively small, off the top of my head probably 300-400 hours. If you are talking about creating a technician qualified to work on their own homebuilt aircraft, most EAA chapters contain enough accumulated knowledge that involvement in EAA would cover much of it. If you want to get qualified to work on someone else's homebuilt, I just don't see the FAA getting involved and that isn't an important factor anyway for an experimental.
I've alway wished there were separate licenses for GA and commercial but the FAA doesn't seem inclined to do that. As it is, they've reduced testing so that a graduate, if they are good, could do the orals and practicals for everything, general, airframe, and powerplant in 8 hours total. My O&Ps totalled more than 24.
We always lament how much we have to go through to become an A&P but not much of the training is wasted. After 34 years I don't regret a minute of it.
 

Pilot-34

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Apr 7, 2020
Messages
367
I guess, why the fight to keep up an old certified plane you don’t already own when there are thousands of homebuilts for sale that you can do what you want? I don’t own my dream aircraft but I do own a pretty good facsimile of one I want to own.
I just don’t see it. I look In trade a plane I find a lot of airplanes for sale.
But certainly not thousands of homebuilts.

To be honest I rarely find more than a dozen Certified airplanes that will do my mission ,kind of

Of course money is the solution the most problems and if I had unlimited funds I am probably find what I wanted in a heartbeat

I’m looking for a good affordable back country aircraft with least 1000 pounds payload

The big key is affordable
Cheap to buy seems to be expensive to maintain and vice versa.
Think Lake buccaneer And Cessna Skylark.

Where are the home built equivalents?
 

Dana

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Apr 3, 2007
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CT, USA
So: If one takes the 120 hour course and gets the Light-Sport Repairman certificate with a maintenance rating, he is allowed to work on and sign off the annual condition inspection on a new production SLSA Legend Cub (or even something more modern and sophisticated like an Icon), but a 2000 hour A&P is needed to work on an identical J-3 Cub, and an IA to do the annual. Something's wrong with that.
 

Dan Thomas

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Sep 17, 2008
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I’m looking for a good affordable back country aircraft with least 1000 pounds payload
Good luck with that. There are a lot of pilots out there looking for exactly that, and the airplanes that qualify are rather limited. That drives the price up. It's called free-market forces. The Cessna 180 hasn't been built since 1981 and the 185 was last built in 1985. The 206 went out of production in 1986 and back into production in around 1998. Air operators want those 206s, since they're easier to load than the taildraggers and have more room, and probably 98% of the pilots they hire have no taildragger time. The Helio is another capable airplane but quite rare and therefore valuable. Air operators bought a large percentage of the production of these airplanes, and wore them out. Completely. Or crashed them. That reduced their numbers.

Most people who want to fly have to be realistic. They didn't inherit millions. They can't afford all their dreams, no matter what their parents told them while growing up. Flying is expensive and very unlikely to be anything else. So you need a good income, and you need patience, and you need persistence. Patience and persistence are rare now, too. And even then most people have to be satisfied with much less than a 1000-pound payload. How many of the average PPL can afford to drop $100K or more for a 185 that doesn't need a lot of work? And the many dollars to keep it that way? Even if you build an airplane like that it will cost a lot and take lots of time and effort and persistence. An example is the St-Just Super Cyclone, a 180/185 kitplane replica: St-Just Aviation Inc.

Why do I have to keep saying that we already live in the most privileged part of the world and we CAN go get a good job and work hard and EARN these things and fly them? The rest of the world sees it and they all want to move here. Why do you think you Americans have such a problem on your southern border? Wake up. Get to work. It's NOT going to happen otherwise, even if you buy lottery tickets. You can ask all the questions you want, but there are no other answers. None.
 

Dan Thomas

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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
5,288
So: If one takes the 120 hour course and gets the Light-Sport Repairman certificate with a maintenance rating, he is allowed to work on and sign off the annual condition inspection on a new production SLSA Legend Cub (or even something more modern and sophisticated like an Icon), but a 2000 hour A&P is needed to work on an identical J-3 Cub, and an IA to do the annual. Something's wrong with that.
If it's possible, yeah, something's wrong. But in Canada we have a similar mystery: A certified 1960 Cessna 172 has to be maintained and inspected annually by a licensed mechanic. It has to have certified parts installed in it. Any modifications have to be done in accordance with data approved by the FAA. Paperwork has to be submitted reporting any such modifications.
But the owner can have it reregistered in the Owner-Maintenance category and do all the maintenance and inspections himself and use uncertified parts in it, within reason, meaning that he can't install a Chevy V-6 in it. He doesn't have to show proof of any aircraft mechanical education at all.
Same airplane, vastly different requirements. It flies over the same city, goes the same places, carries the same people. It has a different piece of airworthiness paper and a warning placard on its side, and that's it.
 

Pilot-34

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Apr 7, 2020
Messages
367
Good luck with that. There are a lot of pilots out there looking for exactly that, and the airplanes that qualify are rather limited. That drives the price up. It's called free-market forces. The Cessna 180 hasn't been built since 1981 and the 185 was last built in 1985. The 206 went out of production in 1986 and back into production in around 1998. Air operators want those 206s, since they're easier to load than the taildraggers and have more room, and probably 98% of the pilots they hire have no taildragger time. The Helio is another capable airplane but quite rare and therefore valuable. Air operators bought a large percentage of the production of these airplanes, and wore them out. Completely. Or crashed them. That reduced their numbers.

Most people who want to fly have to be realistic. They didn't inherit millions. They can't afford all their dreams, no matter what their parents told them while growing up. Flying is expensive and very unlikely to be anything else. So you need a good income, and you need patience, and you need persistence. Patience and persistence are rare now, too. And even then most people have to be satisfied with much less than a 1000-pound payload. How many of the average PPL can afford to drop $100K or more for a 185 that doesn't need a lot of work? And the many dollars to keep it that way? Even if you build an airplane like that it will cost a lot and take lots of time and effort and persistence. An example is the St-Just Super Cyclone, a 180/185 kitplane replica: St-Just Aviation Inc.

Why do I have to keep saying that we already live in the most privileged part of the world and we CAN go get a good job and work hard and EARN these things and fly them? The rest of the world sees it and they all want to move here. Why do you think you Americans have such a problem on your southern border? Wake up. Get to work. It's NOT going to happen otherwise, even if you buy lottery tickets. You can ask all the questions you want, but there are no other answers. None.

Exactly !
Remember the post you quoted was a reply to a post telling me that there were thousands of home belts out there to choose from.
In the end aircraft with that mission capability or rather expensive even in the home built
The bear hawk is the one that everybody talks about for that mission.
But even in a home built aircraft it’s not an expensive aircraft But even in a Homebuilt aircraft it’s not a inexpensive aircraft.

There is no free lunch and in the aircraft you tend to pay on one corner or the other.

Cheap to build means a lot of hours usually and very restricted utility.
Quick to build usually means expensive
And lots of utility usually means expensive.
 

Dan Thomas

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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
5,288
Exactly !
Remember the post you quoted was a reply to a post telling me that there were thousands of home belts out there to choose from.
In the end aircraft with that mission capability or rather expensive even in the home built
The bear hawk is the one that everybody talks about for that mission.
But even in a home built aircraft it’s not an expensive aircraft But even in a Homebuilt aircraft it’s not a inexpensive aircraft.

There is no free lunch and in the aircraft you tend to pay on one corner or the other.

Cheap to build means a lot of hours usually and very restricted utility.
Quick to build usually means expensive
And lots of utility usually means expensive.
You'd be better off if you lowered your expectations and started with something a lot simpler and cheaper, like a smaller homebuilt or a Cessna 140 or 150 or Champ. There are a lot of people who never did get around to flying because they insisted they had to have a 210 or Bonanza, something far outside their financial capabilities.
 

Pilot-34

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Apr 7, 2020
Messages
367
You'd be better off if you lowered your expectations and started with something a lot simpler and cheaper, like a smaller homebuilt or a Cessna 140 or 150 or Champ. There are a lot of people who never did get around to flying because they insisted they had to have a 210 or Bonanza, something far outside their financial capabilities.
I can’t see how I’d be better off with something that can’t do the mission.
Kinda pointless to buy a plane to do a specific mission that can’t do the mission.
 

BBerson

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Dec 16, 2007
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Port Townsend WA
A light Cherokee can haul 900 pounds. Might be cheap ones available now with owners not interested in the spar AD and ADS-B cost upgrade issues.
 

TFF

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You can have the plane and not have the skill. A 140 or 150 pushed into the same places will be a lot more forgiving. Building into ability. Backcountry flying is high performance flying like aerobatics. Pilot control has to be sharp to pull off most bush flying. A fresh private pilots license will not give you the skill unless you are exceptional.
Define your 1000 lb payload. People and fuel count towards the payload. Most welcome burning off the fuel so they can leave with less weight.
 

Pilot-34

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A light Cherokee can haul 900 pounds. Might be cheap ones available now with owners not interested in the spar AD and ADS-B cost upgrade issues.
I have found them to be excellent Bush planes except for downward visibility ability .
I really like Johnson bar flaps for short /soft takeoffs.
But I don’t like the way they load /unload.
 
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proppastie

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NJ
I have found them to be excellent Bush planes except for downward visibility ability .
I really like Johnson bar flaps for short /soft takeoffs.
But I don’t like the way they load /unload.
Had one for 25 years. ....easiest aircraft to fly there is. You want high wing ......early 172 are affordable.....I have seen each model high time engine recently go for less than 15k USD.
 
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