AerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0 Posted (12 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2937 times:
Ever since I met my step-father, who works as a med-evac helicopter mechanic, I've been interested in that particular aspect of aviation. Can anyone offer up any decent colleges that offer degree programs for aviation maintenance?
If you are a mechanic, can you tell me what the training process was like, how long it took you to complete training (four year degree?) and how you go about getting certified to work on various aircraft, and how you get hired?
If you do the formal training route the minimum time you'll spend in class to get your A&P certificate is 13 months. Most schools require a min of 22 months. If you decide to learn on the job:
§ 65.77 Experience requirements.
Each applicant for a mechanic certificate or rating must present documentary evidence, satisfactory to the Administrator, of --
(a) At least 18 months of practical experience with the procedures, practices, materials, tools, machine tools, and equipment generally used in constructing, maintaining, or altering airframes, or powerplants appropriate to the rating sought; or
(b) At least 30 months of practical experience concurrently performing the duties appropriate to both the airframe and powerplant ratings.
That only qualifies you to take the tests.
§ 65.79 Skill requirements.
Each applicant for a mechanic certificate or rating must pass an oral and a practical test on the rating he seeks. The tests cover the applicant's basic skill in performing practical projects on the subjects covered by the written test for that rating. An applicant for a powerplant rating must show his ability to make satisfactory minor repairs to, and minor alterations of, propellers.
Once you have your certificate and are "certificated" you then must be trained and qualified on each task on each aircraft you'll be maintaining. This may be as simple as reading the procedure and doing it correctly or may involve substantial classroom time coupled with on-the-job training and proficiency demonstration. But:
§ 65.81 General privileges and limitations.
(a) A certificated mechanic may perform or supervise the maintenance, preventive maintenance or alteration of an aircraft or appliance, or a part thereof, for which he is rated (but excluding major repairs to, and major alterations of, propellers, and any repair to, or alteration of, instruments), and may perform additional duties in accordance with §§ 65.85, 65.87, and 65.95. However, he may not supervise the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alteration of, or approve and return to service, any aircraft or appliance, or part thereof, for which he is rated unless he has satisfactorily performed the work concerned at an earlier date. If he has not so performed that work at an earlier date, he may show his ability to do it by performing it to the satisfaction of the Administrator or under the direct supervision of a certificated and appropriately rated mechanic, or a certificated repairman, who has had previous experience in the specific operation concerned.
(b) A certificated mechanic may not exercise the privileges of his certificate and rating unless he understands the current instructions of the manufacturer, and the maintenance manuals, for the specific operation concerned.
And of course there's always the need to stay current
Rest assured that once you have a Mechanic's Certificate you have only just begun your training. You'll spend countless hours in class and on the job learning your craft and trying to stay up to date with emerging technologies.
Then there's the constant instability of the job, workforce, and job security coupled with layoffs and ...........
§ 65.83 Recent experience requirements.
A certificated mechanic may not exercise the privileges of his certificate and rating unless, within the preceding 24 months --
(a) The Administrator has found that he is able to do that work; or
(b) He has, for at least 6 months --
(1) Served as a mechanic under his certificate and rating;
(2) Technically supervised other mechanics;
(3) Supervised, in an executive capacity, the maintenance or alteration of aircraft; or
(4) Been engaged in any combination of paragraph (b) (1), (2), or (3) of this section.
Okay we'll take that up some other time.
You might want to pursue the Air Traffic Control or Pilot careers. They're slightly more stable.
I don't want to scare you off but there's a lot of issues with anything involving the FAA and certification. Not to mention the possibility of losing your certificate or being fined for some minor infraction. It just keeps getting better...
And people actually wonder why very few high school students are thinking of entering the aviation maintenance field.
Whatever you decide, best of luck.
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
LMP737 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2880 times:
My maintenance career started in the United States Navy. I spent three and a half years working on the engines and fuel systems on the F-14A. Because of this experience I was able to get signed off by the FAA to take my oral and practical for my Powerplant license.
The "traditional" way to get an A&P license is to go to an FAA approved school. For my airframe license I went to Southern Illinois University. SIU also has a flight program and degree programs in aviation. So while I was working on my airframe license I was also taking classes to get a degree.
Now lets put that aside for a minute. Right now A&P jobs are few and far between. While there is actually a shortage of A&P technicians that shortage has been actificially erased by the downturn in the airline industry. My recommendation is if you want to get into aircraft maintenance is to get your A&P while at the same time working on a degree. That way by the time you get both thing will have (hopefully) turned around by then. With a degree you will have something to fall back on if you decide you want to do something else.
AerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2377 times:
You went to SIU? That's quite a coincidence! I just found out my step-dad also went to SIU! I've also been talking to him a bit about it and he's also had some interesting information. Thanks for all of your help, both of you.
Cdfmxtech From United States of America, joined exactly 15 years ago today! , 1341 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2300 times:
Different airlines handle training and certification on aircraft differently.
Where I work, you can not sign off an aircraft discrepancy without being formally trainined on that pariticular aircraft.
Training class for each different aircraft range from 2 weeks to 4 weeks.
Furthermore, if you have attended lets say a B737 systems class but did not attend the Avionics portion of it, you may not sign off an work done on the Autopilot and certain navigation crtitcal to the autopilot system.
So once you get your A&P, then the fun begins because that is when you start learning. The only think I took out of A&P school was the safety wiring, some basic principles and this very important statement:
SKYDROLS LEAKS AND IT IS NOT YOUR FRIEND!!!
I'm sure those who work general aviation may use that which was learned in A&P school alot more, working the gap btwn A&P school and working on Airliners is huge.
But if you play your cards right, and actually give a sh**, you can learn something new everyday.
I'll let someone else handle the hiring part, becasue you might get discouraged if I speak about that!!